With new photographers popping up in your area from what it seems like out of nowhere, the thought of leaving your mark in the photography world can seem unrealistic.
With new photographers comes new competition, and with new competition, comes with the fight or flight response to make your photography thrive.
Because, how can you expect to “make it” in this industry if your photos don’t stand out from the rest?
Although “blending in” with other togs in your area might seem unavoidable, you can certainly set yourself apart from the crowd with some artistic execution to make your photos purely unique!
With simple technical and artistic variables, you will be on your way to creating unique photos that will not only help you brand yourself as a photographer, but will set yourself apart in this saturated market.
Ready to start? Let’s dive in!
- No.01Subject matter
Although this might seem obvious, choosing your subject matter is the first step in creating unique photos.
Are you more drawn to weddings, commercial, newborns, families, seniors, or something else entirely?
From here you can zone in on exactly what kind of style you want your subjects to portray & what emotions you wish to demonstrate. Are they happy? Contented? Sorrowful? Fierce?
I personally enjoy photographing children & families in their happiest form & mainly focusing on the candid moments. This is what sets my photography apart from others around me.
Choosing your subject & their emotional base will help you define “your style” and will help you step into the other realms of creating totally exclusive look.
Another way you can make your photos one of a kind is simply choosing your location wisely.
If you are a studio photographer, carefully selecting your backdrops, lighting set-up, and atmosphere will help set you apart instantly.
If you shoot mainly on-location, then selecting areas that fit your vision and style will create a one-of-a-kind experience.
Start thinking of locations and set-ups that YOUR subject matter fits into the best, then you can be on your way to originality in your work as a photographer.
- No.03Lens choice
Aside from your location, choosing your lens (or lenses) is pivotal in creating individuality in your work.
Ever notice how some of your favorite photographers have a particular style and “feel” to their photos? Most of the time it comes from the lens they shoot with & most of them will stick to a certain few lenses to attain their individual style.
There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to choosing lenses to build your portfolio with, but knowing what kind of photos you want to achieve will help you narrow down your selection.
Being picky about your aperture from a non-technical aspect will give your photos that uniqueness you long for.
Once you have your arsenal of lenses chosen, deciding on how you want to shoot with them is a key component in your unique shooting style.
For instance, if you choose a wide angle lens and a small aperture, you will have more of your subject in focus and less background “blur”. If you are craving a more creamy background, then shooting at a wider aperture will help you with that.
All the same, if you choose longer lenses and a wide aperture, you will get that “creamy” background look that can set your photos apart in terms of style.
I personally like to shoot as wide as I can without losing image quality. It gives my photos a “creaminess” that I infuse into all of my work.
- No.05Your eye
If you’ve ever been told that you’ve got “the eye” for photography, then take that compliment and run with it!
Being creative about your cropping & shooting angles in your photos will create a dynamic look to your final work that can add personality to your overall style.
Try to think out of the box when you are out shooting. Test and try various angles and viewpoints to see what you like the best and what turns you off. Just go nuts!
If there’s one thing that you can do to create unique imagery, it’s challenging the way you see and look at things while you have a camera in your hand.
The biggest factor of them all and probably the most over-looked; light.
The lighting in your photography will be the key to creating your very own unique photos (if you know how to apply it that is).
If you are wanting more moody and dark photos, you will need to become familiar with using harsh & directional light. If you’re the opposite and desiring bright and lit images from all angles, you will need to know how to direct your subjects so you can expose them in the environment properly.
As a photographer, light is your best friend, so get to know it really well.
Last but certainly not least, your editing will set the tone of your final work and complete your full vision. Utilizing all of the things listed above and bringing them together in your post-processing will make for perfectly unique photos.
Whether you choose to edit in Lightroom or Photoshop, apply heavy or more subtle editing techniques, and electing when and if to add elements to your photos in post-processing is completely at your discretion and will set you apart from the crowd.
Creating my photos in camera and then seeing them come to life in my editing is by far the most exciting & rewarding part of being a photographer. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy seeing their work come together in the end?
In what ways do you make your photos unique? Share you secrets in the comments below & join our discussion!