Finding your photography style.
Let’s be honest, everything that has to do with ‘finding’ something, especially in the creative world, entails a difficult and long path ahead with lots of ups and downs on the way. Your Photography style defines you, your work and your conceptual visualization, therefore is one of the most important elements that has to be attained and mastered throughout many years: it also determines how/where/what you’ll shoot, colors and contrasts that you’ll use.
Although your photography style is constantly changing and evolving, here are some of my tips and tricks that could help you along the way:
Know the basics
All of us, as creative individuals, are artists in the making. No one has ever started off by being perfect. Perfection is actually and illusion as the more you improve, the more you want to achieve and the higher your goals would be; however, knowing the basic rules and having a solid foundation before even thinking about anything else will be of great help to you and your photography journey. A good starting point would looking into simple directives such as the rule of thirds, depth, framing, symmetry and leading lines.
The easiest way to inspire your photos is to get inspired yourself. Observe people’s interactions and emotions. Take a walk when it’s raining and notice the sound of the drops once they hit the ground. If nature is your source of inspiration, fully immerse yourself in it. Notice the movement of the clouds, the freshness of the air, feel everything around you. Browsing through travel magazines or Top Instagram accounts of my favorite photographer’s always inspires me to create better, more captivating images. Take a mental note of what you liked and disliked about a trending National Geographic photo. What sticks out to you the most? Why do people like this photo? Is it the subject itself, colors used or does it convey a hidden message?
Have the right gear and know your subject
It might seem apparent however, having the right gear plays a crucial point in determining whether or not your vision will turn into something real or simply remain a concept. You can’t be aiming for portrait photography if you only have a zoom lens and wildlife cannot be shot with only 35mm or 50 mm lenses (unless you want to get up close and personal with Alaska’s bear population…).
Truth is, there are some styles that are widely used in social media and to speed up the process of editing, companies for example, have created the so-called photo-filters, to facilitate the avid social media snapper. If you like those styles, great, if you don’t, that is completely fine as well! We, as human beings are different. Our individuality is what makes us interesting and unique. This also goes for our technique and style used. Try something different, experiment. There’s no right or wrong here. If it doesn’t work out, move on to your next idea and it might go much better.
Sometimes, it’s much harder to determine and see your mistakes on your own therefore having an outside opinion of constructive criticism should always be welcomed. Consult with friends and family: What do they like or dislike about a certain image? How does that affect them? Maybe they have a few ideas that could change your perspective, technique. Submitting your photos to competitions is always good in determining what judges and professional photographer’s are looking for and deem appealing.
And last but not least, enjoy yourself. As I previously mentioned, finding your own style of capturing images takes years, if not a lifetime. Try out different angles, contrasts, and subjects. Inspiration is crucial however make sure that you’re doing it because you like it and not because others considerate as the right way. See what gets your blood flowing and heart pumping!
Donna Tzaneva is a twenty-something year old globetrotter that was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Australia and now resides in Iceland. After finishing her BSc in Equine Studies, a severe horse-back riding injury made her take a step back from that career and take up photography. She hasn’t stopped ever since.