About Picking a Photographic Style

In the photography industry (and possibly also other arts), everyone always talks about the importance of choosing your own style. If you read PetaPixel, you will most certainly have come across this advice in relation to the question, how you run a successful Instagram account.

Chase Jarvis recently published an 8-minute-video on personal style and why and how to get it, too:

Truth is, I'm a very indecisive person in most aspects of my life. I'm neither a cat person nor a dog person, as I will be a person of that pet that's in front of me at the moment (haven't been a cat person for some time now due to absence of cats in this area). I hate to have to choose dinner or music. I'm re-evaluating my ideas for our summer holiday constantly not being able to make a decision. So picking a personal style sounds like a rather difficult task for me.

In photography, you can have a personal in the area of shooting (genre, use of light, how you work with and direct other people, like for example models) and editing.

When I am having a lazy day - like today - I sometimes find some older photos and try to edit them in a different way, trying some stuff I saw in tutorials and experimenting to see, how much I am able to pull out of my photos.

Today, I found some photos from 2015, when I was just about to take a tentative step into portrait photography. Luckily, both Simone and Celina wanted to be models. Also, they both already had some experience in front of the camera, so less stress for me.

This is how I edited the photos the first time around in 2015:

They're pretty natural, warm and with happy bright colors. I adjusted the contrast a little and possibly did some minor skin retouch, but not much more. When I look at them today, I like some of them a lot, while I find others a little boring.

One year ago, I already did re-retouch session with some of Celina's photos, trying out a complete different method to get a more glamoury style:

On top of split toning and a more extreme contrast, these photos have also been treated more heavily in Photoshop with radical skin retouch (not so easy if you want to keep some of those freckles!), dodge & burn, and the adding of artificial lens flare.

Even though I wouldn't say that that's the style I like most on those pictures, it definitely gave me the taste to be more brave and daring. Imagine what pictures I could create if I plan the style of the shoot in anticipation for this editing!

Today, I kind of went for a thing in between in terms of manipulation of the original picture. I kept all the editing to Lightroom, but this time I dared to push the boundaries of the images further.

I think I haven't found my own style completely yet (apart from curly gingers, apparently), so I will continue to do what Chase Jarvis tells me to:

Make make make make make make make make make make make make

Also, Jonathan and I have very different styles of editing which we plan to use as a project. Can you tell which pictures usually are his and which are mine?

The awesome models:

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