How To Find Your Signature Photography Style
Most photographers are creatives through and through. We master an aesthetic, capture a dream image, or bring a vision to life…only to move quickly onto the next idea.
In an online world that feeds us a steady stream of inspiration, it’s easy to bounce from one style to the next in the name of curiosity, creativity, and exploration. But as fun as it is to play with photography– when you want to run a business and establish a reputation for your brand, it’s crucial to maintain a connecting thread throughout your work.
Clients are naturally drawn to cohesive portfolios because it gives them a glimpse into what they can expect from working with you. If your style is too eclectic and inconsistent, your potential customers will experience uncertainty (and probably pursue other options).
The good news is, the very nature of running a photography business will allow you to explore different lighting situations, color palettes, and subjects. Consider Marta’s wide-ranging portfolio that still maintains consistency through shooting style and editing. The creative opportunities are endless and you don’t have to sacrifice the excitement of being an artist in the name of “creating a brand”.
Our suggestion is to always temper your artistic side with solid business sense. Remember: Cohesivity is just as important as creativity if you’re looking to grow your business. You can’t have one without the other.
So how do you develop a signature look for your photography (especially if you find yourself inspired by a variety of different styles)?
Before you can hone in your style, it’s important to discover what inspires you in the first place. Finding inspiration is a part of every photographer’s job description because the more you can draw from deep places of personal inspiration, the more your work will be set apart.
Spend some time perusing social media accounts, Pinterest boards, coffee table books, museums, interiors, and everything in between. Take note of the elements that grab your attention. Colors that speak to you. Compositions that draw you in.
Your collection of inspiration might not “go together” but you’ll surely find common themes that can spark something unique in your body of work.
In the age of social sharing, it’s important to note that every creative endeavor doesn’t need to be posted publicly. When you’re moved to try out a new editing style, off-brand location, or genre– consider keeping those trials private. By allowing yourself the space to explore your creativity without the added pressure, you can consider every stylistic decision while asking yourself, “Is this a good business move?”
Whether you are first starting out or well into your photography career, it’s wonderful to follow and befriend as many photographers as possible. REFINED Co’s Facebook Group is proof of the camaraderie, support, and helpful advice that results from finding your community.
However, when you’re constantly looking for inspiration within the photography industry, it can confuse your own artistic eye. Being influenced by what everyone else is doing can cloud your judgment as to what YOU find meaningful as an artist and invite imposter syndrome into your heart.
Remember: 100 likes from other photographers does nothing for your business like 100 likes from potential clients. Don’t base your work off of what the industry is doing…rather, follow your own path as a creative. Your photography will feel more authentic and genuine to you.
Photography is a deeply emotional art. Sure, there are technical aspects…but photographers tend to shoot to tell a story, evoke an emotional reaction from the viewer, or capture something they love. The more you connect with your work, the more your audience will be drawn to your imagery. Above all, choose a subject matter that compels you and draw from that passion when you pick up the camera.
From light and airy to bold and moody– mastering your style will come to fruition in post-processing. Premium photography presets allow you to apply the same editing settings to all of your photos…which ultimately leads to a polished and consistent portfolio.
Creativity and cohesivity are at the foundation of a successful photography business and by investing in presets you can achieve that “signature quality” you’ve been working towards with a minimal amount of work on your end. Presets don’t put you in a box to look like every other photographer, rather they amplify what makes your creativity unique and provide a jumping-off point to elevate your portfolio.
Ready to reimagine editing with your style in mind. Shop Our Collection of Presets, today.
Interested in submitting a session to the REFINED Co Journal. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org