How to Find Your Own Photographic Style (And Not Get Lost Trying)

Sometimes we have recommended that you find your own photographic style, however, we have not really delved into the subject. We have talked about unlearning photography or developing the photographic eye, but never specifically about the photographic style.

The day has come. And it is likely (very likely) that a debate will be created, something that I encourage from now on, since the comments, the more diverse, if they are born from respect, of course, the more enriching. The different points of view help to open the mind and find new paths and postures.

What is photographic style?

The photographic style is what makes their photographs perfectly recognizable, due to the type of photography they take, how they use light, the use they make of color, or how they work on the interaction of the protagonist with the environment.

Have you ever heard a song for the first time and almost immediately recognized the group or the singer? Surely it has also happened to you with photography.

If you are one of those who admire the work of different photography artists, you will identify one of their images as soon as you see it. It is easy to recognize a photograph of Chema Madoz, or Elena Kalis, if you follow them, for example.

What is not photographic style?

There are those who think that the photographic style is a type of photography, I mean, if you focus on landscape photography, then that is your style. Nope, none of that. The matter does not go here.

You can be a landscape photographer and not have your own style or photograph everything with a very defined style. Focusing on a theme has nothing to do with choosing or finding a style.

Neither is it a style, for example, minimalist photography or aesthetic photography, or they are, but they are not a personal or personal photographic style, but rather something more global.

Is it necessary to find your own style?

not necessary It can be recommendable or positive, but it is not a necessity. In photography there are other aspects that are more necessary before you start looking for your style. In fact, it is advisable not to look for it, but to find it. You may be wondering what the difference is.

I will give a simple example. Imagine that you go through the sand on the beach with the obsession of finding a beautiful shell. You are only going to look at the sand, you are going to miss the landscape, the waves, the brightness of the sun on the water, the reflections, the birds that come in search of water or food, a sailboat sailing in the distance, how the waves against the rock, the drawing of the water on the sand, the paths of the footprints… shall I continue? And on top of that, you’re likely to go home without the shell.

Search or find?

However, if you enjoy the landscape, the walk, what surrounds you, one day you will end up finding that precious shell to put on your desk and you will have lived a lot of experiences and sensations. What’s more, you may have found stones almost as beautiful as the shell, or some other treasure, that you end up liking much more.

The same can happen to you when looking for your photographic style. If you you obsess With the idea, it is likely that you will become confused, frustrated and, perhaps, if your passion is not strong enough, you will end up throwing in the towel. The purpose of photography is not to find a style, it is to enjoy it and for others to do the same. The style is found after a long road traveled, a photographic maturity is necessary, a deep knowledge of oneself.

Can it be an inconvenience to have your own style?

This is something like fame, if you don’t know how to manage it well it can be your worst nightmare. There are those who lock themselves in a photographic style so much that they end up exhausting and even boring the staff. Or getting bored. Having a very defined style can generate a certain fear when capturing images that “outside” that style. Fears of what the followers will think, if they will be disappointed, if they will continue admiring the work. And fears, yes or yes, paralyze.

If you you limit When it comes to photography, if you limit yourself to just one type of photography to be true to your style, it is likely that you are writing the chronicle of a death foretold. Having a style is fine, closing yourself to it is not.

What would have happened if the Beatles had stayed true to their style of love me do or of she loves you? Now we could not enjoy some wonderful let it be either Strawberry fields forever. It would have been a real penalty, a crime, don’t you think? Well, maybe you don’t like this group, but you can find an analogy with another group that is more your “style” ;).

Styles evolve as people do, when you find yours, don’t let it enslave you.

How to find your own style?

And now comes that part that you have been waiting for the whole article. Although the initial craving can no longer hold you back, can it? We’ll see after this.

The style, we have already spoken that is not sought, that is found. Nor is it something that happens overnight, or in a week. The style is discovered at the same time that photography is discovered and requires that you have previously achieved other objectives. Like the ones I present to you now.

1. Learn photography

If you are aware of parameters and have to readjust a thousand times, you will not relax and all your attention will remain on the technical part. Nor will it help you to have a style if your compositions are not interesting or your images are not exciting. I tell you from my own experience, I myself was thinking about how to find my own style when I didn’t even control the triangle of light correctly and my photos had no special interest.

First focus on learning to photograph manually, to compose, to work with light, etc., once you achieve this, you will have halfway (or more) covered, before, forget about the “photographic style” issue.

2. Be clear about what moves you when photographing

What moves you? Why did you pick up a camera for the first time? What are you looking for with photography? If you are not clear about this, you will not be able to find your own style, you will lurch from one side to the other because you do not even know what moves you to photograph, how are you going to always do it the same way?

3. Know you well

Something that can seem so basic is one of the aspects in which we limp the most. We live in an era of rushing, running, acting and thinking a lot but feeling little. How many times do you connect with yourself? How many live the “here and now”? Stop from time to time to listen to your heart, your fears, your desires and forget about “I have to…” for a while.

This, which may seem like it has nothing to do with photography, is an essential exercise. One’s own style is not only limited to a discipline, it is part of the artist’s personality.

4. Try different techniques and themes

It is an essential part of learning. Locking yourself into a technique is almost like locking yourself into a style and preventing you from growing and evolving. If you don’t try different things you won’t know where your site is, and if you don’t find your site, you will hardly find your style. Try, play, experiment, have fun.

5. Carry out different projects

This is more of a tip for immersing yourself in activity than finding style. But it is that in inactive periods… what are you going to find? Photography is done by photographing. Having a photographic project on hand will keep your creativity busy and your camera at full capacity. Don’t leave it in a saved drawer #telopidoplease 😉

If you don’t know where to start with a project, here are steps to follow, here mistakes to avoid and here ideas.

6. Feel passion for photography

Maybe I should have put this point first, it’s so essential… If you don’t feel true passion for photography, if the only thing that moves you is the latest technology and you don’t care if you have a SLR in your hands, a laptop or a video game and you are only interested in the latest news, if you shoot for the sake of shooting worrying more about megapixels than about what you are counting, if you are too lazy to shoot manually when automatic exists, if your camera sees the light once a year, or if you cannot find reasons to photograph, maybe you should rethink this hobby instead of looking for a style ;). Or maybe you need a little inspiration?

7. Do not imitate

Finding your style is not imitating someone else’s. It’s okay to observe and study the work of others, to know what you like and what you don’t. Even admire. But your style should be yours and yours alone. But if you dedicate yourself to looking for it instead of walking slowly until you find it, it is easy for the fact of forcing the situation to lead you to mere imitation.

What can be useful is to reflect on your favorite photographers and see what they have in common. That will help you get to know yourself better.

8. Accept and analyze criticism

Accepting and reflecting on criticism is always part of learning. Some can be painful, but any criticism that comes to you in a constructive and respectful way, take it into account. From the outside it is easier to see what we do not see.

9. Study your work

This exercise can help you get to know your work better, because you already have your own style and you haven’t realized it yet. Choose your favorite photos, print them and put them together. What do they have in common?

Surely there is a link between them, something that appears in each and every one of your favorite photos. Light, minimalism, order, chaos, emotion…?

Whatever you have in common, take note, here is the birth of your own style, exploit that part (no pressure 😉 ).

10. Not looking for the photographic style

I have already advanced this last advice, do not look for it, let it be the one to find you. He will end up doing it without you realizing it, while you enjoy the road, the landscape and the experiences. Savor photography without pressure, this freedom is the only way.

Hopefully this article has clarified some doubts and has served to relax and enjoy a little more of this passion that unites us. If you think someone else might be interested, share it, please, and if you liked it, hit “Like” to let us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you and see you soon!