I have shot photos since 2011 with a SLR and many, many years before with with a variety of cameras.
And believe me, I have gone through so many styles. It seems that every year, I am changing the way I edit, based on the latest trend, the latest preset or the latest blog that I follow.
I have wasted hundreds of dollars on preset bundles, trying to make my images look like the sample ones, only to end up in frustration.
Then I decided to stop.
I decided to make each session unique on it's own. I never repeat a preset for photo shoot that I've already used. I make each shoot unique it it's feel.
Here is a video of 10 minutes or less what I do to make a simple preset and to edit photos in a unique way:
Then, I was watching one of Jasmine Star's Marketing Techniques (I love her!). She said that having THREE words, only three words, that encapsulate your style and heart for all of your photos, drives your focus.
At first, I struggled with that idea. I was all over the place stylistically.
But as I shot through the years, I begin to notice a pattern in what photos that I enjoyed taken and what photos that I enjoyed editing.
This pattern usually fell into three categories: Playful, natural, beautiful. Therefore, as a brand and a business, I have decided to make those words my focus of my style.
First, let's talk about "playful." I don't know why I didn't think about this before. I love seeing people, especially couples laugh and have fun during a session. I have done all sorts of things to make people laugh and smile. I have cracked jokes. I have told stories. I have even asked, "So who would fart first?"
I even had one guy fart in front of his girlfriend to make her actually laugh. I loved that!
Here is another example of "playful." I told the guy to pick her up. I took 6 or 7 shots of this one to get the one that I wanted. I wanted to show genuine happiness and joy.
I am a natural light shooter. I know that I use flashes, especially for weddings, but I try to do most of my shots as natural looking as possible. I try using window light first, before I do my external flash.
For family portraits during a wedding, then I can bring out my softboxes, especially in a dingy church. But overall, I am looking for natural light. I even encouraging my brides to have their weddings at locations that promote having natural light. I also LOVE and strongly encourage them to have daytime weddings, that way it's a win-win all around.
I love seeing natural things unfold as well. I try not to pose people as much as possible. I want them to be comfortable. Especially when I am doing a senior guy shoot. I want him to feel comfortable. I also encourage photoshoots done in jeans. There is nothing worse than the girl wearing 7 inch heels walking around cobblestone with a mini skirt.
My third word is "Beautiful." In the simplicity of a natural and playful moment, there is beauty.
My editing style is very simple, fresh and fun as well. I am not a dramatic editor. I don't use really rustic textures through photoshop. I am not spending hours on your photos. I want them to be pretty much like they would look straight-out-of-camera. My editing is just enhancing the beauty and love that is already there.
I have learned through the years that if someone asks me to shoot things that don't match with my three words, I am hesitant to do it.
I want people that also want photos that match my three words. I still know how to bring all the studio stuff and do a newborn if I need to, but overall, I am trying to attract the type of client that would appreciate my style.
I would love for you to let know if any of these tips have helped you in your photography journey! I would also love to hear your THREE words that define your style!
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