Finding your photography style can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting. It takes time, but once you begin working on finding your style, it actually gets easier. Here are 4 tips for finding your photography style:
1. Study other images. Determine why you truly like a photo. Is it the light, the angle at which the photograph was taken, the subject’s expression, the bokeh, the layering of compositional elements? The list of why you like a photo could be really long or very simple – maybe you just like the way the subject is backlit. Once you start to realize what you like about other photos, you can start to hone your style by emulating those elements.
2. Start studying your photographs. What are your favorite portfolio photographs and why are they your favorites? You can use Pinterest to help organize your style. For example, you can create a Pinterest board of photos you think represent your style. Every time you have a photo that you love and you think represents you, add it to your Pinterest board. Before you know it, you’ll have a board full of images that you love and that define you. Then you can start to narrow down why you love these photos. Is it great lighting, great location, or laughing subjects? Those elements you love will help you define your style.
3. Be deliberate when you are shooting. Once you have an idea of what you like in your photos and in other photographer’s photos, start shooting this way. Be deliberate in the lighting and angles you use, and start working toward adding photos to your portfolio that showcase your style. If on every shoot you can add one photo to your portfolio that represents your style, you will eventually have a whole portfolio of your unique style. The best part about the process is that you will start to attract clients who want to work with you because of your defined unique style.
4. Be creative – shoot personal projects. We all fall into ruts and feel like we’re shooting at the same locations, doing the same poses, and it just feels stale. A great solution to this problem is to shoot for yourself. Whether it’s photos of your kids, pets, landscapes, whatever. The more you shoot, the more you will hone your skills and define your style. Maybe even work on a personal project. Over time you will see your true style shine through those images.
Finding your style isn’t something that happens overnight, but the more you shoot and curate your images, the easier it will be to find your style. Remember that it’s okay for your style to evolve over time. As people and as photographers, we are always growing and changing. So we should expect that organic process to be reflected in our images!
About the Author
Alli McWhinney is a blogger and wedding photographer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to her career in photography, Alli went to law school and practiced as an attorney. However, she felt so connected to photography that 4 years ago she left her career in law and started Alli McWhinney Photography. Creating fun, modern images is her passion and she has traveled internationally photographing weddings. When she is not shooting or traveling, you can find her hanging out with her husband and 2 cool cats.