Tips for Finding Unique Photography Styles
Photographers need to find their own personal, unique sense of style. This helps them stand out from the crowd, allowing them to find their own inner Ansel Adams, Yousuf Karsh, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brian Duffy or Jay Maisel.
Some photographers have found their photography style and are simply trying to perfect it, while others are still looking to find that ‘groove’ that calls their names. How does someone decide what is their calling and what defines their style?
- Stop Looking and Start Feeling – Stop looking at everyone else’s pictures. Photographers need to unsubscribe to all those blog posts that make them feel rejected and bad about themselves. Look for inspiration within yourselves. Look around your house. Look locally around your city or town. Look at your family or pets. There is inspiration in all these things. Stop stalking other people’s work and start seeing the beauty in what surrounds you.
- Be Original and Do Not Copy – Never copy someone’s style of photography. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes ... if you were a successful photographer, would you want someone copying your style? Instead, come up with your own idea and run with it. It may not work the first, second or third time, but at least you are exploring your own ideas. Perhaps try pulling out a single element of someone’s work you love. Maybe you admire a photographer’s lens flare or the haziness their images produce. Take that idea and produce your own photography. You may realize that the early morning shadows on your own living room floor inspire you in a completely new light.
- Shoot Daily – Just as writers have to write everyday, photographers have to shoot images daily. If you practice this regularly, your photography style will emerge. It may take a year or more, but as you look back at the pictures you have taken, you will start to see definition and clarity in your style. This will radiate through in nearly 75% of the pictures you take. Once you realize your style, hone in on it and run with it.
- Poor Technique is Never a Style – To break photography rules requires knowing proper techniques. This includes how to compose images, getting proper white balance, improper exposure, etc.
- What You Want – Consider what you want from photography instead of what others want. Just because a certain musician is ‘in’ does not mean you have to love him or her. If you do not like black and white pictures, use color. Instead of succumbing to peer pressure and compromising your photography, listen to your instincts and do what you like.
Remember that finding your own photography style is a difficult task, one that requires dedication and hard work.
Once you have mastered your style, do not be afraid to show it off. Start a wall portfolio to highlight your excursion into photography. Just as your journey was full of different paths, choose a variety of picture frames to pay homage to this.
An art gallery can include a variety of antique glass picture frames for your old days, followed by bubble glass picture frames to highlight your inspection period for exploring your styles. You can then enter your ‘school days’ with classic round photo frames, followed by your more experienced days with wood oval picture frames. Finally, you can finish off your lovely wall collection with contemporary black oval picture frames. This highlights your journey as an artist and what defines you and your style.