Finding your photographic style takes time and effort. Just like finding a decorating style for your home or fashion style, finding your photography style takes time and practice. If you want to develop your personal photography style, you need to shoot every day, and every single time you pick up your camera, you need to shoot intentionally. You need to listen to your heart when your shooting. If it’s not speaking to you, don’t do it.
Develop Your Personal Photography Style
#1-Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
If you want to develop your personal photography style, the number one way to do this is to STOP! Stop comparing yourself to others! We are saturated with images from every direction ALL day long, and it’s easy to compare your photography style to others and even easier to let their photos start to define your style.
You see a picture, and you try desperately to duplicate that image. But it’s not long before frustration kicks in. Why? Because there is NO way, absolutely none, that you can reproduce someone else’s photograph.
I say it all of the time… Photography is a form of art and you want to develop your personal photography style. Being able to duplicate someone’s photo is not developing your style and is as difficult as it is to duplicate someone’s painting. And…why would you want to? You want to find your photography style.
It is perfectly okay to look at someone’s photo and think, “Wow, I love …” or” I like the way they did…” but STOP wishing your photos looked like theirs! If you follow people on social media whose images constantly make you feel inferior, stop following them until you become confident in your photography.
That’s not to say that you can’t choose little things that someone does in their photography to imitate. Do you like the light and airy aspect of someone’s photos…okay, shoot light and airy. Do you like how someone creates bokeh in their shots? Then, by all means, create bokeh…imitation is the highest form of flattery. Copying isn’t.
The second way to develop your personal photography style is, to be honest with yourself! I knew early on that I did not want to be a wedding photographer. Oh, I’ll admit it, when I see those jaw-dropping wedding shots, I get tempted, but then I listen to that little voice in my head, and I am brought back to “my” reality. If I am honest with myself, I know wedding photography isn’t for me.
Begin to define the type of photography you want to focus on and think of your photography as art. You aren’t going to buy a painting from an artist that is a modern/impressionist/realist/still life/contemporary/abstract artist. You will buy a still life painting from an artist specializing in still life paintings. Think of yourself as an artist and own your style!
Now, that’s not to say you can’t choose a few, but niching down and perfecting that one or two types will help you be a better photographer. I guarantee you that most wedding photographers aren’t newborn photographers and vice versa.
The thirds way to develop your photography style is to learn to understand your camera settings and the rules of composition. Do not let lousy techniques define your style because the hard truth is…it isn’t a style; it’s just bad technique. Chopping off people’s limbs isn’t a technique, incorrect white balance isn’t a technique, and bad, bad shadows on your subject are not a technique. The sooner you learn the photography rules, the sooner you will begin to define yourself as an artist. If you are interested in understanding your camera’s settings and the rules of composition, check out my Beginners Photography Essentials class!
It is scary, but I promise if you follow these steps and are true to yourself, you will find freedom and confidence in your photography, and you will be amazed at how people flock to you and your work. If you have any questions, want support, or just want to show off your photos, join us in my Facebook Group-Learn Photography with Dena! I hope to see you there.