When starting your photography business one thing that can be a huge struggle is finding and perfecting your style! It honestly took me years to find and perfect my style and make sure that I would stick with it! I would find myself getting caught up in ” pretty backgrounds ” or ” client request ” that didn’t fit my style and would sometimes lead me off track from my true style that I loved. Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to have to struggle for as long as I did so let’s chat about two easy ways that you can nail down your style and make sure you stick to it!
Now you may be saying, that’s great Abby but I have no idea what my style truly is. Guess what, That’s okay! We are going to tackle that issue right now!
Are you having trouble finding your true style? If that is you, then do me a favor! I want you to open Pinterest, create a new board on your profile, then just start pinning EVERYTHING to that board that stands out to you while you scroll. Don’t read what the images are, don’t stop and stare at images, just scroll. When something stands out at you, then stop and pin it! It is that simple! – This can be wedding photos, home decor, food, drinks, clothes, anything!!
Now this may seem strange but after you pin 20-25 images scroll through that board and I bet you’ll start to see some similarities! I actually do this exact exercise each time I start a project! Whether it’s for branding photos, rebranding my website, or even needing color scheme ideas for my house! I mindlessly scroll and pin, then go back and look for similarities!
Why are we looking for similarities? Because the similarities are what YOU are drawn to and what make up your style!
Take a look at mine below and let’s chat similarities!
You’ll see that mine is filled with soft blues and blush colors, mixed with a few pops of brighter colors. I love neutral colors and white backgrounds, along with a more relaxed style. This board is my style 100% and what I can base a lot of things in my business off of! ( Including the type of clients that would fit my business the best! )
TIP – When you look back through the board you create look for 3 or 4 specific color tones. Look for outfits that are similar and ask “what is it about them that I like?” – Is it a pattern, a color, or the style? Look for wallpaper pattern or paint colors you love. Look closely at those images that you pinned. Did you pin them because you liked the pose, the edit, the background, the feeling of the image, the colors? Really dig deep into this! I know it may seem silly to dig deep into an image of a your dream kitchen but once you know WHY you love it, it makes defining your style so much easier!
Believe it or not, even your ideal home decor and clothing options relate back to your photography style! How? Because the clothes you love will be something that reflects what your clients love or even what would look good in your images! The home decor you love? Well let’s say you decide to blow up a canvas of your favorite image and hang it on the wall in your home? More than likely, the style and mood of your dream living room would match the style of photography you offer! – If you have a living room pinned filled with creams, greys, and blues then you probably love film images or a bright and airy style! If you love darker and warmer tones in your home, then a moody or more contrasty style is what you love! Our style is our style, it isn’t going to change for every area of your life!
Once you have this board created, I now want you to go and pull 25-30 of your Favorite images that you have ever taken and put them into a folder on your desktop or a google drive! Once you have them pulled I want you to go through and compare them to your pinterest board, are you seeing similarities? My favorite images are always images that have white backgrounds with pops of color! ( just like my board! ) In fact, those three images in the top corner of my pinterest board are my images, they are three of my favorites, and they blend in perfectly with my board! I added them in because I wanted you guys to see how my style and things I love, directly relate back to my photos!
I keep a folder with about 50 of my favorite images that I go back in and update all the time! This allows me to make sure that I am consistently growing in my style and staying true to it! By keeping only 50 images in that folder it allows me to focus on the best of the best, and any new image that gets added has to replace one of ” the best “! I don’t let that folder go over 50 images because I want to make sure that I stay pushing myself to get better! My personal goal at every wedding is to actually come home with ONE image that will replace one of those 50!
When I do have a new image to add, I make sure that I really look at the image to determine what it is that makes it one of ” the best “. Is it the light, the pose, the emotion, the layout of the image? What is it that makes it stand out to me so much! – This might seem like a lot of work to keep track of but I promise it gets easy once you get the hang of it! Plus, these moments that you take to study your images and style will help make sure that they pop into your head during sessions and allow you to continue to grow and create images that you love! Your style will quickly become second nature to you before you know it!
Do you have more questions about defining and sticking to your photography style? Join me and hundreds of other photographers/ creative business owners over on Facebook in my personal Facebook Group – Click here to join the Abby Waller Insiders Group! Come hang out and get all of your business and photography questions answered!