Generally, after I shoot a theater assignment, I upload the photos into Aperture, review the images very quickly, and flag those I wish to work on. Then, as I crop, color correct, and sharpen the selected images, I further cull the set. Usually, I’m not thinking about what makes a photo interesting to me; rather, I’m thinking about what makes a photo useful for its purpose – publicity, front of house stills, etc.
But tonight I decided to look again. I reviewed my unrated images from August and September – the ones I will delete in another month or so – to see if anything caught my eye. I’m going to do this every month, because I can already see ways in which this will help me develop and refine a more personal style. Following are three examples:
This outtake from the Ojai Art Center production of Other People's Money breaks a lot of rules, but I like it. You can see that it has little use for publicity. I like the fact that it captures the relationship, even without capturing the foreground actor's face.
I asked these young actors from Senga Classic Stage Company's production of Playboy of the Western World to help me test my lights. Once again, I'm drawn to images with depth, a strong sense of foreground and background. I also like the interaction: the boy's gaze engages the viewer.
Waiting outside for a rehearsal to start, I was drawn to photograph this section of wall. Yet I didn't flag it or work on it. I think that's a mistake. If I feel compelled to photograph something, I ought to at least investigate the image. If I'm drawn to certain colors and textures, perhaps I can learn to integrate these into my other photos. I guess the point of this exercise is that I won't develop a personal style until I take time to study my own interests as well as work created for others.