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Trying To Find My Style

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adr3naline, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Hey everyone... I love taking pictures. I'm a designer at the same time, so I try to integrate principals and elements of design into my photographs. I want to get more into photography now. I want to have photography be a strong presence in my portfolio, but I'm attempting to find my nitch, or style.

    I'm sure I'll get responses to this question like "just get out and shoot", or "practice", which is fine... but how would you recommend that I find my style?

    I love taking pictures of cars, motorcycles, landscapes, nature, architecture, people, etc. How did you do it?
  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Style can certainly be developed. I prefer to think of it as your voice. What do your photos say that others do not. A photographer does not start out with a style, and it may take some time to discover it. But there are steps you can take.

    First is determine what you like. You have a list, which is good. Some parts of it are pretty broad though, so try to narrow what you feel are the areas you like best. Take people for example. Do you like candids, portraits, humor, kids pretty girls ... you get the idea.

    Then look at lots of photography. Not just here, but in books, magazines and of course, the internet. Look specifically at the ones that are in the areas you identified above. What do you like about them, what would you do differently.

    Third try to emulate the style of shots that you see above by shooting similar subjects, setups and lighting. As you do this, you will find yourself becoming more and more divergent in you own personal style. At some point, it will not be trivial to determine your influences.

    And you will have arrived at a personal photographic style.
  3. Mike,
    What type of designing do you love to do. What is you passion in life, do you incorporate that passion in your design work. If so, I think that would be a place to start. Chris has given you a good springboard to leap from. My passion is sports so I started out shoot everything I could until I found what I enjoyed the most. You will know when you hit it, because there is a level of satisfaction that will come. You listed motorsports as the first thing so that is a good place to start. Find a local track or auto club and shoot the action and people as well. I know it has been shot over and over but SLC has the big temple shoot that, hit the parks, But use your passions and your camera as tools to covey your moods. I think aimless shooting for the sake of shooting is at best counter productive at best. Shoot with a goal in mind otherwise how would you know that you are making head way.
    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. Post some pics, the folks here started out just like you are.
  4. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Who says you have to settle down into a niche? Shoot whatever you want. Look at your own photos and those of others. You'll start to notice things, wonder why or how other photographers got things that you didn't. Then you start figuring out. Was it composition, a different exposure, post processing?

    You don't get a style overnight, and no one says your style always has to stay the same. It's good to re-invent yourself now and then. Otherwise, it could get boring.
  5. dsp921


    May 16, 2006
    I don't think you have to go looking for your style. Just shoot what you like and your style will find you.
    Then there's something I read somewhere recently; Style is what you get when you run out of new ideas. Or something like that....
  6. style is often the enemy of creativity. I find myself more often going through phases than keeping a permanent style. by cycling through all genres and 'looks' even though they might not be initially appealing to me means I develop proficiency in every aspect of my hobby. then just let one thing lead to another and let it snowball.
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Only if you try to force a style, and in that case, you are very much correct. Once you find your own voice, however, it comes out nothing but creative. Look at most well known photographers. Would you consider Cindy Sherman, Ralph Gibson, Jill Greenberg, Tim Greenfield-Sanders or David LaChapelle uncreative? No. But you probably recognize their work by their style, eh?
  8. Smoke some bud, you'll find your inspiration!
  9. You know, go to an art museum and look at some paintings. Start there. Painters are the original photographers. They had their ideas in their head, but had to paint out their vision. Same thing with photographer, but instead you just click the shutter or fool around with dials to realize your vision. Back when I was in art school, we used to make fun of the photo majors and say they're only in photography because they don't have drawing skills! Same conceptualization, less work. That's before I started doing it as a profession!
  10. although i'm not do familiar with the artists you mention, any book of a great artist's work I have opened as shown variations as they grow their craft. Ansel Adams is known for big black and white landscapes but he also has photos featuring smaller finds, even indoor still lifes, and portraits as well. they are all very well done. Irving Penn's book shows all sorts of phases he went through that are much more pronounced that Adams. do all of their images look alike, and somewhat related? I would say most of them do, but the similarity I am seeing is the quality of work and technical proficiency which has nothing to do with style.

    photography is a life long hobby, I would never want to have the same voice or present the same sort of look for the rest of my life. opinions will change and newer tricks are always around the corner.
  11. Thanks everyone... this kind of information is exactly what I needed to open my eyes a little bit. I agree with what most of you have mentioned, and I look forward to using your thoughts in my hobby in the pictures to come.
  12. You already have a style it's in your personality. Once you have been doing
    photography for sometime it will come out naturally. Like the other poster
    said it will find you.


    Take care Dwayne Oakes
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