Developing your own signature style is a critical and integral part of becoming a photographer. InMyBag recently featured a pretty clever article about personal style which are sharing here.
Your style may flex a little to meet your client’s demands, but it should always be present to identify you.
Here’s 5 tips from the wonderfully stylish Brad Olson…
1) Look At A Lot Of Photos
Analyze what you like about great images and then do something different. Don’t imitate or borrow concepts from those photos, instead, figure out what it is that moves you about an image and decide how you can recreate that feeling or impact in your own unique way.
2) Don’t Look At A Lot Of Photos
In the same way that listening to slang or curse words can creep into your vocabulary, seeing a lot of poor photography can make you start to think that it ‘isn’t so bad’. It probably is very bad. Social media is rich with a wide range of images of various quality, limit what you choose to see. If you actively avoid poor images and seek high quality, it raises the bar for your expectation of your own work.
3) Follow Artists That Inspire You – From A Distance
Often there is a ‘regional’ look to photos in a city or geographic area. Support your local artists, but don’t follow their work regularly.
The artists that inspire me the most live in Italy, Australia, Canada, Poland and Russia. We don’t compete for the same clients and we don’t shoot the same subjects or locations.
4) Lose Your Watermark
This is controversial and do what you think best protects your work, but from my experience, I’ve had more images stolen that had watermarks. If you show your work without your logo and people can still recognize it as your work, you are developing your visual style.
5) Submit to curated galleries
Sites like Vogue Italia, 1x, Pentaprism, Worbz and Inmybag for example, have experienced editors that look at thousands of images and have a track record of identifying strong talent. If they are selecting and enjoying your work, you are probably on the right track to creating your own distinctive style.
About The Author
Brad Olson: I’m a fashion, editorial & lifestyle photographer based in the US. I specialize in fashion, editorial and lifestyle photography, I bring my experiences from video production, graphic design and music to create a visual style that is uniquely my own. You can see more of Brad’s work on his website and follow his Flickr and Facebook pages.
If you want to learn more about Brad, he recently did a wonderful submission over at InMyBag (part of it is posted here) which includes his philosophy, inspiration and full list of gear.