I believe that there are a lot of different ways to find our voice in wedding photography. Like every art, each and every one of us has his/her own point of view.
For many photographers who are at the beginning of their journey, could be challenging to decide what current to follow in this sea of options: Will it be traditional wedding photography, Documentary wedding photography, Fine art, alternative… ?
The list goes on and on.
How can we decide in which direction to move?
That is the biggest question many wedding photographers face, and it's vitality is understandable.
There is no perfect formula to finding your own artistic identity and signature style. And in all visual arts, artists are faced with the same problem. To help you, I would like to share my thoughts, based on experience in finding and polishing my photography style.
This journey isn’t over for me, and I continue to work on my approach and vision, trying to take the results of my work to a higher level every day.
The most important sign that you are on the right path is consistency in your photographs. When it comes to a wedding gallery – it should be a consistent collection of images, each of which is bearing your invisible signature underneath.
To be more precise, you should have exactly the same approach for all the photographs you take: the way you work with natural light, the colors in your images, the emotions you capture, the angles, the lenses you use, the style you work in, the filters you use to retouch your photos..etc It is all about creating a set of rules for yourself and allow them to guide you into a consistent gallery of images. And somewhere along this way the style will be born.
Harmony in all your images is key. To boost this process, the first thing you should do is to analyze what you like and what you are attracted to both in wedding photography and photography in general.
I would recommend you to make a list of all visual elements you can think of and to describe each of them for yourself.
Starting from how you work with natural light: Do you photograph with a harsh direct light and strike for the shadows in your images or do you prefer a backlight combined with wide exposure for the softness it brings into photographs?
Choose one and promise to yourself to use the same lighting techniques, throughout the whole wedding day, no matter what you photograph. It might be a picture of the rings, wedding invitations, family portraits or a portrait of the bride and groom. Make this important choice for all visual elements and follow it strictly.
It is very pleasing to come up with a gallery of images that correspond and exist together in harmony!
Writing things down and giving them a name can do miracles as it will be so much clearer for you to understand in which direction you should move.
The moment you come up with your own formula – you have already taken the first and biggest step in creating your own style. From there you can start polishing it, giving it a better shape and a more sophisticated finish. It will take time; I do believe this process of polishing should never even end as it represents a healthy, artistic mind that strives for the better and wishes to improve all the time. But you will certainly feel more confident about your artistic expression because it will have its core – a set of your own standards to follow.
Awakening your artistry is not an easy task, but it is a kind of work that I find very pleasant. Analysing and understanding your own art is essential – the way you see the light coming through the window, how you perceive things happening around you, the colors and shapes that surround you, the moments you consider “worthy” to be captured and the story you want to tell through your photographs_ The ability to answer these questions and to create a set of rules for yourself is a big step towards consistency in your photographs and your personal style.