Tips to Find your Style as a Photographer

I began my photography journey a little over two years ago and my style has changed, grown and has evolved since...which is expected as creatives. If you scroll down to the bottom of my instagram feed you'll see more bright and airy photos. Then my feed began to change when I invested in some presets and had more blue & orange hues too it. Then I went through this phase where I just felt stuck and didn't really know what type of edits I liked. I realized that I was blending in with all the photographers and I was so focused on what they were doing that I lost sight of who I was as a creative. I feel like as this year is coming to an end, I've developed more of my "brand" and have taken more ownership of my identity as a creative.

While I'm no expert at "finding your style," I've learned some things along the way that have helped and wanted to share them with you as you discover more.

DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS
I know, I know. This is one of those "easier said than done" things. But I promise you, this is a game changer! As soon as I stopped comparing myself to other photographers and trying to mimic their style, I grew. I grew in my confidence as an artist and was more bold about standing out from everyone else. There are a lot of "trendy" editing styles and it's okay to be inspired by other creatives [because you should be] but don't try so hard to be like them. Be YOURSELF. You were made to be unique and stand out! :)

FIND INSPIRATION
I wrote out a list one day when I was really trying to figure out what "look" I was trying to achieve for my brand. I started thinking about what types of photos I was drawn to. I like moody photos and I like airy photos, so I wanted something that was a nice in between. I like brighter colors but still all about neutrals. You see a lot of whites, blues, tans, and greens, and warmer tones in my photos. I tend to do a lot of session outside with lots of greenery or in a cozy coffee shop. I would describe my photos as laid back and more candid. Write out a list of words that inspire you, colors you like, the overall mood/vibe you're going for - this will help with the brain storming process! I also find a lot of inspiration from Magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, or just browsing the internet for photos hehe. Know that your style will continue to evolve and change as you grow and this is the fun part!

PLAY AROUND IN LIGHTROOM
Familiarize yourself with LightRoom. Play around with editing photos with different lighting situations. Play around with the colors, the tools, everything. If you feel stuck, YouTube is a great resource on how to use the tools/other adjustments in LightRoom. The more I began to play around in LightRoom, I started to figure out how I liked to edit my photos and it's helped me have a more consistent work flow and spend less time editing now that I have created my own presets!

INVEST IN YOUR CRAFT
If you want to grow, you're going to have invest time and money in order to grow your business and yourself. Invest in an online classes, workshops, read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos/educational webnairs, and reach out to other successful photographers in your area so you can learn and grow from them!

It's not going to happen over night. Remember that it's a process, so be patient. Don't be discouraged. Continue to try new things and play around with different editing styles and sessions to see what you're passionate about and drawn too. Have fun!

Julia Mann