I’m naturally a follower, not a leader, and it’s so easy to get caught up trying to fit in with the crowd. Sometimes it can feel like I’m floundering around in this big world of photography not really making my mark on anything, not owning a unique style.
I decided to start my own photography label but then I had a problem. What do my photos look like? Will people look at them and know they’re mine?
I’ve come a long way since then and here’s what I’ve learnt, in a nutshell:
FIVE TIPS to help you find your style:
If you want to read a little more of my story, here you go…
I was very new to the industry and I thought I’d had a brainwave – I’ll find a photographer I like and just copy* (*not, like, plagiarise, just, like, copying their style… and ideas… and stuff…) and then I’ll be successful. Don’t judge me for this – I was young and stupid. Trying to copy someone else’s editing is frowned upon but you can draw as much inspiration from their work as you like.
My problem is that every photographer is different and anyone who knows me will tell you that when I’m faced with a decision I have a nightmare of a time choosing. My mother takes pride in telling my friends that she once took me to the dairy to get an iceblock but I couldn’t choose. We stood there so long that I had to leave with no iceblock, for fear of choosing one and making the wrong decision.
So I opened my wee business and decided that I should be super professional and awesome and perfect right from the start. I would come across a successful photographer and love their work so that’s who I would try and be.
But then I would see another one and be like “Oh, that’s even cooler, I’ll try and edit my photos like her now.” My work was all over the place.
I spent money on Lightroom and Photoshop editing classes, I downloaded actions, (I tried to find sneaky ways to get free Photoshop actions – not something I’m proud of but, hey, I was poor), and I spent hours gushing over other people’s work without really knowing where I was heading.
It’s a frustrating place to be.
I can quite confidently say that I’m well on my way to having my style nailed now – it just happened one day. I decided to take matters into my own hands and I bought a set of Replichrome actions. Mainly because Jasmine Star uses them and I went to a course with her which was fabulous and amazing, but I digress. I opened up the action set and tried them ALL. I didn’t like any of them.
I found the one I hated the least and began tweaking things. The skin was too orange, the shadows were too faded, the noise was too heavy… It took me months to get it the way I liked it. And then one day I looked at a photo and went, yup, that’s how I like it. And so my colour preset was created!
I still have this wee problem where I see other photographers post really great work, maybe with heavy film filters, and I gush over it. My mind still flashes with thoughts of changing my style to look just like theirs. But I’m forcing myself to stay put for now.
Keep on swimming, it’ll happen 🙂
If you’ve got any more questions about things I’ve learnt along the way, fire them below in a comment or click here to find me on Facebook 🙂