How to copy a photographic style

Ask many questions.

Learn how to ask yourself as many questions as possible. The first step is to figure out why do you like a specific photo or a photographer’s work.

I’ve watched Pulp fiction when I was young. After we went out from theater, a friend asked me: Did you like it? I said Yes, wow it was great. But he continued: Why? Can you tell a few specific reasons? Well, no, I couldn’t. It took me many years to understand a bit the mad genius of Quentin Tarantino. This friend was trying to guide me in the right direction. This is what I am trying here, so this would be only the beginning of your journey.

Back to photography. Look at the “target” photo an think about all the “ingredients” used to create it. How many can you figure out?

Here are a few of the basic important ingredients.

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Framing
  • Background color. When you start, for example, you should not compare a photo with black background with a photo with blue background.
  • Saturation levels for specific colors
  • Aesthetics of the subject. For example let’s say you make a portrait photo, comparing your subject with a celebrity might not be a good idea, as your feelings might get mixed up.
  • Age of the subject.
  • Makeup. Preparing the subjects for a photo shoot is an important step in commercial photography.
  • Clothing.
  • Photo editing and retouching.

The more you study and think about it, the more ingredients you’ll find, and more subtle too. Each ingredient is made up of many smaller ingredients.

Here are a few tips on how to define your personal photographic style and discover new photography ingredients:

  • Read books on Cinematography.
  • Take a few traditional painting classes, you’ll learn a few tricks for sure.

That’s it for now, I hope this article will fuel your creativity. Good luck!!

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