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How to Develop your Personal Style Ins and Outs of Impressionist Photography

find your own unique voice
Magical mushrooms

All great artists, regardless of the medium that they have chosen, are known and recognised by their own particular style of doing things. It is this personal style that makes Ansel Adams recognisable as "an AnselAdams" and Henri Cartier-Bresson as "an Henri Cartier-Bresson".

I believe everyone's personal style emerges naturally. When learning how to photograph we can be shown certain techniques, but our own natural style of making photographs tends to emerge. In the early stages of your development as a photographer, you may naturally feel insecure about your personal style. You can feel pressured to create your images in a certain way. It may take many years to learn how to stop worrying about what someone else thinks of your images, and gain a solid level of confidence about your own style.

A style is what naturally evolves from doing the work. So, the best way to develop your own unique style is to do a lot of photography. Practise and immerse yourself in the things that fascinate you; this will help in finding yourself and also in becoming more comfortable in expressing your inner voice. It is important to be constantly developing and growing as an artist. There is always more to learn, and you should constantly strive to improve observational skills, lighting techniques, and gain more knowledge of visual language.

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."-- Aristotle

Attend workshops and read both art and photography books, but at the same time, do not fall into the trap of becoming the clone of another photographer. When you attempt to copy another's style you will often fail to create powerful images because you simply cannot duplicate the journey from concept to execution. You can choose the same subjects, usethe same gear, and even design similar images, but you will fall short because there was no original idea or creativity behind the image.

However, it may be helpful to try emulating the style of other artists' work that you love. It could be the key to finding your own voice. Pick up new ideas and techniques from others and try them out. Some you will feel comfortable with and easy to adopt, so incorporate them into your own way of creating photographs. Other techniques will feel unnatural to you, and if they don't hold your interest, let those go. Your personal style is based on inspiration, understanding of the subject matter, and personal interpretations and perceptions. It is like constantly asking yourself, "How can I create the photography that I like? How can I do the work that fulfills my feelings as an artist?"

Remember, it takes time to develop and to come to the realisation about what it is that draws you to a particular way of doing things. Relax and enjoy your photography.

Working on personal style really comes down to developing faith in yourself and your artistic ability. This is a process that always evolves andalways develops. It is about accepting who you are as a unique individual rather than trying to be what others want you to be. Follow your heart. Do photography in any way you like, in any way that pleases you. Allow your individuality to shine through, and give your images a signature look that is distinctively yours. By going through this process, your photography will continue to improve and your personal style will automatically evolve.

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