If you decide you love photography enough to stick with it for the long haul, you’ll likely start consuming a lot more content from multiple creators. And as you do, one thing you’ll often hear about is “finding your style.”
Many beginner and intermediate photographers put significant pressure on themselves to find a particular style, and in doing so, they risk stifling their creativity. Discovering a specific look for your images takes a lot of time; although you won’t find a one-size-fits-all solution, there are several tips that might help you on your way.
This article will outline eight things you can do to find your style as a photographer.
1. Try several genres when you start
Having a long-term view is a good idea, but you shouldn’t focus too much on building an audience or growing a business when buying a camera for the first time. Instead, you want to spend as much time as possible learning your craft and trying new things.
Photography is a field that varies considerably. Many people are finding their love for capturing portraits, while others are turning more to travel photography. You will naturally gravitate towards the niches that interest you the most, but the only way to know what it is is to try several.
2. Under what conditions do you like to photograph the most?
You can find a good shot any time of the day, even during times that aren’t as ideal, like midday when the lighting is harsh. However, you’ll probably prefer to shoot more at some times than others, and knowing what that is will help you find your style of photography.
Golden hour is popular with photographers because the lighting is excellent and the shadows less harsh. However, you should not overlook blue hour or cloudy conditions.
Your favorite photography conditions can change throughout the year, especially if you live somewhere with long days in summer and shorter days in winter.
3. Consider your personality and values
Whatever creative field you pursue, your work is an extension of who you are as a person. You will also notice that your style will vary depending on how you feel in your personal life. you might want to create something darker if you suffer from depression, for example.
Think about who you are as a person. Are you naturally more shy than the average person or do you like to be the center of attention? Do you crave longer summer days or tend to find more peace when it gets dark?
You should also consider your core values. By combining this with your personality, you will naturally begin to take photos that better match your authentic self.
4. Try different camera operating systems
If you’re new to photography, the settings you think about when choosing your first camera will be different than those with more experience. When you bought your first camera, you probably researched usability and price before thinking about how your images would look.
Once you learn more about the basics of shooting, you might want to consider switching to another camera operating system. For example, if you’ve been using Nikon since you started, you might find that you prefer FujiFilm overall.
When using a new camera maker, you will face an initial learning curve. But after that, you’ll have a better idea of what you do and don’t like. If you don’t like the new camera you’ve chosen, you can always sell it or exchange it for something else.
5. Commit to taking photos regularly
Many photographers automatically put themselves at a disadvantage because they are inconsistent with their shot. If you only go out once every two months with your camera, you won’t learn much about the craft or yourself.
If you want to find your style in photography, you have to commit to taking pictures regularly. You don’t have to go outside every day, but you should try to do so at least once a week during the start-up phase. Even an hour is better than nothing.
You may need to change your priorities in your life, such as reducing smartphone use or watching TV.
6. Try different styles and editing software
If you technically get your shot right, you won’t have as much work to do in the post-production phase. However, your camera often doesn’t see the world exactly the way you do; ignoring the benefits of editing tools like Adobe Lightroom will keep you from finding your style.
You’ll likely make many rookie mistakes when you first edit your photos, but you’ll learn the ins and outs of your software over time. Feel free to experiment with different sliders until you find something that looks good to you.
7. Create a Pinterest Mood Board
If you don’t know where to start on your photographic journey, you can start by looking for inspiration. Pinterest is one of the best places to do this, and the platform is also great for keeping all your ideas in one place for future reference.
Pinterest lets you create mood boards with your and other people’s work. Research the terms and topics that interest you before adding them to your table. Once you’ve collected enough images, you’ll have a better idea of how you want your own images to look.
8. Don’t focus too much on finding your style
We know this point seems quite counter-intuitive. But if you focus too much on finding your style of photography, you could prevent it from meeting you naturally in the middle.
Instead of worrying about finding your photography style, take your camera with you and shoot whatever looks interesting to you. Over time, you’ll notice that your favorite photos follow a consistent theme.
Finding your photography style is a journey
Standing out is crucial as a photographer, especially if you want to establish an online presence. However, you will likely spend years finding your style and developing your voice in this area.
To become known for anything in photography in particular, you must adopt a student mindset and constantly seek growth. Also, you need to get your camera out and take pictures regularly, even if it’s just an hour a week.
If you stay consistent and learn from your mistakes, you will naturally find your photography style over time.
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