A simple question for you: do you find that from January to December, over the course of a given year, your photography changes along with the seasons and the environment? Kind of a loaded question though, right? The answer probably depends quite a bit on what exactly your brand of photography is. Of course, other factors play a major role like your location and whether your work is outdoors or in the studio too. When is the last time that you sat down and looked at your body of work? Aside from technical improvements, do you notice any trends that may coincide with various times of the year?
For me the answer is obvious: of course it does. It has to as neither weather nor seasonal change is under my control (if it was, I would make the fall season last forever). As a location portrait photographer, when the seasons change, my work has to change with it. The wardrobe changes, the colors change, and the tones and composition often change too. There are some shots you can take in the summer that you just can't take in the winter and vice versa.
Adjusting to and learning to deal with seasonal changes is both frustrating and creatively rewarding. I get to have a very vibrant and colorful portfolio full of spring, summer, fall, and winter-styled images (with Photoshop obviously playing an integral role in the final image). Frustrating in the sense that every year is a bit different, sometimes warmer or colder than other years with the spring or fall seasons able to be cut unexpectedly short at anytime. Sometimes the weather I wish would last for weeks just doesn't.
Now before you think that just because you don't work outdoors or that you live in an area that doesn't experience much seasonal change, don't think that these trends automatically don't apply to you and your work too. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it's entirely possible that your studio work also shifts with the time of year. Maybe in the summertime you find yourself shooting in warmer color tones, maybe with more of an upbeat and pleasant or happy vibe. Then comes winter. Your color tones (intentionally or not) may shift to be much cooler or your work becomes much moodier with a heavier shadow element. Have you thought about it before? Can you really say or would you want to say that stylistically your work remains the same year round?
Grab a few of your images from January, then grab some from July, then a few more from October. Lay them out on either a table if in print or arrange them on your screen if they are digital. What do you see? Do they all look the same or can you see either subtle or drastic differences? Do the color tones shift across the year? Whether they do or don't, how does that make you feel about your own work? Let us know in the comments what your favorite season is and why. Also let us know what you see in your own work and style.