One of the hardest parts about just starting out with photography is to try and find your unique style. With so many variations out there it can be overwhelming to know where to begin; journalistic? Dark and moody? Fully staged scene? Black and white? Maybe I'm overwhelming you right now...
Here are a few things that I've found useful in my path as a photographer, and some ideas of where you can begin too.
Embrace the Copycatism
Yep, pretty sure copycatism isn't a word, but it gets the point across. When I first started I had a few photographs whose styles I was completely in love with - Laura Makabresku, Rosie Hardy, and David Talley. They all have really unique photographic styles, but there are a few similar threads throughout that I picked up on; creating a story in an image, dark tones, and natural landscapes. In the beginning I was looking at their photographs for inspiration and from there I would try and put my own twist on it.
- Find photographers that you admire
- Source inspiration from them and create your own work
Decipher What You Like
After you've found some photographers that you feel drawn to, try and figure out what it is specifically that you like about their work. Is it the angle they shoot at? Is it the backgrounds they choose? Is it how light or dark the image is? Maybe what's inside the image - is it portraits or still life? See if there's a common thread throughout the photographs you're drawn to and it will help you narrow down what you want to shoot.
- Decipher the elements you like in the photographs
- Find a common thread
- Use those elements in your own photographs
Over time you won't have to look at photos from other photographs for inspiration anymore. Once you know the type of elements in photographs that you enjoy, you'll be able to narrow down a repeating set of styles and adapted them to your own unique vision. Knowing those things that you like in photos will help you slowly realize what your style is, and how to make it your own.