Finding Your "Style"
It's currently one of the biggest questions that I see our in the photography world.
So what does it mean?
Your Style = Consistency within your editing and shooting.
Whenever I first started photography, a majority of my photos had a ton of gradient fills, light leaks, and lens flares (thanks, early Photoshop skills), but, as times changed, I started to figure out what I was actually trying for with my photography. Did I go through a ton of random colors, horrible vignettes, crooked photos, and over-exposed images? Absolutely!! You know what helped the most?
BROWSING and STUDYING the look that I wanted to achieve.
I'm talking YouTube crash courses in all things Lightroom and Photoshop, you guys!
I can't tell you how many times I've searched "How to _______ ______ ________ in Lightroom." We literally live in a world where you can learn anything you want with a touch of a button, and we shouldn't rob ourselves of that fact.
I've learned so many tips and tricks from so many wonderful vloggers. It's unreal, and I'm honestly forever grateful for all of them.
To add to that:
Over the years, I realized that there was a certain mood or color scheme that would catch my eye every single time that I saw a photo portraying the look I wanted in my photos. It was always the same "desaturated" kind of tone only with a little bit of added sparkle of color here and there. Once I realized there was a trend in my own interests, I knew that I had found my style that I would use for my social media platforms.
Right now, I could look at a photo and be able to tell you exactly what is going on with the photographer's highlights and shadows, what their color emphasis was, and how they achieved that look in post-processing. That, to me, is the most important aspect of finding your editing style. Once you can see how colors affect your surroundings and subjects, you can tailor them to fit your needs and find a style that is completely your own!
Now...Are there days when I want to add a little bit more of a shadowed or darker look that without a doubt doesn't belong with my current look?
There is no limit to what you can do with amazing software like Lightroom or Photoshop, so you should never act like you need to stay with one style for the rest of eternity.
Sadly, however, ever since Insta-World hit it big, a photographer's career has been all about consistency. Unfortunately, it will be one of the easiest ways to gain a following, but you shouldn't base your style on one, constant look.
That's the beauty about photography. Even though you want your photos to have a certain "theme" to them, it's still an art form and a way to express yourself. Have fun with it, and explore what you can do with a RAW image and a ton of curves and sliders!
For best results in post-processing: ALWAYS SHOOT IN RAW
You can thank me later :)