Jul 17, 2014

Find Your Style

So you are looking for a photographer and you hit the internet to scope out the pros in your area. You find a handful whose work that you like and now you are trying choose just one – how are you going to narrow it down?

Of course, there are going to be several factors to consider when making your final decision such as investment cost vs. your budget, session availability and your desired final products.

But perhaps there is one factor that you haven’t spent as much time considering – the photographer’s STYLE. You may be drawn to certain pictures in your chosen photographer’s portfolio, but maybe you don’t know exactly why you are pulled in…

A photographer’s style is usually defined by a few different things, such as composition, light, lens choice and location. But another important stylistic element is image processing.

Huh? What do you mean by image processing, you ask? Well, if your photographer uses a digital camera, the images produced are often enhanced and stylized using image editing software to support your photographer’s style.

Some common processing styles are clean and classic, light and airy, rich and colorful, dark and matte, and most recently, more pastel and “film-y”. Still confused? Let me show you a few examples of each processing style, so you can see how the same image can invoke different emotions and moods based on how it has been processed.

Clean & Classic

These images will stand the test of time, with clean colors and classic tones. This processing style is the most popular, as you would expect.

napcp-processing-styles-clean-classic

Light & Airy

Typically, images that have a light, airy look have less depth to the shadows and generally evoke happiness and softness.

napcp-processing-styles-light-airy

Rich & Colorful

This bold style of processing is typically full of color and the tones are beautifully rich. Sometimes this can also be paired with a matte look for a slightly different take. This processing style can be used to emphasis emotion and mood.

napcp-processing-styles-rich-colorful

The more matte version:

napcp-processing-styles-matte

Pastel/Film Emulation

With the resurgence of film photography, many digital photographers are adding a slightly more pastel/film look to their images to emulate the look of film. Of course, it is never quite the same as actually capturing the image on film, but the look is gorgeous nonetheless. This style often evokes a soft, natural organic feeling in the imagery.

napcp-processing-styles-pastel-film

Now that you have had a chance to check out these various processing style, do you find yourself drawn to one or another? Think of how each style makes you feel and use this as a guide to find a photographer whose overall style (lighting, composition, lens choice, location, image processing, the whole shebang) is right for your family.

Follow your eyes and your heart and you will never go wrong!

A great way to start your search for a photographer and see examples of great style is to click here for our NAPCP Member Directory!

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About the Contributor: Mandy Blake is a natural light photographer based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and serving all of Southwestern Ontario.

 

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