One of the first pieces of advice given to me by photography friends was to find my own style. While this advice was given to me years ago, I still wrangle with my own style from time to time. It’s not so much a constant changing of style, but a refinement of a style that is slowly being realized. If you’re just starting up or have been shooing for while, here are 5 tips I’ve learned about finding your own style.
1. Shoot Every Day
Do a Project 365. Find the beauty in the world. Take photos of it. Throw it onto your computer and play with them until you find something you truly like. Do it again tomorrow. You don’t even have to use your DSLR. Use your phone. The best camera you have is the one you have with you. Try new things, and be adventurous.
2. Stop Looking At Everyone Else’s Work
Seriously. While it’s good to find things you like, it’s not good to strive to copy someone else’s style. You won’t want to become “just like Annie Leibovitz”. You want to become your own photographer, not a regurgitation of someone else’s work. It’s ok to be inspired by other photographers, but don’t forget to be inspired by your own life and thoughts. :]
3. Master the Light you Love
Are you a diehard natural light shooter or a swear-by-your-flashes shooter? Are you a mix of both? Do you like shooting outdoors or inside a studio? Whatever your preferences, master it. Maybe you enjoy the warm sun and sun flares or having full control over light using strobes. Know it like the back of your hand.
4. Edit. Edit. Edit.
Play with your edits. Do you prefer a perfectly etched magazine look or do you prefer a natural look? Maybe you prefer Lightroom over Photoshop or vice versa. Edit your photos and then edit them again. And again until you’re satisfied with how they look. If there’s something you don’t know how to do, learn it online or ask a friend!
5. Be Yourself
As Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” True style reflects who you are. It’s what you love and how you see the world. Everyone’s point of view is unique. Shoot what makes you happy and all the other elements of photography will fall into place. Your style will evolve over time, so don’t fret. Evolve with it. :]
Finding your style won’t happen over night. Heaven knows I spent countless hours just taking photos and countless sleepless nights drinking thousands of cups of coffee editing and re-editing photos. If you haven’t found your style yet, I hope this helps you out. If you have, don’t be scared of your style evolving! I know my style still is!
My style has changed a lot over the years. How has your style changed? Or are you still trying to find yours? Post in the comments!
Thanks for reading!