Written by: Heather Clemente
It sounds like a rather massive task, finding your style! Well, in actuality, it really doesn’t have to be!
Finding your style begins with recognizing what draws you in to a photograph. There are many different elements, and so, deciphering those can be a good starting point. A few questions to ask yourself are:
Do you prefer broad or short lighting? Is it the creamy tones or heavily saturated tones that appeal to you most? Do you like to see a shallow or deep depth of field?
Another place to look is within your own personal portfolio. Here you can pick out certain re-occuring elements such as, the time of day your favourite photos have been taken. Is there a tonal range that is re-occuring in your images? Are the majority of your photos close up, or do they tend to include negative space?
See which of these elements are making the most impact on you and continue narrowing your focus there.
One of the most important steps in finding your style is to shoot everyday. Keep that list that you’ve spent plenty of time compiling in your mind when shooting. By doing so your style will simply start to emerge. You will likely be forced to use many different light sources, and will shoot at different times of day. This, in turn, will help you determine whether you like natural or artificial light, whether you prefer morning or evening light, and will also make you a master of your camera.
During this time I also encourage you to try new techniques. Fail at some, conquer others. Finding your true style doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you stay true to yourself, and what draws you in, it is only a matter of time before it starts drawing others in too!
You may come to a completely different conclusion of what your style actually is after this journey, and that is okay. You may have started out posing your subjects and are now finding that you prefer movement in your images. Or maybe you previously loved those high key portraits and now enjoy a more moody, short lighting.
See, the beauty part is, your style can be anything you want it to be. Rather then finding inspiration from others, study your own body of work, learn what naturally guides you, be inspired by yourself. You became a photographer likely because you have a love of photography. Simply ask yourself this, what is it specifically that you love?
In the end I’m certain you will find that clear indicator of your style, and the artist within will simply shine through!