It is very important to find, develop and grow your own unique style in photography. Here are a few tips which will help you find it sooner.
1. SHOOT EVERY DAY:
You can’t be experienced and grow unless and until you are willing to put a lot of efforts for your art. That goes for any art really; photography being no different. Finding your style is part self-awareness. You can’t attain these goals unless you put the books down, walk away from the Google and shoot. I recommend shooting every day. If you want to tackle a 365, you can read my blog on Project 365: Improve your photography with 365 days project. If you can’t commit to shooting every day, try to shoot when you have a few minutes. If you are really serious about finding your own photography style, then fit it in whenever & wherever you can. Just sitting in front of the computer and books won’t make you a great photographer.
2. DON’T TRY TO BE SOMEONE ELSE
There are SO many wonderful photographers out there, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to imitate them. After all, they’re good at what they do and people like them. They’ve figured out the magic formula, right? Remember this; they are successful at being themselves. They have learned what makes their heart sing, and they have worked hard to put a piece of their heart in every single one of their images. Let them be them, and work on you being YOU. There is only one you and you need to learn how to rock that!
3. SHOOT WHAT YOU LOVE
Try to stop thinking about what you love in any other photographer’s work, and think about what you love. Release the feelings of expectations and standards. Shoot for yourself. What inspires you during a day? Is it the sun setting, or your children’s laughter? Whatever it is, shoot it.
4. FORGET ABOUT BEING GOOD
This one is really hard. We all want to be good and we want to be good, like, yesterday!! But we need to stop obsessing about that. The good will come, and hopefully great after that, but being consumed with the end goal can muddy the water. Being mediocre is a part of the journey, so embrace it. Allowing yourself to be in the moment will allow you to stay focused. You will get there. It might take a year, it might take 3 or 4, but you will get there. Focus on the journey. Soak everything in. Allow yourself with the ups and the downs, and hopefully those downs will become less and lesser, and the ups more and better.
5. KEEP YOUR IMAGES TO YOURSELF
It might be a good idea that while you are discovering your style, you keep your images to yourself. Doing so, releases the pressure of performance, and allows you to make mistakes without the observant eyes of others. Sometimes that alone gives you the freedom to explore and discover. Whatever your approach is, make sure that you can freely shoot without the fear of being judged.
6. PINTEREST BOARDS AND GOOGLE: HURTING OR HELPING
Pinterest motivating boards have the purpose of their own. I love having a group of beautiful images that inspire me, but they’re not good to have when you’re trying to find yourself. Stop stalking other photographers!!! Do that after you have confidence in your own style.
7. DON’T THINK ABOUT STYLE
I spent a lot of time thinking about my style. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about it though, that it finally came to me. It’s hard to do that, especially when you want it so badly, but trust me! You’re style will present itself to you when it is ready.
Now walk away from the computer and start shooting!!! After a few months, collect the images that you LOVE. Print them, or put them in a Flickr album, so you can look at them all together. Is there a common theme throughout? Is there a way you like to use color, or a certain way you compose? If style isn’t jumping out at you, ask a friend to look at your portfolio. Sometimes it’s easier for others to see something in your own work than it is for you. If style still is not presenting itself, don’t stress! Continue to shoot for a few more months, and then reflect on your work again. You will find it eventually; you just need to be patient. Good luck!