Aside from the question of camera gear, I get asked most frequently about where I learnt photography and which photographers I look up to for inspiration. So let me share my thoughts on this with a short post.
Part un is extremely straight forward - I consider myself to be "self taught". I have never undergone formal training but I've read countless photo books, turned to numerous blogs for tutorials, watched entire libraries of how-to's on YouTube. And this, I have done religiously since the day I picked up the camera. There's no dearth of good content on the web. Google it, and you'll be amazed at how many fantastic resources you can find. Instead of trying to seek that one best, I'd say you absorb as much you can. After all, what you take away from the teachings and experiences of others (the more the merrier), is what defines you.
I've shied away neither from experimenting with the device itself, nor the shooting style. This brings me to part deux of the question. Truth is, I don't even know if I have a style. I try not to confine myself to one so as to not limit my artistic expression. Although, every now and then when I look at my pictures, I do see patterns emerging (Color, Contrast, and Symmetry?). And whenever I do, I try to break away in search for something new. It is only at the end of my journey that I will look back at all of my (perhaps, the millions of pictures) and assess the legitimacy of this claim. Irrespective of that, I always make sure to have fun while making photographs. It makes me happy. And it's the only reason I do it.
On a side note, here are a few photographers (not comprehensive by any means, just the few I looked at today) whose works I so thoroughly enjoy looking at and perhaps, subconsciously take inspiration from. Also worth mentioning is that my idea of an inspirational photograph is one that incites strong emotion, no matter the subject or the setting. Nothing too complicated!
There are countless others whose works I'd categorize as mesmerizing. And they aren't necessarily world renowned photographers from the 20th century but rather unknowns from the world of Instagram too. Perhaps, I'll make a list of those next time.
I hope you enjoy their photographs, as much as I do.
Also, one of mine from a while ago-