FINDING YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE
Ever so often I get DMs or see posts about people struggling to find their “style” of photography. The quest to achieve that certain look on your feed, or that pursuit to find your niche, well today I’ll be giving you some tips and also tell you about how I developed my own style.
For me, I feel that my photos are more or less pictures that I enjoy taking and I feel that’s how you know you are heading in the right direction.
Here are 4 tips that I recommend for new guys that are starting out or people that are struggling to find their own style.
1) Keep Shooting
Only through practice and patience will you truly be able to discover what you prefer to shoot thus inching closer to developing your own style.
Be open minded and willing to take challenges, try new ideas and go the extra mile when getting a shot. As you put in more effort into your work you start to mold it into your own unique style.
2) Try new types of photography
If you are shooting landscapes and you don’t enjoy it, try something else!
Maybe start shooting some portraits, food photos, or even sports. Experiment with different genres of photography and get yourself out of your comfort zone. The reason that you are not content with your work might be because you have not discovered something you truly enjoy doing yet!
3) Take a break
A lot of times we over exaggerate how things really are and put unnecessary stress on ourselves.
Take a breather and do something spontaneous.
Take a road trip alone, book a flight, go out and explore. Taking a break will let you have time to just clear your mind and see things from a different perspective.
A lot of times when I’m editing, I just call it a night when I’m exhausted because I know that I can do a better job when I’m well rested the next day.
Same goes for photography, if you’re exhausted and feeling lost, sometimes the best thing to do is to just take a break, go try something new and come back at it when you’re well rested. Trust me, it helps.
4) Stop comparing
This might be the most important step of all. A lot of new guys get very stressed and unmotivated with their work because, “their edits are not as good” or, “their work isn’t getting featured as much as others” or, “they’re not using the right gear” or, “they are in a boring city”, I’ve heard them all.
“Comparison is the death of joy” –Mark Twain
Comparing your work with someone else’s work is not a wise solution of determining if you work is good or not. Art is very subjective. Everyone has a different take on what makes a good picture.
I found this quote online that is very interesting and makes a lot of sense in this situation:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” – Steve Furtick
You are not being fair to yourself when you are comparing all your work against someone else’s Instagram feed or 500px because we only post the best of our works.
Instead of constantly putting your work up against someone else’s, concentrate your efforts on your own work. Focus on your craft and enjoy what you are doing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not getting as many likes as someone else that has less followers than you or if your work is not getting as many features, what matters is that you are always working to become better at your own craft.
How I developed my own style
So you guys are probably wondering how I developed my style. To be honest, I don’t know if I have.
I do know what I enjoy shooting though.
As I was starting out, I knew that people would be drawn to things that they have not seen before. New ideas, creative photos etc. Therefore I tried to experiment with different styles and even used props to enhance my photos.
A useful tip that I use all the time to create something unique is to build on an existing idea. I’ve said this a lot in my live streams and Q&As before. Copying someone else isn’t going to help you stand out, neither will it help you find your own style, however using someone else’s idea to your advantage might.
An example would be to use the idea of doing long exposures to capture light trails at night and doing in to capture human trails instead, or even doing it in the day with an ND filter on!
Another thing that I’ve also done is that I try to incorporate my forte in architecture photography into my portraiture work. Having symmetric backgrounds or busy city facades to a portrait can be very interesting.
Combining different styles of photography and experimenting is a lot of fun. It also helps you to create something that might not have been done before.
Those are just some of the things that I do frequently to constantly motivate myself to go out and shoot while crafting my own style.
I hope this post has been of good use to you and may you discover your own photography style!