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I've been taking photos for a while and I'm finding it really fun. I'm using a starter DSLR with some nice lenses (Canon 55mm f/1.8, Sigma 27mm f/2.8, etc) my uncle sent me. I'm still learning, so a lot of my photos take inspiration from ones I find on Instagram or other socials.

One thing I've noticed is that most photographers have a style, theme, or consistent subject type; some photographers do low-light portraits, some do street photography, some only take pictures of buildings, some only take pictures of empty intersections, some only take pictures of subjects with a yellow palette, etc.

However, I just take pictures of anything I like, regardless of if it matches with the look of my other photos. I'll link my Instagram so you can see, there isn't any consistency (you could say I do portraits only, but even they all feel different from each other).

Is this a problem? I know I'm supposed to be having fun with photography and it doesn't matter whether or not it looks nice to others, but I can't stop worrying about this.

Is there any way to develop a style or theme of interest? would using presets to edit help make my photos all look consistent?

my Instagram

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Not every successful photographer has a single "look" for all of the photos they publish. Others do.

It all depends on what you want to get out of it.

If you're looking for popularity on social media, then you probably should try to narrow your focus a little. Eventually.

If you're more interested in pleasing yourself and discovering where photography might one day take you, then experimenting with a wide variety of subjects, styles, and shooting situations is a good way to help you eventually discover your own voice instead of trying to choose who's style to imitate.

And don't forget to study the history of photography and some of its most celebrated practitioners, in addition to the most followed people on Instagram and 500px.


Two of my heroes:

Neil Leifer and Walter Iooss that are most well known for the work they did covering marquee sports events for Sports Illustrated also had periods in their careers when they covered a wide range of other subjects, many in styles very different from their sports reportage for SI.

Iooss ranged from popular music when he photographed James Brown, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix among others while working as a staff photographer for Atlantic Records between 1968 and 1972 to ad campaigns for Camel cigarettes in the 1980s. He did a large number of fashion shoots for the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue long after he left his staff position that he held at SI from 1972 to 1982 in order to shoot a two and one-half year project for Fujifilm.

At 16 years old Leifer sold his first photographs to Sports Illustrated when he captured several frames of the winning touchdown in overtime of the 1958 NFL Championship Game. He had his first SI cover at age 19. As a young junior staff photographer at SI, he staged one-pop flashes in the rafters so he could use color slide film that was slower than the "fast" but grainy B&W film that others were using and took a photo of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1965 that many consider the "greatest sports photograph of all time." (That's his boss we can see between Ali's legs helplessly looking at The Champ's backside.) After he left SI in 1978 he went to work at Time magazine where he had over 40 covers. They included President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush, Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, National Rifle Association President Joe Foss, the Statue of Liberty's 100th birthday celebration, actors Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, Pope John Paul II's visit to America, Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, The Space Shuttle Columbia, President Jimmy Carter, The Animals of Africa, Olympian Carl Lewis, and actor Paul Newman.

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No problem with that. The people who repeat the same shot over and over are the ones with a problem (especially if they borrowed their "style" from someone else). In photography like in clothing, fashions come and go. If you are locked in a style and it goes out of fashion, you are in bad shape.

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(Content inspired by Sean Tucker's youtube videos)

It's not a problem at all if you don't have a style in your photography. Having said that, even if you want to develop one, it'll take time. So, stuck around with these random shots. You will eventually develop more interest in a single type of shot. You'll prefer it over other forms, that'll be your style.

Having consistency in your shots is preferable if you are looking to get hired for your photography. A wedding photographer posting wedding images from his work on social media will be preferred more than the one who is posting landscape/street/his pets shots randomly. The latter can be better, more experienced than the former but his portfolio doesn't define that.

So maybe you can take all kinds of photos but you can consider displaying the one style which you find yourself more close to or the style which you want to get hired for.

Many great photographers/painters/ other artists have such consistency in their work that people can look at the art-form and guess the artist behind it.

If you are interested in more description, I highly recommend you to watch all the below videos as they cover almost each aspect of your question:

Creating your own style: https://youtu.be/xnFuvnCJduM https://youtu.be/BitAhI6LNrs

Importance of consistency: https://youtu.be/EChE5OJIh_M

Since you are learning, I would recommend you to check out his video on manual mode if you are not handy with it.

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    In general, the answer should be your answer here. Pointing to someone else's answer on a different site is discouraged, whether that answer is a video or an article or something else. If you want to summarize the advice in a way that answers this question, and then point to the videos for more depth, that would be fine. – mattdm Sep 30 '19 at 15:44
  • @mattdm I have updated my answer with insights to the videos I suggested. I don't remember much from the videos but I've tried to add gist of whatever that was in my mind regarding the subject. Since its completely inspired by Sean's channel, I had to give credit. I'm also keeping the links as I still believe these 3 videos are the perfect reference to answer everything that's asked in the question. – Vijendra Parashar Sep 30 '19 at 17:36
  • @scottbb please check the updated answer – Vijendra Parashar Sep 30 '19 at 17:37
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    @VijendraParashar thank you for editing your answer. Definitely a good answer now. :) – scottbb Sep 30 '19 at 17:41

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