How Personality Affects Photography Style

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  By Jonathan Ma
How Personality Affects Photography Style

Photography styles vary widely among photographers. What do you think accounts for this large variety of photographic interests? One theory relates to people’s personalities. Because photography is an art, it involves self-expression. And when used as a means of self-expression, photography reflects the inner self of a person. For example, photographers that have a generally positive outlook in life tend to take pictures of happy and joyous scenes. On the other hand, photographers that have serious issues affecting their enjoyment of life can begin to look into photography of abstract or negative imagery. Let’s consider the influence that a person’s personality has on their photography style. Keep in mind that photography styles and subjective and for that reason there is no “right” or “wrong” style. Also, photography style is better than another photography style. They are all just different from each other, but still, deserve to be respected.

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Natural beauty in the animal and bug world can bring a sense of relaxation and calmness. Photographers that seek out scenes like the one pictured above of two butterflies feeding on the nectar of a plant are generally curious people. The bright colors bring out a positive feel. Macro photography appeals to creative types, people that like to explore and see things from different perspectives. Creative types like to look for things in the natural world that will stimulate their minds. Macro photography is perfect for them because it introduces a whole new world and perspective. Although true macro lenses can be expensive to purchase, they are most definitely worth it for the true macro enthusiast. If you don’t have the hundreds of dollars to spend on a macro lens, you can always resort to the post-production method of simulating macro photos. The key is to take high-resolution photos first and then in post-production you can crop the photo. This method should only be used as a last resort and requires a very sharp and clear photo. A prime lens would be recommended for any type of macro or pseudo-macro photography.


Another type of photography that appeals to creative types is black and white photography. To the average person, a black and white photo may not mean much besides the absence of color. But people with a creative eye can spot subtle differences in a great black and white photo and a sub-par one.  Black and white photos have one of the main elements – color – removed from them, so they bring the viewer’s focus to the remaining elements. These are the composition, texture, lighting, and mood. If any of these remaining elements are not well captured, it becomes very obvious in a black and white picture. There is a big emphasis mood in black and white photos. This appeals to people who are emotionally aware of their own feelings and those around them because it helps them to capture that emotion through photography.


For those who love to travel and explore the world, landscape and street photography are usually their favorite type of photography. These adventure-seeking photographers like to opt for a photojournalistic approach when taking photos. They like to capture the world in candid, everyday moments. Candid pictures are their way of capturing the world in its natural setting, showcasing a story through pictures. It has been said many times that a picture is worth a thousand words. The worlds that travel photographers visit while on their journeys indeed are brought to life through their collections of photos. For example, the photo above taken in a desert with winding roads is a great contrast to the urban world (cars and paved roads) and the natural world (desert and mountains).


What about people who have an adventurous and daring personality, what photography style fits them most? You’ll often see these people at sporting events, marathons, or other adrenaline-inducing competitions. Photographers who are adventurous like to take fast pictures that capture the action. Hence, they will usually have the equipment to help them shoot with a quick shutter speed, such as fast lenses and/or an external flash unit. This helps them to capture an exact moment in time, such as in the photo above. The photographer successfully captured the athlete in the middle of his performance, showing off his athleticism and skill.

Happy shooting!


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Jonathan Ma

Jonathan Ma is a freelance writer and professional photographer. He grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States. The natural beauty that surrounds this area has helped him to learn to appreciate art and photography. Jonathan's favorite styles of photography are nature and sports photography. He enjoys learning and teaching others what he knows.

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