I often get asked: ''What photography style do you have?''. I'm never too sure what they mean with this question. Are they referring to your editing style, the way you work during a photoshoot or the way you capture moments?
Because to me a photography style is defined by every decision your make within your work. Therefore I tell my clients that my style is ''moody with lot's of laughs''. I make sure my clients will have a good time, they can 100% be themselves and my editing style will have a touch of moodiness.
But how do you get to the point of identifying your style?
1. Understand your work and make conscious decisions throughout your work process.
Take a look at your work and write down what the returning factors in your photos are. It took me a while before I really understood my photos. I soon found out I love mysterious moments/landcapes, the raw outdoors and with that I appreciate honest people with real emotions. Put them together and what you get are the photos I take today.
Therefore, ask yourself the following questions:
What triggered you to take the photo you did?
Was it the landscape that caught your eye, was it the emotion between your clients that got to you? It may be something else. Try to critically analyse your work.
What moments do you capture?
Do you like beautifully staged portraits or do you prefer a more documentary way of photographing your subject. Perhaps your work somewhere in between the two.
In your favourite photos, what is it that makes you feel butterflies?
What aspect gives you those butterflies? Is it the posing, the landscape, the way you edited?
Be your own critic in order to understand your work.
This photo is one of my favourite photos. Why it gives me butterflies?
I love the lines in his body, the way his arm and legs are in line with his skateboard
The tiny bit of his face makes it mysterious to me but you can still read enough expression to see how intensely he's riding. So for me there's a lot of emotion in this photo which is important to my style of photography.
There are a lot of ways to edit your photos, you got your bright + airy, dark + moody, bright greens, mellow colours etc. etc. Without looking at trends, what way editing attracts your eyes?
Try editing the same photo in different styles, wait a few days, look at them again and edit them until you feel proud and happy! This will probably be the editing style you should continue with.
3. Make a mood board of inspirational photos and images.
See what draws your eye and what connections you can make between the images. Notice the colours, the emotions, the posing.
This is my ''inspiration'' mood board on Pinterest. This helped me a great deal for my upcoming work.
These are the connections I've found useful:
Lot's of Black and White photos
Lot's of these findings I already implement in my work unconsciously but the fact that I wrote down ''Musicians'' made me realise that this is a topic I want to take with me in my work. Exciting!
Be your own critic! Start asking questions about your photos and you'll start to understand yourself better as a photographer. With these tools you will have a clear vision for your photography in the future!
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