Finding Your Own Photographic Style, and Why It’s So Important


Should you think more about giving your photos a consistent and distinctive style? Finding your own look is essential if you want to liven up the game. There is one surefire way to develop it. However, some big obstacles try to stumble you along the way.

What is a style?

In the photo, the style is the characteristic look of a group of images. Like any other art, a good photographer has his own distinctive style, but these can change over time. Styles result from a combination of variables that come together to create a consistent look throughout the sequence of tasks.

Genre and style are not synonymous

Are you crazy about a particular genre of photography? Perhaps you think of yourself as a wildlife and landscape photographer. Maybe the studio portrait is exactly yours. But again, you can walk around the city with your camera and look for people who interact with the urban environment. Or you could seek out danger and endanger your life as a photographer in extreme sports and war.

If so, Bravo Bravisimo. You have joined the ranks of the most famous photographers of all time. Ansel Adams photographed a black-and-white landscape, and Cartier Bresson photographed people on a famous street. Sir Donald “Don” McCullin is often referred to as a war photographer. But these are genres, not styles.

All of those photographers have also embraced other areas of photography. For example, his excellent book, McCarlin in Africa, records the life of an idyllic tribe in Ethiopia near the unstable border with Sudan. Second, his recent collection is an exquisite collection of black and white landscapes. It is in stark contrast to the quiet peace of nature, the horror of war and the deprivation witnessed by his lens. Nonetheless, despite the different genres, there are overlaps in his photography styles, and the similarities help identify the photographs as his.

Styles can be difficult to identify or explain and are often ignored in photo discussions. Because it is the result of a complex combination of creative elements that give a particular look.

How to find our style

There are many things you can do to develop your own photo style. First of all, the eyes of your photo. This means identifying a set of subjects, composing shots, and allowing them to be viewed in a way that helps convey the message.

Its continuity depends on several factors. Focal length; Aperture; Proximity, show or stop movement. Brightness, angle and color of lighting. Camera positioning; frame aspect ratio; genre. Of course, not all these elements need to be the same in every photo. Just select a few in a series of photos and you’ll add consistency to every shot.

Where did all the styles go?

These 12 elements alone have 479,001,600 possible combinations and do not include other variables such as lens filters, weather conditions, image processing, editing, etc.

Still, despite this vast variety of possibilities, we always see similar images. This is the result of our attempt to emulate the style of inspirational pioneers. For example, if you’re a fan of Annie Leibovitz, your photos could imitate her amazing work. What’s more, novice photographers tend to take very similar pictures because they haven’t developed their own style. It’s not just the lack of skills. Even if you learn to disable automatic settings, beginners will use almost the same beginner’s camera, and more importantly, a kit lens that is good in quality but limits your creative potential. increase.

The opinions of others are blocking us

Digital photography is more restrained by pressure from offensive opinions about the Internet than any other art. In the online world, there is a minority of conservative, self-appointed critics who aim to limit photos and prevent them from magnifying.

For example, take a street snapshot. I read that you shouldn’t use a telephoto lens. But that’s just an opinion. Others have stated that images of people talking on mobile phones should be rejected. Why? They are a perfect example of modern life.

According to self-appointed experts, the worst sin is to film homeless people begging for alms. Immediately unfriendly assumptions are made about photographers who record homeless images. Photographers clearly take advantage of their misfortune. Still, isn’t it certainly worth taking a picture to raise awareness of social justice? In addition, most photographers do some kindness in return for taking pictures. Perhaps we should question the motivations of those who want to wipe out the depictions of the homeless under the carpet and instead insist on presenting only a disinfected version of our society.

Why you shouldn’t listen to critics

Historically, magazine editors, especially fashion magazines, have decided which styles are worth publishing. They acted as a limiting filter, preventing experiments in new areas that disagreed with them. They decided which photo style should be fashionable. But now their influence is weakening.

Although imperfect, the Internet should be a driving force for much more democratic tastes than critics. Magazine critics have been superseded by people on the Internet who think they have the right to decide what is accepted and what is not, but fortunately they are themselves. I exaggerate and believe in the influence of. The style is fashionable because of the masses, not because of a few noisy individuals.

However, there are two problems with that. First, like any other artistic discipline, the majority of viewers choose vulgar and easy-to-love ones rather than more challenging ones. Whether it’s TV, books, music, wall art, movies, or photography, if the art is easy to understand, the majority are more likely to see, read, and click the Like button. .. In addition, those who make art are most likely to try to please the audience. This leads to poor overall quality. To make matters worse, the style stagnates in a comfortable mundane.

Second, visibility, and thus broad approval, is distorted by commercial interests. For example, social media companies are not democratic. They rock the number of views that posts get to maximize their own profits. Unless you pay for them, if you want your images to look wider, you need to succumb to those optimization algorithms. Some say that Instagram needs to post 14 times a week to reach the widest audience and get the most engagement, while others claim to post at least once a day. In any case, can a self-respecting photographer produce that amount of high-quality content? You can’t do much. As a result, top-notch images posted on Instagram are overwhelmed by the snaps of mass-produced mobile phones. As a result, the unique style is struggling to break through. So you may need to look for other ways to share photographic art.

How to develop a style

If you want to develop your own style, first accept that there is nothing new in the sun. Find what is already there. Do research. Then try different techniques. To do this, look at the other photos to find out what you like and dislike, how the image was composed, captured, and developed, and then repeat. Also, read articles about photography techniques, especially interviews with photographers. They usually contain great tips.

Then go outside and try to combine these different approaches in new and creative ways. Don’t be afraid to fail your attempt. The worst thing that can happen is that your work is not valued. Otherwise, the troll will criticize it in the comments. But that may not be a bad thing. After all, Van Gogh’s paintings were rejected by his contemporaries. However, experimentation has the potential to anticipate the game and start new trends in photography.

By experimenting, you can find the photo style that suits you. You need to limit your style and shoot what they expect only if you take pictures to meet the requirements of the client’s contract. Still, they know and like your style, so you probably asked for it.

Finally, the images included in this article were style experiments. Some people like me better than others, so I adopt the technology I like and reject others. Did you develop your own style? Or isn’t it related to having uniqueness? It will be interesting to hear your opinion and see a demonstration of your style in the comments.


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