If you are new to photography but want to develop a consistent body of work as you improve your skills, discovering your personal style should be a priority on your list.
Your personal style tells others about your technique, what kind of subjects you like to work with, what kind of backdrops and scenes interest you, and what kind of mood you want to emphasize with every photo. Discovering your own style also has a practical significance, since it can help you discover what niche you want to specialize in, especially if you want to make a living off this hobby. Here are some tips that can help you discover your own photography style.
Know what inspires you.
Getting a feel for what your style is requires poring through the different styles of other photographers so you can get a feel for what resonates with you. This is usually the style that jumps up from the screen and grabs your attention. You may prefer a style that’s bright and airy, something that is a mix of journalistic and classic shots, or you could be someone who prefers shots that are posed and styled. You could prefer shooting still life and lifestyle photos over street or landscape subjects. Look at the work of photographers you admire and see what they have in common that makes you love their work.
Shoot every day.
Shooting every day helps you fine tune the skills needed to achieve your personal style. Make it a priority to shoot something every day, whether it’s something you style or something random or mundane. Consider joining photography clubs, photo walks, contests and photo challenges to make shooting on a daily basis engaging and fun. As each day progresses, you will notice that your subjects, settings, composition, framing and even colors develop a consistency that reveals what your specific style is all about.
Give it time.
Developing a personal style takes time. Your personal photography style won’t be visible after one or two shoots. Take more photos but give yourself time to build a solid and consistent body of work. This can only be done by taking photos consistently and faithfully.
Your personal photography style speaks volumes about how you work and what moves you as a photographer. Consider the tips above if you are serious about developing your unique photography style, whether you want to treat photography as a hobby or turn it into a lucrative career.
I am regularly asked “What kind of camera/lens are you using?” or “What’s in your camera bag?” – so I’ve created a post with links to some items I use often:
What’s In My Photography Bag?