This week’s two challenges made me think a bit: radical authenticity and local.  The latter is easy, as I almost never go anywhere without my camera (much to my commute’s detriment), and I fortunately live in a very beautiful city.  But what’s authentic?

I’ve always somewhat struggled to define my photographic style.  In fact, I’ve been told in the past that I don’t really have a style.  It wasn’t until I recently joined a local photography group and was teased for a particular technique that I discovered I do, in fact, have at least one defining characteristic: The Brianna Angle.

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Most academic literature will instruct you to be mindful of your horizons and always keep them level.  I used to do that, and I can look back on some old photos and see most are quite plain.  A few years ago, I stopped paying attention to that, and in some cases, I deliberately tilted the camera 30 degrees.  I have since fallen in love with the more dramatic look.

Most of the time, it isn’t a conscious effort.  In fact, I didn’t really notice I was doing it until the group pointed it out to me.  I also don’t do it simply to angle photos.  Instead, it’s always been more of a compositional choice.  My subjects simply fit into the frame better when angled like that.

For some people, it’s a noticeable flaw in my photography; all they can see is crooked horizons.  On the other hand, some prefer The Brianna Angle.  I published a good example of this contrast in a post on Fushimi Inari Shrine as part of my Japan series.  Aaron preferred the straight image in the post while my sister loved the angled version in the header.  I love both, which is why I originally included both in the post, but it was fascinating to witness that divergence in opinion.

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Don’t get me wrong; I take pictures with level horizons, too.  But the angle is my signature.  That’s the real me.  I hope others enjoy those pictures with me, but I’ll keep ’em coming either way!

What defines you as a photographer?


Want to join me in these weekly photo challenges?  Send me an email (brianna@lotsasmilesphoto.com) with a low-res copy of an image (1MB or smaller) that fits the week’s theme, or leave a comment on this post with a public link to your photo on Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  Please make sure the link is accessible from incognito mode or while you’re logged out.  I’ll include your photos in the next post.  If you have a website or blog, let me know; I’m happy to include that alongside your photo.  I post each Sunday, so send your pictures by midnight U.S. Pacific Time (UTC-8) the Saturday night / Sunday morning following each challenge prompt.  I look forward to seeing them!

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