Finding your photography style is a journey. A journey you set sail through the murky waters of uncertainty and curiosity, navigating through mistakes and learnings – until you come across a style that feels like home, something you can call your own. There are many ways to go about this process, and today, we will explore the different ways that could help you find your photography style. So if you have been searching for a style that suits you, this blog might give you some direction.
Wedding Photography Styles in the US
The wedding industry in the US is pretty vast and explores all types of niches and styles. However, there are three photography styles that significantly influence the market. The East Coast style circles more around glam and dark – more New York-type wedding photography styles, whereas the West coast style or LA style focuses more on light and airy photography. Then there is a hipster style movement that gained momentum with bohemian weddings and elopements. Even though sometimes, your demography also has some influence on your style, it mostly resonates with what reflects you and who you are.
What is Personal Style?
Before we talk about finding your photography style, it is important to understand what personal style is. There are many definitions to it – some more clichéd than others – but all of them boil down to “an expression of yourself or your individuality.” When it comes to photography, you might find yourself enjoying taking photographs in a specific way or being drawn towards certain photos. And when you find yourself coming back to that process, it could be considered an indication of your personal photography style.
Suggested Read: Going Against The Grain In Wedding Photography
Finding Your Photography Style as a Beginner
1. Don’t Pick, Develop
A common mistake most photographers make while starting out is that they think of style as something they will pick and work towards. However, rather than something you should just pick or choose, personal photography style is something you develop as you grow – over the years.
2. Be Selective of What You Showcase
Initially, a part of your photography style is also influenced by the different types of clients you are booking, their wedding venue, their dressing style, etc. That is what will build your portfolio initially. And it is crucial to begin by showcasing that portion of your work because it will help attract the type of clients that are drawn towards the kind of work you have put on display.
3. Get Inspired, Don’t Copy
It is one thing to fall in love with a particularly established style or someone’s way of photographing and something else to blatantly copy them. Where inspiration can be used as a positive influence or a creative kickstart, trying to copy someone’s style doesn’t really do you any favors when trying to stand out with your craft. Remember, learning is different than trying to emulate someone’s style. Instead of mimicking, you could try to learn techniques from other photographers and make them your own.
4. Study and Observe Art
This could be considered optional, but having a keen eye for art could seriously influence your perspective, which you could later use to give your creativity a new dimension. Studying art doesn’t have to be you enrolling in a course but more like observing the art around you – be it in museums, art galleries, or your surroundings. Moreover, whenever you find yourself intrigued by something, focus on finding out the reason behind your intrigue. And the answer might just come to you, and you could try to incorporate it into your own creative process.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
As we said, finding your photography style is a journey. And in this journey, there will be moments when you’ll make mistakes or feel like a failure. Try to embrace those moments and, more importantly, learn from them. The more you learn from your mistakes, the lesser chance there is of repeating them.
6. Make a Collection of Inspiring Photos
Sometimes, looking at things collectively helps us understand and analyze better. It could be possible that you are going through Instagram and liking similar types of photos or being drawn towards a specific detail you see in art exhibited in museums. So putting it all together could help you understand your creative taste. Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr – all of these platforms are great when looking for inspirational photos. So put together pictures that you are inspired by and study the similarities between them.
7. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
No learning ever came from being too comfortable or, in T. Harv Eker’s words, “The only time you are actually growing is when you are uncomfortable.” So try stepping out of your comfort zone. It can be the start of a new learning experience. You might find that something that you found difficult before or a style that you didn’t like before are, in fact, not that bad. It’s all about changing your perspective and exploring new things.
8. Practice, Practice, Practice
Henri Cartier-Bresson, a French humanist photographer, once said, “Your first 1,000 photographs are your worst.” Whether or not it stands true for everyone – the idea behind it sure sounds right. You can prepare as much as you want, but it’s putting things into practice that will help you to develop as a true professional. It will also help you enhance your skillset.
Suggested Read: 20 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Not Everybody Can Be A Trendsetter
As cool as it may sound to develop something that ends up becoming a trend, it does not have to be something that you spend all your energy and resources on. Understand that not everybody can be a trendsetter, and there is nothing wrong with that. Trends will come and go, but if you focus on finding a photography style that resonates with you, something that gets you excited to even pick up the camera, that’s a real win! Work more towards what your pictures are saying, what emotions they convey, or how you want to convey that.
Allow Your Style To Evolve
Growth – both professionally and personally – brings change. Your life changes, and your perspective over things changes as well – and so it’s only natural for your photography style to change as well. And when it does come to a shifting point, be ready to embrace it and channel your creativity accordingly. You are not the same person you were fifteen or twenty years back – life happens. As a result of different experiences, your art also undergoes a journey of evolution. A journey one must cherish and be open to fully experience. But if you find yourself still sticking with what you know and what you are good at, embrace that too! In the end, it’s about being satisfied with yourself and having satisfied clients.
We hope you found this blog helpful. To continue reading more such articles, you can check our wedding photography blog page. At ShootDotEdit, we look forward to helping you grow your wedding photography business by taking care of photo editing for you. Learn more about our pricing plans here.