Developments in technology mean it’s a great time to be a photographer. Just a couple of decades ago the kind of pictures an average person can produce today would have been in the realms of a professional photographer‘s work. Modern digital cameras are affordable and virtually foolproof. The problem is that means a serious photographer has to work really hard to stand out from the crowd.
Apps like Instagram mean you don’t even have to learn to use Photoshop to produce stunning digital images. Just a few clicks can transform a dull picture into a work of art. If you really want your pictures to appear unique, the answer is to develop your own photographic style.
Just as the work of a classic painter is instantly recognizable as his own, a skilled photographer can develop a style that’s original and memorable. Photographic style can be a combination of technical camera skills, composition, use of light and shade and subject or genre. Developing your own style can take years, but it’s a creative journey all serious photographers benefit from.
The following tips will guide you to produce unique and amazing pictures.
Study the work of artists.
The roots of your style don’t have to come from photography. Looking at oil paintings, sculptures and other works of art can inspire you to approach taking pictures in different ways. Studying how light and shadow affect a statue could give you a new approach to portrait photography. Be open to all forms of art and creativity around you. A single idea could influence your approach to photography in ways you can’t imagine.
Be prepared to experiment.
A creative photographer has to be prepared to make mistakes. If you stick to the same approach every time you shoot pictures you’ll never move forward. One of the great things about digital photography is that memory cards are cheap to buy and can hold thousands of pictures. Be brave and bold when you’re shooting, and don’t hold back on trying ideas. It can be frustrating if your results don’t always turn out as you’d hoped, but now and again you’ll produce a picture that really surprises you.
Be passionate about your work.
Do you always feel inspired when you’re shooting pictures? If not, it may be time to try a new subject or approach. If you’re passionate and excited about your photography, the results will stand out from the norm. A love of animals, nature or a particular sport could be great subjects if they’re things you love. Any form of art should involve emotion, and your photographic style will start to emerge if you can get this into your pictures.
Spend time developing technical skills.
After reading a few books or attending a course, some photographers think they have all the technical skills they need to take great pictures. Photography is a huge subject, and there’s always something new to learn. Make sure you understand every feature of your camera and how it can be used to take different types of picture.
Listen to feedback.
It can be hard to take criticism, but listening to what other photographers and artists think about your work is another great way to refine your approach. The Internet has made it very easy to put your pictures on show, but it’s also worth considering an exhibition or display at a local gallery or library. Don’t be put off if a few people don’t like the style you’re developing, but keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt if you want to appeal to large audiences.