Have You Found Your Unique Photography Style Yet?
By Anete Lusina
Most wedding photographers want to stand out and be noticed for their unique shooting style. After all, a cohesive look shows confidence and strong branding, and clients will see that.
But, what do you do if you're unsure of how to get there? You can start by looking at what you shoot already and take it one step at a time. You don't have to experiment with entirely different styles each wedding season to find one that fits.
Review Your Portfolio
Take a moment to look at your wedding photography website or social media account and analyze what you have created up to today. How do the photos make you feel? Do they send the right message? Do they clearly show your personality and style?
If you're heading in the right direction but still need to finetune your style — great! But, if you're feeling lackluster about your work, it's time to make some changes before you lose your passion for the work you create.
Note down any obstacles you've faced developing your photography style. Doing so will help you find which aspects of your work you need to change up. Then, consider what you want to achieve — do you want to show a different editing style or perhaps work on your shooting and posing skills?
For example, if you feel you have the right content but are unsure how to finish it in the editing stage correctly, look into post-processing courses or workshops. Editing is a skill like any other and takes time to learn, especially considering how fast editing tools improve.
If you want to focus on city-based weddings, but all you get is charming countryside nuptials, it's time to work on your marketing to attract the right clients. You may have to work on your website copy to make sure it sends the right message and be mindful of the photos you share in your portfolio.
Similarly, if you dream about editorial-style wedding photos but don't communicate that to your clients or pose them accordingly, it's something you need to address. Or, if you want to create off-the-wall moments, you'll have to steer away from traditional posing and practice documentary wedding photography instead.
The purpose of analyzing your work is to give you a clearer idea of what inspires you, suits your personality, and what you need to change to arrive at your unique style. Don't forget that it's natural for your photography style to evolve, too. It's never too late to change things up and develop a photography style that suits you perfectly.
Be Consistent and Show What You Want to Attract
Once you identify what you need to change and where you want to head, it's time to put it into practice. Your photography style won't transform overnight, but you can make gradual changes even with an already established client base.
With every new wedding, focus on the aspects that will help you get closer to your unique style. Don't leave it all to chance — be mindful about your compositions, camera settings, posing clients, editing, and marketing materials.
The more you do that, the more images you'll have to use for showcase on your website and social media. You attract what you put out, so it's essential to show the style of photos you want to shoot in the future.
You don't need to display hundreds of different photos on your website. Instead, pick a selection of images that best portray your new style.
Below, three distinct wedding photographers have developed their unique photography styles over the years. Each of them has different methods of approaching wedding photography, but they all have consistency in common — from composing the shots to editing them.
Shay Azulay, the founder of the international wedding photography company LUZ Weddings, shows a clearly defined style inspired by the simplicity of architecture. Although he has several team members shooting for the company, the consistency in style runs throughout all photos.
Azulay seeks inspiration in the fine lines, minimalism, and structures as an architect. These concepts are visible in the compositions he and his team create, from morning preparation to the dancefloor.
But, not every part of the wedding day will have those elements. Azulay and his team have a meticulous editing process to further add to the unified style to continue the style consistency. They achieve it by removing distracting details in a photo, like cable lines, and focusing on cohesiveness in colors, white balance, and overall framing.
Wedding photographer Roman Balashov has developed his distinguished style by capturing the wedding day as it unfolds. He becomes as invisible as possible to capture genuine unposed moments when he shoots.
Balashov is not afraid of blurry shots or other technical imperfections that some photographers would consider flaws during the shooting process. Instead, he uses every tool at his disposal to create images that portray reality and emotion. He uses free-lensing, extreme dark or bright exposures, and other non-standard methods.
His framing also adds a dynamic feel to the photos. For example, instead of primarily eye-level shots, Balashov is not afraid to get low or point his camera down at the floor. At the same time, he uses a wide-angle lens to get up close and personal with his subjects, adding extra energy and power to the wedding gallery.
Tones and Color
When it comes to distinct color style, wedding photographer Nelly Naylor skilfully infuses her work with vivid tones. Her shooting and editing style matches her friendly, playful, and bright personality, which sends a clear message to prospective clients.
Although not every venue will have colorful architectural details or decor, Naylor still adapts her style regardless of the backdrop in the scene. The colors are still just as vivid and fresh for countryside weddings, from green grass to warm sunlight.
Regardless of what wedding photography style you're aiming for, it's worth remembering that unique but consistent work stands out in the crowd. You are far more likely to attract the right clientele if your wedding work has a clear message of who you are and how you shoot and edit your work.
Though, don't beat yourself up if you're not quite there yet. It takes time and regular review of your progress, but it's worth it!