The one crucial piece of advice that I received when I was starting out was this: “Find Your Signature.” Well that’s easier said then done.
As you know, every photographer is different. We all have a different style, aesthetic and vision on how we see an image. Even though all photographers use the same tools, the signature style is the most important tool of all because it defines who YOU are. A mastered photographer can be spotted just by looking at their work. For example, I know when I am looking at a Richard Avedon image or a photograph from Annie Leibovitz without having to look at the name of the photographer because they’ve mastered their signature.
So how to we get to that level? How do we find YOUR OWN signature style?
It takes a lot of time and work for you to find your voice in photography but I’ve come up with these tips on how you can get started:
- Find The Inspiration
Whether you believe it or not, there was something that brought you to photography and it most likely was a photograph. Do you remember what the photo was? If not, that’s okay. Go on the internet and start creating your own little vision board. Find photos that stop you in your tracks or that make you say “I want to shoot a photo like that!” After you collected a group of photos, look at all of them and ask yourself what do the have in common? Is it the color, the subject, the location, the styling, etc? Just jot down your thoughts on what brings this vision board of yours together.
- Try EVERYTHING
If you are a multi-passionate photographer like I was, you have a hard time choosing which type of photography to focus on. So this is when you need to shoot everything: weddings, portraits, events, landscapes, food, even animals. Whatever opportunity comes your way, take it. The more you go out there and try, the more you start to figure out who you are as an artist. This will help you narrow down the options and make finding your signature a little bit smoother.
- Hurry Up & Wait
This is something that I had a really hard time adjusting to because I am so use to having instant gratification. The age of technology has made everything so quick and automatic that we expect everything to be that way. But finding your signature, your vision, your voice…that takes time. For some artists it just naturally flows and they become artistic giants: they are the exception not the rule. The rule is to just keep shooting, try everything, trust your path and along the way you will find your signature. It cannot be rushed or forced because then you will feel confused and frustrated.
I know these may seem like tips that are “common sense” but if you are just starting your photography journey and you want to make this into a source of income in the future, I find that these are the things that will lead you to the path of progress.
Hope you find this helpful and if you have more tips and strategies on how to find your style, leave a comment below and share!
Til next time,