How To Find Your Own Unique Photographic Style

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How To Find Your Own Unique Photographic Style

This blog post may contain affiliate links.  I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links. Click here for the disclosure statement.

All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

As a photographer, developing your style is essential to stand out from the rest. Your photographic style develops over time, but it’s what makes your photos unique and recognizable. So, how do you go about finding your photographic style? I’ll explore a few ways to help you get started in this blog post.

What Does Photographic Style Mean?

A photographic style means having a unique and recurring way of taking photos. This doesn’t mean that all your photos will look the same; it means viewers will see similarities in your work, even if the individual images are quite different. Some things that contribute to your photographic style include your subject choice, composition approach, and processing techniques.

What matters most is that your photos express who you are as a photographer. This personal stamp sets your work apart from everyone else’s.

Discover Your Style

abstract photography looking up at birds on a wire
Photo by Maksym Tymchyk ?? on Unsplash

I love this photo because its simple, tells a story, and is black and white. That tells me I should focus more on black and white minimalist photography.

Figure out what inspires you

Start by looking at other photographers whose work you admire. What kind of photos make your heart skip a beat? What do you like about their photos? Is it the way they use light or color, frame their subjects, or the emotions their images evoke? If you’re constantly drawn to pictures with soft light and muted colors, that’s a good sign that those are the photos you should be taking. On the other hand, if you find yourself drawn to pictures with strong lines and bold compositions, you should look for lines in your photos.

Don’t Let Social Media Influence you

In today’s age of social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what is popular and lose sight of your photographic style. With so much inspiration at your fingertips, it’s tempting to spend hours scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, comparing your work to others. However, this can be detrimental to your photographic development, as you may feel imitated by somebody else’s style instead of finding your unique voice. 

So, if you’re struggling to find your photographic style, try taking a break from social media and focusing on shooting for yourself. Experiment with different techniques and approaches until you find something that feels natural and comfortable for you. This is the best way to develop a solid and distinctive photographic style.

Stop worrying about what other people think

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone or gaining reach on social media, but ultimately, you are the only one who needs to be happy with your work. Photographic style is very personal and should reflect your unique worldview and sensibilities. Don’t be afraid to embrace your quirks and idiosyncrasies. Embracing your individuality is the first step to finding a photographic style that is truly your own.

Discover your natural style

Review your favorite photos: Gather all your favorite images and look for commonalities between the shots that stand out to you. 

Things to notice:

  • Analyze recurring elements in each photo: As you look through your favorites, note the things you like about each photograph. For example, if there are people, are they candid or styled? Are they taken indoors or outdoors? What do their surroundings look like; is the background in focus, or do you use a wide aperture to create a blurred background? Do you gravitate toward macro, close-up, or wide-angle shots? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll better understand the photos that appeal to you most.
  • Consider their lighting: Do you prefer midday light’s visual drama and bold colors? Or would you rather capture softer shadows and muted tones during sunrise or sunset?
  • Analyze the Colors: Another element worth considering is color. Are there specific colors that appear more frequently in your favorite photos? Do they tend to be warm or cool tones? Vibrant or muted colors? Etc.
  • Look for shapes, textures, and patterns: Are you drawn to geometric shapes? Do you like to capture close-ups of textured surfaces? Do you look for patterns in the world around you? For example, you might notice that you tend to take close-up shots of textured surfaces or that you like to capture geometric patterns in urban landscapes.

These are just some examples of the many elements of photography that contribute to a mood or style. By paying attention to the details in your photos, you can identify your style and use it to create even more beautiful images. For example, reviewing my photos taught me that I am drawn to urban photography, shapes, reflections, and minimalism.

Develop your photographic style

Start a Photography Project to Strengthen Your Creative Muscles

multi-colored intentionally photographed out of focus to create abstract art
I challenge myself to shoot abstract when places don't allow commercial photography. If the subject and location are unrecognizable then you can still use the photo, so its a good time challenge my creative muscles.

Your photographic style may change over time because you’re constantly evolving as an artist. As you grow and develop as a person, your perspective on the world may change, which could reflect in your photography. Likewise, as you gain more experience in photography and learn new things, your aesthetic preferences may shift. Whatever the reason, expect your photography will continually change over time, and that’s ok.

Pick a photography project that will challenge you creatively to help you become more comfortable taking risks and trying new things. For example, maybe you want to try a 365 project in which you take at least one photo every day for a year or shoot a specific subject for a set time.

The goal is to work on your creative muscles and force yourself to be more creative with your photography. The more you shoot, the better you’ll get at coming up with new ideas and seeing photographic potential in everyday situations.

Shoot Only in Black and White 

Using the monochromatic mode displays the image as black and white on the LCD screen. Removing the distraction of color while shooting and helps you focus more on the scene’s shapes, textures, and tones.

Experiment With Different Genres of Photography 

As any photographer knows, there are many types of photography, each with its unique style and approach. While it’s easy to get comfortable shooting in one genre, it’s essential to branch out and try new photographic techniques from time to time. For example, landscape photography may teach you how to use natural light better if you’re primarily a portrait photographer.

Trying new things will help you learn new technical skills that you can apply to your usual type of photography. In addition, by exposing yourself to a fresh approach to subjects and light, you may see the world in a whole new way.

Your style can and will change

Street photography of a homeless man sleeping under a bench tells ironic story of society and homelessness
I used to hate urban photography and people in my images, but after challenging myself with different types of photography learned to love urban photography

Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a Business Analyst by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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