Achieving Your Own Photography Style

A personal photography style makes one photographer's work different from the next. There are hundreds of thousands of photographers active in the business, and therefore, you must have a personal style in photography. Here are a few tips to go about finding your own unique photography style.

Develop a Personal Style

Development is different from imitation. Imitation involves copying all possible aspects of an existing artist’s work. A personal style is considered the extension of an individual’s personality. It makes one photographer’s work different from the other, even if they are using the same equipment or working with similar subjects and genres.

Understand Style vs. Subject vs. Genre

Before you can understand how to find your own personal style, it is important to understand the difference between style, subject and genre. The three terms can often be confused for one another. All three aspects are important when photographing, but it is the style which makes the work unique. A photographer can capture images using the same set of equipment, under several subjects and genres, yet it is the style which connects the images to a particular photographer.

Choosing a subject involves selecting what to photograph. The subject can be as broad as landscapes to as specific as red Corvettes. On the other hand, a genre involves capturing the photograph using the viewpoint of the art movement being followed. Examples of genres include Pure Photography and the Pictorialist Movement.

Learn the Craft

There are several subjects and genres made by photographers over the years. Learn what has been done and how they created their works. Sometimes this may involve copying their work to see and understand how these photographers created their masterpieces. Budding photographers should give credit where credit is due and acknowledge the artists where they took their inspiration from.

Practice Consistently

Developing your own unique style involves a lot of practicing. Experiment with different equipment, subjects and genres until you find one that you feel most comfortable working with. Do not be afraid of making mistakes as it helps determine what to do and what not to do. Practice also hones your craft, making it more refined. A personal style develops when you make choices to improve your skills in capturing images. As you make more personal choices, you start to follow a more distinct path.

Learn to Capture Emotions

Photographing the emotional impact of a subject is an approach used in photojournalism. This captures the ambiance of a location and the subject at a particular moment in time. The same subject and location may appear the same, but they do not feel the same way. It is these differences in emotion which can create a unique image. How the image was captured also says a lot about the photographer himself.

Be Patient

Developing a personal style does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice, an understanding of the craft, and it involves making decisions that make one style distinct from the other.