What type of photographer are you and how can you develop your own style?


posted Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 3:30 PM EDT


Photographic style. What is it and how do you develop your own? In a world where so many people are photographers, be it with their smartphones or with dedicated camera systems, it can be incredibly difficult to separate yourself from the pack. After all, the "pack" is massive and nearly everyone has similar access to the primary place where photographers share their work, the internet.

Of course, it may not be that someone necessarily wants to stand out from other photographers, but perhaps they simply want to improve their work and develop a more consistent look across their portfolio. In any case and no matter your motivation for developing a style, it can be difficult to figure out not only what your style currently is and what you want it to be, but how to go about reaching your photographic goals.

In a recent episode of their photography podcast, "Picture This!" Tony & Chelsea Northrup discussed the topic of photography style. In the video below, they ask the question, "Which type of photographer are you?" While this might not be exactly the same as a photographic style, it does hit at very important questions you should consider asking yourself, including why you take photos and what your goal is when you capture and share an image.

Whether you easily fit into just one of the categories discussed in the video above, I'm confident you'll relate to aspects of multiple types.

How can we translate this type of categorization into different styles? Depending on your photographic goals, you can approach the same situation very differently. The selection of an approach is in part responsible for what your own style is. Other aspects of style include your use of color, composition, choice of lighting, your post-processing workflow and much more.

Another YouTuber had a take on photographic style a few years ago. Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography discussed how to develop your own style in the video below.

This video touches on something very important. If you are drawing inspiration from other photographers, it can be difficult to develop your own personal style. You need to concentrate on your own work.

There is something that you have access to that no other photographer ever will, yourself. When you capture an image, you need to be channeling those unique aspects of your personal experiences to make your own photos unique.

It's clear then that your intention is important when developing a personal style. What you hope to achieve and how you attempt to achieve your goals will dictate the visual approach you take with your photography. An interesting video about photographic style can be seen below. The video is of a talk given by David George Brommer with B&H back in 2011. In the video below, Brommer gives a lengthy presentation about style and your personal photographic voice.

At the end of the day, if you want to create distinct images, you need to capitalize on what makes you a unique artist. By focusing on your own experiences and passions, you will not only create stylized work, but you will create better and stronger work as well.