Finding your photography style isn’t something that happens overnight.
In fact, it can take months to years to fine tune your style.
Creating a unique photography style means that when someone is scrolling through social media or sees your image somewhere they know right away that it is your work.
It speaks to who you are as a photographer, from the composition, light, to the subject matter and how the image is edited.
I have spent years fine tuning my own photography style and have learned many things along the way. Save yourself time and learn from the mistakes I have made and the ones I have seen other photographers make.
Read more: Photography style: 5 tips to find your style
In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
- No.01Mistake: Lack of direction
When you grab your camera, do you know what you are going to photograph?
Do you have an image in your head you want to create or are you just searching for a subject?
Do you have a purpose?
Slowing down and really thinking through your shot prior to clicking the shutter button helps you to really focus in on how you like to photograph something.
What do you want the viewer to feel?
How can you achieve this with your unique perspective?
You are the only “you” out there.
You have a unique way of capturing the world around you which evolves into your style.
Maybe it is how you use the light, your subject, or composition, but your style is there, whether you think it is or not.
- No.02Mistake: Going with the crowd
Social media is a blessing and a curse.
Pinterest has helped me figure out how to decorate my bay windows, yet if I allow it, it leaves me feeling defeated as a photographer.
Avoid scrolling social media for “inspiration” because what you may find is that you are no longer following your unique way of photographing things. Without realizing it you are going with what is popular.
If you do find photos or a photographer you love, the key is focus on inspiration, not imitation.
To stay unique…ask yourself:
- What is it that I love?
- Subject matter?
- No.03Mistake: Thinking your genre is your style
The type of photograph you do – birth, weddings, your own children, is not your style.
Photographers with a unique style know it isn’t solely the subject matter that makes their images recognizable, but so many other factors.
Many photographers take the time to really focus on what they know is their style and are able to apply that to any type of genre.
- No.04Mistake: Inconsistent editing
Style spans from picking up your camera and selecting your settings, to your editing and exporting.
If you are new to photography, I always suggest really learning to nail it in camera before focusing on editing.
However, if you do use editing software, you need to learn how to make your images look cohesive and consistent.
It needs to look like the same photographer not only took the photos, but edited them as well.
The biggest issues I’ve seen is a photographer not nailing their white balance. If one image is too warm and one is too cool it makes your style look inconsistent and all over the place.
This applies to editing in black and white, as well as color.
If your black and white images have deep blacks and a lot of contrast you need to keep that consistent.
Same with your colors, maybe you like clean colors or maybe you like a more vintage look. Whatever you decide, keep it consistent.
While you are trying to figure out your style, play with all the different types of editing techniques.
However, there will come a time when you need to pick one and stick with it, as that is when your images start to be recognized by others as yours.
Read more: Editing tips
- No.05Mistake: Not creating recognizable images
One of the biggest reasons people want to figure out their photography style is so that people will start to recognize their work without a watermark on it.
The key to this is consistency. I realize this isn’t the answer that you want to hear.
Just like anything in life it takes practice and it takes consistent practice.
If your images are not consistent people recognize it as your work because it changes so frequently.
Slow down, and think through each shot.
If you plan on taking on clients, having your work recognizable is key.
If you have clients who come to you because they like what they have seen on your website, they will expect the same style. If you haven’t nailed down your style and you do something completely different, your client will not be pleased with the end result.
Share in the comments below:
I’d love to know what is the #1 challenge you face with finding your photography style?