When you start with food photography, it’s not easy to understand what your style can be about. At the beginning of your journey, the best is to experiment with different types of images. Bright, dark, moody, rustic or modern. 

The more you experiment, the sooner you will understand your own voice and how to incorporate it in your images. 

Personal photography style comes from within us. You communicate your life experiences, passions,  feelings, hobbies or dreams via your photography style. 

If you want to get published, work with magazines, cookbooks or simply be recognized when someone looks at your images, you need to develop a photography style, that is unique to you, to your personality.

Developing your style can take years, and it’s not easy. What you consider your style today, can be different in the future. It evolves with you, your personality, what you experience in life…

Today, I will try to help you understand what could be your own personal photography style. 

Take time to go through these questions, think about them well, let your heart answer these questions honestly. But don’t push too much, don’t stress if you can’t find some answers. Take your monthly workbook and pen, make yourself cozy and dive deeply into your personality and your past.

  • How would you characterize yourself? What kind of person are you?
  • How do you feel about your current images? Do they express your personality? Yourself? Are they the ones that express your personal style? Or do you feel they miss something?
  • What are your personal values? Is it eating healthy, coziness, being happy, gathering, anything else? What are your strengths?
  • What type of food do you remember can describe your traditions or family? Or what are the stories from your family (or the kitchen) you want to remember most? Do you incorporate these stories in your images now?
  • What type of environment can describe best your personality? (Are you the one who loves nature, or do you prefer city life?)
  • What was unique for you when you were a child? What do you remember from your childhood? What are your happy memories? Is it something important for you (or something you love) that you want to incorporate into your style?
  • How do you want other people to see you? What kind of emotions do you want to evoke in other people?
  • What personality do you have? Are you organized, minimalist, individualist, or you love social contact, are you a bit messy and unorganized?
  • What colors do you love? And what feelings do they evoke to you?
  • Having all your answers now, how would you love to see your future photography style? When you close your eyes, what style or type of images do you see? How can you describe the mood, feelings it evokes? Try to write down everything you can imagine.
  • An example of my personal food photography style

    It’s moody, vintage, dark, I usually use a lot of props, images are quite messy most of the time, I love adding a human element and flowers/plants very often and I use table angles and chairs to help me tell a story. 

    And there is a reason behind all my style decision. 

    My style reflects my own personality and also my current life situation:

    I love shadowns because they make the image more dynamic, it adds the depth and moodiness in my images. And this is how I feel about myself. I am a dynamic person, I moved abroad, I am constantly involved in lots of projects, challenging jobs, etc… But I am a moody person too. I am super excited one moment, but a minute later something else can make me cry. I try to add the feeling of coziness in my images too, I love the warmth feeling it evokes, my current mood (since lockdown) is super cozy during the whole day, wrapping myself in a bathrobe, taking tea, or coffee in the morning… And you feel this also from many of my images.

    My images are full of props, because I have so many thoughts in my head and I constantly do too many things. I an unorganized and messy. And you can see this in my images too. Seeds, nuts, flour, other ingredients… I have tried a minimalistic styling (like Two Loves Studio), but I always felt something was missing in my shots…)

    I love creating a grandma look in my images, because I moved abroad and I couldn’t see my grandma so often. Unfortunately, my grandmother died unexpectedly last Christmas, and due to this, I evolved into vintage, dark and moody images. Before that, my images were bright. Your style will be evolving and changing with what you experience in your life. My dark and vintage style is what makes me remember her, and every time I went to see her.

    I’ve been crazy about flowers since I was a kid. I always brought home wild flowers from fields, I was running every day. I grown up on a countryside, in the nature of forests, fields, and lots of fresh air. As I live in the town now, my current mission is to transform our home into a jungle. I simply love flowers and plants, nature, green, and I don’t feel myself until I don’t add some kind of plants or flowers into my images.

    Human element is very important to me too for one reason. Since I moved to another country, I’ve got separated from my family and friends. Missing them is a reason why I love adding a human element too.

    This is my style that strongly defines me in 2020. I have evolved as a person and I feel I am ready to move towards something new. My personality has changed in the last period, and I am more open to experiment and explore brighter images, colors, but still keeping my values and bringing my past experiences into a new style. And I am curious what this combination will bring me in 2021 and I am also very excited to see how you and your photography will evolve as well. 

    Now, that you have understood yourself better, you know the reasons for the style decisions, click next to the following lesson and try to put together a mood board for this year. This mood board will help you define the visual photography goals for this year.

    Content author of this lesson: Lucia Marecak, inspired by Christina Greve

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