A Simple Edit and Finding Your Photography "Style"

 Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Since I got into photography I keep hearing people say how important it is to find your photography "style." I've been thinking about it more and more lately.  What is my style? I saw a photographer recently describe herself as a "natural light lifestyle photographer." I thought, "oooh I like that!" I can use that explain my total lack of knowledge of studio lighting! I can just say "I'm a natural light photographer!" Perfect.  And I really do prefer to only shoot in natural light.... But do my pictures have a style?

The more I learn about editing, the more different styles my pictures end up being.  Sometimes I really like a soft vintage touch, and sometimes I think bold colors look best. But if I go back and forth, pictures from a session may look disjointed and not so uniform. Some of the pictures I took of my brother and his fiance on Sunday look awesome with a very slight vintage touch.  But if I do it to one photo, do I have to do it to every photo in the session?  More and more I'm leaning towards simple "clean" edits with just some lighting and sharpening fixes.  But sometimes I see professional pictures with soft pink glows or crazy bold colors that I love.  Do I need to pick one and stick to it to make my pictures show my style? If I do many different edits depending on the picture and shoot, will I lose a sense of "me" in my photos?  These are just a few things I've been starting to think about lately whenever I go to edit a photo.  Any thoughts on finding your photography style?

Here's one of the shots I took of my brother David and his fiance on their Mini Shoot on Sunday.

bd1

I kept the edit clean.  I brightened it, ran Pioneer Woman's Boost action at about 30% opacity (which I can't help but do on almost every photo!) and I ran Coffee Shops Baby Powder Room to sharpen her eyes and smooth her skin bit.

Here it is side by side with the Straight Out Of Camera version.

beccdave1

I think a nice simple edit worked for this photo, but I bet there are tons of fun actions that would've done great things for it too!

More pics from this session coming soon!


Touch Up Tuesday's at the Paper MamaSweet Shot Day

13 comments:

Ashley Sisk June 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM  

You ask a great question - I tend to edit based on the mood of the images but I know when I do work for others, I know I have to keep it simple.

Elena June 21, 2011 at 1:10 PM  

Great shot! Love your subtle edit. You really made it pop!

Anne U June 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM  

Beautiful shot and great pop of color. I have no idea what "style" I am, I'm just happy if the pic is in focus.

deb duty June 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM  

This is an absolutely stunning photo! I love everything about it - the pose, composition and the beautiful couple! Your edit is perfect too. I'm not a pro, but I try to stick with clean and bright edits. It's fun to sometimes play around though!

the little things... June 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM  

what a great question! the sooc shot and the edited shot are both fantabulous.. for me I agree with Anna, i'm just happy when they are in focus.. does anyone really have a "style" though. photography is always and every changing and thats the best part as your learn and grow your style might change. I think you should stick with what you are doing cause it works!

Susan June 21, 2011 at 4:54 PM  

Wow...what a picture and what an edit.

Your work is just AMAZING!!

Barbara June 21, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

I think your edit is perfect.

cookingmisadventures June 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM  

I'm a VERY amateur photographer and think your pics are beautiful. Question, though, what's an action and where do you get them? :) Thanks! Courtney

Sarah June 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM  

Wonderful edit. I love it. Looks great.

Flor June 22, 2011 at 7:53 PM  

I think you've just written all the questions I've been slowly asking myself these last couple of weeks. Ive been struggling because I cant figure out my "style"..and theres so much out there that I love.. its overwhelming :/
Loved your post.. found you via my 3 barbarians :)

Michelle June 24, 2011 at 8:56 PM  

Ugh. I really don't like that "style" question... cause it's so stinking hard to describe it... and how do you really want to "label" yourself. Will that limit you in the future, or is it ok to change your style if you decide you like something better 5 years from now, 1 year from now, stink, even one week from now??? I hear you on that -- I've also had that thought popping in my head occasionally. I think in the end, we do what we like, no matter if we fit in with the crowd or the popular "labels" at that time. Ok, so for the most part you do clean edits with awesome color pops, but occasionally, you toss in a vintage or pink tinted one -- does that mess up your style really? I don't think so!

I think just going though your photos and really taking a step back and looking at what you've saved and think about what you've enjoyed most shooting (with your camera!)... and then look at your edits... and for the moment, though a label on for size. And if you find a better label or discoverer something changed, change it! :)

hehe. Wow, sorry for that book. Maybe I'm writing this out for me as much for you. :)

Anyway, you know already how much I like these shots of your brother and his finacee - I'm so impressed with how you decided to go out and get better at portrait photography -- and look at yourself -- you've excelled!! :)

And I'd have to say, I'm a huge fan of simple, clean edits. Sure, I'll throw in a more creative one every once in a while, but not routinely. :)

Hope you have a great night!!

snapshots2011 June 25, 2011 at 4:58 AM  

Great question- I often let the photo itself dictate the edit-- some photos lend themself to bold and bright and others lend themself to soft and vintage. The person in the photo, the clothing, the environment and the "feel" for the photo should all play a part in editing!

ostranderblog June 28, 2011 at 12:49 AM  

Love it, and great thought. I seem to "style" myself based on the moment. I'm natural light too - only because I suck at flash. Though I only have the one on my camera so I'm in need of investment for a real flash.
Some days I'm not so great on pics, some I'm just AMAZED. I guess that's why I'm still a newby and the pressure to be pro isn't there. As long as I'm capturing moments in my life that bring HAPPINESS. I enjoyed your photos! I'm sure she will too.

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