Are you struggling trying to find your photography style? It can be as confusing as how to find your own personal style. Follow these tips which will help you evaluate your house, wardrobe, and other things you like to help definite your personal photography style.
How to find your photography style
Take a look around your house.
When you look at your house, does it feel like home to you? What about it makes it feel so comfortable and “you”? For me, I know I love neutral decorating (lots of whites, off whites, beige or grey, and if I didn’t have my husband to consider, there would be many more touches of soft pink than there are now!), subtle textures and a general feeling of softness and calm. The style in my home really is indicative of my photography. Not only does my home inspire my photographic style, but it also makes a great platform for my pictures. I would be really uncomfortable trying to make images in my home if I had painted each room a crazy bright color and covered the walls with decorations and knick-knacks.
But that is just my own personal style. Perhaps bold colors are your thing, or really prominent textures, or very minimalist and modern furniture. Just spend awhile looking at the rooms in your home and deciding how they do, or do not, speak to your personal style. What about your home makes your heart say “this IS me!”?
Check out your wardrobe.
While you’re looking through your home, make a stop at your closet. Do you feel like you have a personal style with your clothing? What colors are most prominent? Are you a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl or do you fully accessorize and do your hair and makeup every. single. day. ? For me, this exercise is not quite as indicative of my photography style. I’m currently trapped in a SAHM wardrobe that is totally uninspiring to me, but I have an idea of what I would like my clothing to look like, and it does actually line up with the direction I feel my photography is heading in. Perhaps you aren’t pleased with your wardrobe either. Spend some time browsing the pre-made outfit sections of any online store that appeals to you. What is it about the outfits that you like that reaches out and grabs you? Color, texture, contrast, simplicity, avant-gardes-ness, whimsy, clean lines, boldness? Consider making a list of adjectives that describe your style preferences.
Collect images that speak to you on Pinterest.
Pinterest.com is a fabulous tool for creating a visual collection of images that you love. You can sort your pinned images into various genres or subjects and it is easy to pin from major commercial websites or from smaller blogs. Once you have made a collection, look at the group as a whole and scan for any patterns or repeating elements. A good exercise to try is to take one image that you absolutely love. Determine what it is about the picture that is making you feel so connected to it. Perhaps it is the use of light, the processing, the emotional connection you feel to the subject (s)… it could be any of a number of elements. Use the image as inspiration for an image of your own. Don’t copy, or recreate, the photo, but try to replicate the portion of the image that you most enjoy. Your version of the picture might not look anything like the original, but it should give you the same kind of feeling when you look at it.
Make a list of emotions that you feel most strongly.
Some of my friends are happy go lucky people. They see the world in shades of bubblegum pink and rainbows. If these people tried to adopt an angsty, constrasty B&W style of photography, they would likely have a very tough time owning their images and feeling like they were being true to themselves. Remember, though, that just because you have as style, it does not mean you can no longer experiment. We are all constantly changing and so your exploration of your photography style is never-ending.
Ultimately, though, your style should transcend any of these exercises. I want someone to be able to look at one of my photographs and say “That was taken by Megan.” When someone has a firmly established style their images originate from a place inside of them that is uniquely theirs. The thoughts I have shared can help you crystallize your thinking about your personal style, but it is up to you to figure out how to translate it through your lens.