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Photography Style (8 Best Ways to Find and Develop Your Own)

Last updated: April 1, 2024 - 10 min read
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Most of the best photographers have a distinct and unforgettable style. But there are many types of photography styles, and you must find yours to stand out!

Our eBooks With Unique Photography Styles to Explore
The Creative Photography Cookbook
The Creative Photography Cookbook
The Creative Photography Cookbook
Fantastic Photo Adventures
Fantastic Photo Adventures
Fantastic Photo Adventures
The Magical Photography Spellbook
The Magical Photography Spellbook
The Magical Photography Spellbook

How to Find Your Photography Style

A photographer’s style is more than editing or photo technique. It’s a combination of every decision they make. One of the best ways to discover your style is to look for patterns in your behavior. How you eat, travel, and socialize makes up who you are.

You can develop these preferences by learning more about different cultures and preferences. And photography is no different.
Look for patterns in your techniques, compositions, and favorite photographers.

You already have a photography style that complements your personality. All you have to do is let it awaken and emerge using these methods.

Headshot with a colorful projection as an example of photography style
Shot with a Sony a7 III. 90mm, f/4.0, 1/100 s, ISO 6,400. Maxim Tolchinski (Unsplash)

4 Ways to Find Your Unique Photography Style

The first part of every photographer’s journey is discovery. As a beginner, you might not know where to start. Equipment, famous photographers to follow, and editing possibilities might confuse you.

Try to avoid distractions like this. Your priority is to cultivate and nurture your unique photography style.

1. List of Photography Genres You Like and Experiment With Them

There are many types of photography styles out there. To find yours, you need to expose yourself to different genres. Here are a few of the many genres you can choose from:

Within these genres, there are many sub-genres. For example, wedding photography could fall under event photography.
And portrait photography doesn’t exist on its own. There are many types of portrait photography out there:

Which genres stand out to you? You can choose as many as you like.

Next, start experimenting with them. If you only have a smartphone camera, begin taking photos with your smartphone. Right now, your equipment doesn’t matter as much as your creativity.

This exercise gives you experience in many genres, which is very important in the long run. It also gives you a better idea of your photography style.

Stylized landscape with a person on a cliff beneath white clouds and blue sky as an example of photography style
Shot with a Canon EOS 6D. 32mm, f/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 100. Mark II Angelo Casto (Unsplash)

2. Make a Collection of Inspiring Photos to Understand Your Creative Taste

You like certain foods, outfits, and places more than others. In a way, those reflect your style. Even if you’re not aware of them yet, you will have similar styles in photography.

You can find them by looking at different photos. Choose a genre that you like and look for it online. If a particular photo stands out, save it. You’ll use it to understand your preferences later on.

Instead of saving photos on your computer, you can use different social media platforms. Pinterest is excellent for creating inspiration boards. Instagram also has a handy saving tool. And Tumblr lets you create an entire inspiration blog.

Start with 20 to 50 inspirational photos. Why did you choose them? What stands out the most? Write all of this down. Do you notice any patterns? The more you understand your photography taste, the closer you discover your style.

A collage of black-and-white photo prints with a cross-section of ribbon as an example of photography style
Shot with a Pentax K-3 II. 21mm, f/8.0, 1/25 s, ISO 100. Immo Wegmann (Unsplash)

3. Share Your Photos to Get Helpful Feedback About Your Style

Those with whom you share your photos don’t have to be professional photographers. But it would help.

Your goal isn’t to ask for constructive criticism, though. All you have to do is ask them to point out things you’re unaware of. So You can ask them questions like this:

  • What was the first thing you noticed when you looked at my photos?
  • Did you notice any patterns or styles in my pictures?
  • Is there anything that’s missing from my photos?

This is a great way to look at your photos differently. Others might give you feedback you wouldn’t have known on your own. They might see patterns to help you understand what kind of photographer you are.

Black-and-white portrait of a man holding his face as an example of photography style
Shot with a Sony a7R III. 85mm, f/5.0, 1/200 s, ISO 200. Diego Sánchez (Unsplash)

4. Limit Your Equipment to Focus on Your Photography Style

Limitations are important because they help you understand your strengths. They also make you more creative and give you a clearer idea of your photography tastes.

Instead of looking for the best camera equipment, start with what you know and have. This doesn’t mean you should never invest in professional equipment.

But if you have to learn a lot of new technical information, you might not develop your style. So, get rid of tech and social media distractions.

Use your camera and take photos of everything that catches your eye. The less equipment you use, the easier it is to understand your unique photography style.

Flowers and table settings at a wedding as an example of photography style
Shot with a Canon EOS 6D Mark II. 70mm, f/11, 1/160 s, ISO 400 Kari Bjorn Photography (Unsplash)

If you have to learn a lot of new technical settings, you won’t invest as much time in your intuition. The fewer distractions there are, the more you can focus on developing a unique style.

Your creative intuition is what helps you understand the heart of your photography. It’s what makes your photos emotional and thought-provoking.

Even if you learn every setting on your camera, you won’t have a distinct style. It’s best to focus on the emotional side of your photography.

4 Ways to Develop Your Photography Style

There are many exciting ways to develop your style. The more you put these tips into practice, the more distinct your style will become.

1. Look for Editing Inspiration to Find a Starting Point

Many, if not most, photographer styles rely on editing to stand out. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours on editing.
If you prefer a natural look, you can still edit your photos to make them look eye-catching. These photographers have a natural editing style:

A Siberian Husky lying on all fours by a bed as ab example of natural editing photography style
Shot with a Fujifilm X-T3. 35mm, f/1.4, 1/125 s, ISO 80. Valeriia Miller (Unsplash)

Other photographers have a more intense style:

Crowd of people jammed together in a mosh pit at a heavy-metal concert as an example of photography style
Shot with a Canon EOS R6 Mark II. 85mm, f/4.0, 1/10 s, ISO 800. Tijs van Leur (Unsplash)

2. Practice Editing to Intensify the Atmosphere in Your Photos

When you have a few photos you’re proud of, edit them in your preferred editing program. You can use Photoshop, Lightroom, or anything else that works for you. I like to use Lightroom and Photoshop for different purposes. You can mix and match as you like.

Don’t watch too many tutorials. Instead, treat your editing program like something you must figure out independently.

This helps you save time and introduces you to interesting editing tools. It also prevents you from feeling limited by specific editing rules. There are three main types of editing:

  • Retouching: This type of editing is very popular in portrait photography. Retouching involves getting rid of flaws and blemishes. Many retouchers aim to perfect their photos without making them look unnatural.
  • Color Correction: You can change the tones and colors in your image. A few simple clicks can instantly make a simple photo look more emotional. You can do a lot with color correction, so take some time to familiarize yourself.
  • Photo Manipulation: This involves deleting parts of images. Or you merge different photos to create surreal or conceptual images. Photographers like Karrah Kobus, Alex Currie, and Rosie Hardy do this often.
Sunset sunlight shining through the curtained backdoor window as an example of photography style
Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. 50mm, f/2.0, 1/25 s, ISO 200. Devon MacKay (Unsplash)

3. Start a Daily Photography Project to Strengthen Your Creative Muscles

One of the best ways to develop your style is to practice regularly. You won’t improve quickly if you only dedicate one hour a week to your photos. Even if you’re busy, you can help your style evolve daily.

All you need to do is start a photography project. Make sure it’s either daily or weekly. This ensures that you spend as much time with photography as possible.

Projects are excellent opportunities to experiment with different genres and techniques. Two common photo projects are the 365-day project and the 52-week project.

For the 365 project, you have to take a photo every day. It doesn’t have to be outstanding. The point is to spend a little time with photography every day.

The 52-week project is a weekly one with a theme. Every week, a new topic is chosen, often abstract. This is meant to strengthen your creative muscles and help you think outside the box. You can share your results online to get constructive criticism and inspire others.

An underwater portrait of a woman with air bubbles coming out of her mouth as an example of photography style
Shot with a Sony DSLR-A850. 70mm, f/6.7, 1/250 s, ISO 100. Engin Akyurt (Unsplash)

4. Spend Less Time on Social Media to Avoid Too Much Influence

I know this sounds weird. You spend hours looking for inspiration. And now you’re told to stay away from social media. This doesn’t mean you delete your social media accounts. Just spend a little less time looking at other photographers’ photos.

When you develop your style, you might get distracted by other people’s techniques. You might doubt your abilities if you look at others’ work too often.

Social media is a wonderful place but can also become a source of insecurity. Follow photographers, but don’t compare your work to theirs.

Instead, use that time to practice, edit, and familiarize yourself with new types of photography. The more time you spend with yourself, the more original your photos will be.

A photo of a woman smiling holding up a polaroid of herself as an example of photography style
Shot with a Sony a7C. 35mm, f/1.8, 1/250 s, ISO 640. Shelby Murphy Figueroa (Unsplash)

Photography Style FAQs

These are the two most frequently asked questions we get along with our answers.

What Is a Photography Style?

A photography style is like your fashion and interior design choices. It’s the way you approach photography and edit your pictures. And photography styles can evolve a lot with time and practice.

Which Type of Photography Is Most in Demand?

The most in-demand photography types include photojournalism and landscape, headshot, portrait, and wedding photography.
Architectural and macro photographers can earn a lot of money in their respective industries.

Close-up product shot of a person vaping as an example of photography style
Shot with a Sony a7R III. 42mm, f/4.0, 1/800 s, ISO 250. Christopher Ott (Unsplash)

Conclusion: What Is Your Photography Style?

If you’re an aspiring photographer, chances are you already have a style. It’s just a matter of discovering it. Look for inspiration, take photos often, and start photography projects. Also, ask for feedback to make the most of your journey as a photographer.

Take our quiz to find out how you approach photography! Or, try one of our eBooks to learn from photographers with distinct approaches and styles.

Our eBooks With Unique Photography Styles to Explore
The Creative Photography Cookbook
The Creative Photography Cookbook
The Creative Photography Cookbook
Fantastic Photo Adventures
Fantastic Photo Adventures
Fantastic Photo Adventures
The Magical Photography Spellbook
The Magical Photography Spellbook
The Magical Photography Spellbook