Creating A Style

I never really understood creating a style for several years and is still difficult to define. I can't really say that I have stuck to any one style but changed with time. I always thought I would someday create my own style that was unique and everyone would love it but I had too many other dreams and never really wanted to keep one style. It's been fun looking at what others are doing and creating my own ideas.

I guess I shouldn't even really talk about a style as I don't do professional photography, but on an amateur level like hopefully yourself, we want to learn to be good at it to take great pictures.

Through all the years I have discovered a style or common practice becomes second nature after creating hundreds of thousands of images. You start to do the same things over and over and you know what you like and others like as well. Once you know something works, why change it right!?

Most styles are created by seeing other peoples photography and imitating the images you see. In fact this is a great way to start out. Why not!? Get ideas, look at the lighting in the photos and go with that. Experiment.

Make a notebook of ideas that you want to try. Once you have a subject or time to try it, make sure you have time to practice the new idea before the actual shoot.
 

My Style

My lighting style outdoors is different as indoors for personal photo shoot.

  • Outdoors
    • Scenery - Depending on the situation, I do a lot of scenery photos and usually like to have the light to where it produces shadows so there is depth throughout the entire picture and you feel like you are there. However, if I am shooting sunrise sunset you of course want more back light so usually allow the surrounding to silhouette. Another neat trick isto not actually take the sunset picture but picture of something else which the vibrant colors of the sunset on the side of it. Best way to get these pictures is to take the photo with the sunset at an angel to the subject.
    • People - I love to have more light on the person then the surrounding yet the surrounding are a very important part of the image as well. It may just be a filler but it sets the mood as well. So the 2/3's rule can be 2/3's scenery and 1/3 subject or even less. I like to have backlight on the person so they and their hair look alive. Sometimes this is not easily achieved without whiting out the photo.

 

  • Indoors
    • Putting more light on the face or key parts of the body creates glamorous shots. A neat back light trick is the place a small light, if you're poor then you can use a wide spot flash light as a backlight on the subjects hair and body to make them look vibrant and alive. This works exceptionally well for light colored hair. Darker hairs will look like they were drawn on with a marker if you don't add some light to a low light picture. The key to creating a dramatic hair light, is to light the hair with more light than the subjects face. I love to have more light on the person then the surrounding yet the surrounding are a very important part of the image as well. It may just be a filler but it sets the mood as well. I like to have backlight on the person so they and their hair look alive. Sometimes this is not easily achieved without whiting out the photo.

Creating your own photographic style will come from emulating other photographers work and experimenting with different techniques in lighting and shooting. But most important is to keep shooting and trying new ideas on your subjects. And start your own ideas file.