HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE:

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Learn ways to develop your own uniqueness in photography:

 

Portrait of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA, 2006
Photo by Ansel Adams

One of the most famous photographers of all times is Ansel Adams.  If you ever go into the history of photography, and learn about the most famous of photographers, his name will always come up.  He developed something called the “Zone System” in photographic shooting.  I am not here to explain that.  I am only here to mention that he developed his own style of shooting.  Many who have taken his class may have learned that style well themselves, but, as I look back at that, I have never seen anyone create, or take any photos like he did.   He definitely had his own style.  No matter how many people tried to copy his “zone system”, they could never copy his style of photography.

So, how do you create your own STYLE in photography?  You get to the point where you have 3 camera bodies, 10 lenses, an array of lighting equipment, and you have read the manual a dozen times, taken classes from all the professionals, and even tried to copy what they have done.  And then you get your photos back, and you think, they look just like everybody else’s photos.   They just don’t stand out, no one would recognize them from anyone else’s photos.  How do you make your photos, YOUR PHOTOS?  There are photographers out there who have developed a style all their own.  Every time I see a photo on Facebook, or Instagram, I can tell who shot their photo.  There is just something unique about their photos.  I am going to give you some examples, of certain photographers, and then I am going to explain how you can have a style of your own.

 

Photographer Adriano Lompi ( Italy)

 

Lompi 1
Photo by Adriano Lompi.  Photo is copyrighted.  

Adriano Lompi is from Italy.  He takes almost all his photos of flowers.  I can see his photos of flowers and they are so sharp, so perfect, the depth of field is perfect, you can see the texture in the petals, there is just something about the way he takes them that is just mesmerizing.  So beautiful.  I just stand amazed.  I take photos of flowers too, but, his photos are just way beyond anyone else’s flowers.

lompi 2
Photo by Adriano Lompi  Photo is copyrighted.

Once again, this flower is amazing, as described above.  The depth of field:  Perfect.  The color is Perfect.  The texture and the flower is taken at the perfect time.

Lompi 3
Photo by Adriano Lompi

Once again, a style of his own.  I can tell when I see his flower photos, that these are his photos.  No one takes flower photos as well as Adriano Lompi.

Photographic style is not a destination, it’s the journey itself. You don’t suddenly develop style. It’s the result of your experiences, an extension of who you are and how you see the world. It’s what you evoke in people viewing your work that makes you unique. Photographic style is not copying someone else’s style, but it’s about making your photography an extension of yourself. In other words, don’t just copy the masters, try to be one!

Another photographer, and his style:  Duarte Sol (Portugal)

 

Duarte Sol 101
Photo by Duarte Sol   .  copyright Duarte Sol Photography

Duarte Sol just happens to live on a coastal island of Portugal.  Some people are blessed to live on a beautiful place.  But, the fact that he lives in a beautiful place, he has learned photography enough to make it even more beautiful.  The long exposures he uses on the shorelines of his photos makes his photos stand out.  The skies, the waves in the sea, the streams caused by water going back into the seas, are all just a dreamy, lovely, beautiful watery heaven.  He has mastered the use of Neutral density filters and has become one Portugal’s most famous photographers.

duarte sol 102
Photo by Duarte Sol, and is copyrighted

If you were to look in one of Portugal’s travel brochure’s you would probably see some photos taken by Duarte.  He has become well known to show off the beauty of that country.  He has a unique style, knows when to take a picture of the scenery to get the best results, and has definitely got his own style.

duarte sol 104
Another great photo by Duarte Sol.  All rights reserved.

 

LET’S LEARN HOW YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN STYLE:

 

  • Discover what you’re passionate about. It’s easy to see which photographers are passionate about their work because it shows in many images they capture.
  • Enjoy your photography for the same reason. It will shine through.
  • Try new and different things to photograph subjects that challenge you. Every new challenge adds more skills and more experiences.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail by taking bad photographs. Overcoming failures by taking better photographs only makes you a better photographer.
  • Assign yourself projects that you have not attempted before, especially those assignments that you’ve never seen done by others before.
  • Be free to express yourself. Ignore the set rules. (Set by whom?)
  • Be inspired. Attend workshops and seminars. Look at photography blogs, magazines and books.
  • Act as your own critic. Look at your own collection of shots and ask yourself how they could be improved. Is your work exciting to you or just another bird photo?
  • Share your work with your friends and family, or go one stage further and sign up with photo web forums. Attend local meet up groups. Treat all negative feedback as a means to learn. Treat positive feedback as being on the right track.
  • Take a camera wherever you go. That one perfect shot is waiting to be captured by you.
  • Specialize on particular genre of photography, but do it differently.
  • Decide on a medium. Do you want to photograph in black and white only? HDR images? Pick one and be consistent —and I mean 90 percent of the time. There’s nothing worse that browsing through someone’s portfolio to see color, black and white, and some HDR. It cries out that you haven’t developed a style yet.
  • Try to describe your style to others. Do you capture the moment, freeze action, tell a story or do you aspire to being a photo journalist? This will help to define your style by telling others.

 

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Do those steps above.  It is not going to happen overnight.  But, just keep working at it.  It will come.  And eventually people will realize what your style is.  And you will be recognized for your own style.

 

 

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