Photojournalist and advertising lifestyle photographer, Craig Litten, earns his living making photographs. So he knows the importance of having his work taken seriously.
Craig says that one of the most important factors in being taken seriously is to take it seriously yourself. And part of that is to be consistent in the work you show to the world. That means everything whether it’s in your portfolio, on your website, in contests or within editorial pieces.
As a coach and mentor or other photographers Craig sees the most inconsistencies in photographers’ black and white work. In one portfolio he often sees monochrome images that are high contrast, some that are flat and others with crushed blacks and so on. He says it often looks like the photos were made by multiple people. It’s all over the place.
“Yikes”, I thought, “that sounds like my website.”
His recommendation is to tap into your own creative vision, create you own signature black and white style and apply that consistently to all work you show publicly. And do it no matter what camera and editing software you use. The key is to have a repeatable workflow of your own, not a copy of someone else.
Craig created a 2-part seminar which he calls The Darkroom in Lightroom that teaches how to apply the Zone System to envision your final image when you take the shot. Then apply a set of basic principles to create your own repeatable workflow (no matter what camera and editing software you use) to achieve a consistent black and white look in each image.
Craig will be teaching the 2-part seminar to members of the Street Photography Magazine community beginning Tuesday, April 6 at 7:00PM EDT. See this for more information.
Links from the Show
The importance of maintaining a consistent B&W look
Here are 9 different photographs of Craig’s shot with 8 different cameras over a 35-year period. Two images were shot on different film types, and the other photographs were shot on 6 different digital cameras, yet they all have a similar style and feel to the toning.