5 Steps to Find Your Photography Style & Develop a Visual Language | Amelie Satzger | Skillshare

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5 Steps to Find Your Photography Style & Develop a Visual Language

teacher avatar Amelie Satzger, Photo Artist / Art Director

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Let's Go!


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Types of Photography


    • 4.

      About Style


    • 5.

      Advantages of Style


    • 6.

      Step 1: Creating a Mood Board


    • 7.

      Step 1: Describing the mood board


    • 8.

      Step 2: One Week Challenge


    • 9.

      Step 2: Evaluation of the Challenge


    • 10.

      Step 3: Color Theory


    • 11.

      Step 3: Pick your Color Palette


    • 12.

      Step 4: Concepts


    • 13.

      Step 4: Shooting


    • 14.

      Step 5: Learn New Techniques


    • 15.

      Step 5: Techniques


    • 16.



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About This Class

Find your own photography style in just 5 easy steps!

Do you struggle to find your own photography style

In this one and a half hour class you will join me to find your own visual language! Not only will we create a mood board, challenge ourselves and find our color palette, in the end we will have 3 brand new images in our visionary style.

You will follow me behind the scenes and I’ll show you step by step how I usually develop my style. You’ll learn how to find words to describe your style and how this helps you to grow into new style areas nobody has ever been before!

In the lessons with many examples you will:

Learn what style is and why it is important

Get to know different directions in photography and how they make money

Create a mood board to filter your preferences in photography

Learn how to describe your style vision 

Challenge yourself in a one weeks photo sprint

Learn how to find your individual color palette for more continuity in your style

Learn how to find ideas and shoot them

Learn three different techniques to grow your expertise

Whether you’re a beginner, enthusiast or professional, who wants to explore their new photography style, this class is a great place to start! You don’t need any extra equipment beside your camera/phone and the lessons are designed for any skill level. Also you’ll get a full workbook that’ll guide you alongside the lessons with all the necessary tasks. 

So let’s get started! Can’t wait to see what you create!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Amelie Satzger

Photo Artist / Art Director


Hi, my name is Amelie.
I am a photo artist and art director from Munich.

My pictures are known for their colorful, surrealistic touch. Inspired by books, lyrics and words in total, I am able to abstract and visualize them into new artworks.

My work was already shown at numerous exhibitions and art fairs such as the "Fotofever" in Paris, the „United Photo Industries Gallery“ in New York and the „Galerie Courcelles Art Contemporain“ in Paris. Besides that I give workshops and talks at conferences and events and love to share my passion and knowledge with you guys.


You can also find my work on Instagram, TikTok, as well as free ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Let's Go!: Did you ever look at a photo and automatically knew without a doubt from who it was? Or do you often look at photos from great photographers and wonder how they found their very own visual language? Don't worry, everybody who tried to succeed in something creative probably already felt that way once and often feels intimidating as your style has to come from deep within you but it doesn't mean that you can't take steps to develop it. Hello, my name is Ameliesatzger, I'm a photographer and art director and together we're going to learn how to find your individual style in photography. Over the last seven years of my photography journey, I've changed my style pretty significantly, but I've always used the same five steps to figure out how my new style is going to look like. Working with big clients such as Adobe and Apple, I know how important it is nowadays to have your very own visual signature. In this class, I will help you to develop your style with the same formula I used all the years along. In this class, I will cover what different directions of photography exist and how they usually make money. What style is and why it is important to have one, and a full five-step action plan of finding your visual voice including creating a mood board and articulating it. Challenging yourself for a whole week. Finding your own color palette. Developing and finding new photo ideas in your new style, and learning new techniques. Finding your style is a very intimate and special moment in your photography journey and I'm excited to guide you with easy but effective class that will give you the right push towards your new direction. If you're a beginner photographer and want to find your style, or if you're already a professional, but feel bored about your current photos, this class has something new for everyone, so I hope to see you inside. 2. Introduction : Welcome to my photography style class. Today we are going to learn how to find your own individual style in photography. By the end of this class, you will know exactly how to categorize your style and you will have three new photos in that style for your portfolio. Finding your own style in photography can be really hard, especially a style is such a wide open term. Most people struggle to even start and get derailed by copying other art works. But with a little guidance, finding your own visual language is a wonderful journey that comes really naturally. In this class, I will give you a very clear step-by-step guide of how I found my style and how you can develop yours as well. In this class, we will cover what types of photographers are out there and how they usually earn their money, what style actually is and why you need your own style, why challenging yourself and creating bad images is actually good, how you can find your personal color scheme and why you should have one, how to find and visualize concepts, how learning new techniques can bring you closer to your visionary self, and in total, a clear five-step action plan that will guide you to find your own visual language. For this class, you need any kind of camera, phone is also good, a computer, of course, fun to create, and any kind of post editing software like Photoshop and Lightroom would be good, but it's not necessary. By the end of this class, you will know exactly what your style in photography is, how to describe your style in words, how to position yourself as a photographer, and you will have three new photos for your portfolio. If you want to know a secret, I will use this class to develop my own style further, 'cause a style is not something static, it's always changing. Whether you are a newbie or professional photographer, it's always good to try out new things and see where your creativity will lead you. Let's get your creative juices flow and jump right into this class. 3. Types of Photography: The first question you should ask yourself is, what type of photographer am I? I know, especially in the beginning of photography, this is a very difficult question and especially if you are in-between areas. You may feel lost and insecure. Just to encourage anyone right at the beginning, there's a place and time for any type of photography. You just have to find it. For example, when I was studying photography, we actually had four different photography courses we could choose from: fashion, documentary, architecture, and product photography. But my photos, as they are right now, as well, didn't quite fit into any of these genres. I didn't do fashion as my images didn't have a big focus on clothes. I didn't do documentary as I was staging my images, and I surely didn't shoot building or products in any way of way. One day I went to my fashion photography teacher, the style I had most related to, shot my images and asked him if he knew what kind of direction in photography this was. He couldn't tell me either and that left me pretty unsettled. Now, I know I'm somewhere in between art and commercial photography and I really love it. Why did I tell you this story because I want to show you that you don't have to fit in a common direction to be successful. But I think it's still have to give you a quick overview of what type of photographers are out there and how they usually earn their money, even though it's really broad to say. The first one are fashion photographers. As a fashion photographer, you usually focus on the clothes and an image. You have a lot of creative freedom and the images are really creative like with creative concepts and usually also staged. You earn money while shooting for magazines, commercials for fashion brands, and of course, buyouts. If you don't know what buyouts are, buyouts basically means that you sell the images you already shot to magazines or to the fashion brands you actually shoot for, because in a contract usually it has like a time limit so they can use it for one year, but if they want to use it further off than a year, they have to pay you buyouts. The second type of photographer are portrait or beauty photographer. As the name already says, they focus on beauty, usually even beauty products. It's often in the studio, often also really staged, and usually you only see parts up somebody like fingers or the face, really close out. You can earn money while shooting for magazines, commercials for beauty brands, and buyouts for your images, of course as well. The third type of photographer is documentary photographer. What that means is basically that you shoot your images in a documentary style, which basically means it's not staged and you are only an observer. This can have a lot of different directions. For example, travel photography, wedding photography, even though at weddings, usually you are an observer and you document the wedding, but sometimes they are also re-staged measures, but also war photographer for example, sports photographer. There are a lot of different ways how you can become a documentary photographer and you usually earn money while shooting for documentary magazines, news channels, and of course also buyouts and if the images have some time worthy thing. The fourth type of photographer is advertising photographer. As an advertising photographer, obviously you should advertise in campaigns for brands. Usually it's with people and it's with a really stage concept. You have not as much creative freedom as usually the concept was created by an art director for this brand, but you earn a lot of money through shooting these campaigns and buyouts as well. The fifth one is architectural photographer. As an architectural photographer, you shoot buildings inside and out. For example, for hotels, is a really technical style of photography as usually, you have to have skills with different lenses as the lines have to be straight and you have to have skills about long exposure as you usually don't want to have any people in the shot. They are usually people and big buildings or in the city center or something. Usually, they do it with flog exposure and you should know how to do that, but you can earn money while shooting for websites like for example, Airbnb is the first one popping in my heart, magazines but also construction companies or architecture companies who need photos from the buildings they built. The sixth type of photographer is product photographer. You shoot products like phones, jewelry, food, any kind of products. It's quite creative as you can stage the products often even a little bit more freely and you need already good on ascending of light, even though that actually applies to any of the types of photography. But I think with this one, it's especially necessary as a lot of products actually have class. If it's a phone, for example, there's some reflection in the phone and you have to have a knowledge of how to place the light sources so it looks really nice and professional. You also earn money with magazines, campaigns, for example for big restaurant chains like McDonald's or whatever. Also, maybe even cookbooks and other different books, websites, who want to have like sell products and you have to shoot products and of course, also buyout. There's a lot of different directions you can go with product photography. The seventh and last type of photographer is art photographer. As an art photographer, you usually reflect more so you solve than any brand or product in your images. It is usually more about feelings on a concept of the photo and the camera is only a tool to visualize it. Often art photographers have a specific technique of how they achieve the results like special post-production editing, low exposure, light settings, etc, and image has no intention to be realistic at the end of the process. It's rather reflecting some thought of emotion or message. That's how you actually define art photography. As an art photographer, you can make money from selling your prints in galleries and or yourself. You will also usually can shoot for campaigns for other brands who want specifically your style and want to have you as a representative for the brand. Of course, you can also get like scholarships and you can gain money from buyouts. If anybody wants to use your image in a magazine or something, you get money from buyouts. This was a quick overview of what different types of photography exist. As I've said, you don't have to just stick with one, but just knowing the different types just really have some categorize yourself more and more over time. I also summarized them in our workbook on page 2 so you can have a really good overview of the different types and what difference them. 4. About Style: Now let's have a quick insight of what style actually is. In any of these categories, every photographer can have a different style. Style is a really broad expression. Let's have a closer look at what makes a style. Style is nothing as an exhibition of re-occurring characteristics. These different characteristics or aspects are but are not limited to the photographer type that you are, the subject that you choose, which is obviously really close to the photographer type obviously, the camera and lens you use for certain subjects. For example, there are common lenses for different types of photography, but what if you break it? If you shoot with an architecture lens as a fashion photographer, the way you work with light, if you rather choose to shoot in the morning time or in the evening time, if you rather have studio lights or direct sunlight, cloudy light, so this actually makes a style really unique as well. The composition you choose for your image. There are different composition rules. If you are more interested about that, you can also look it up in my other class where I talked a lot more in detail about that. The color scheme that you use for your image. We are going to discuss this really close in Chapter 3 of this class. Last but not least, the post-editing programs you use, like the programs, but also the tools in the programs you use for achieving a certain look. You can shoot an amazing image that has a really specific look. But, if this is the only image you ever created that way, it will not be your style. A style is a reoccurring way of how your images look. You have to make a decision at each of these aspects, and that's why the image in the end, has your style, your individual touch. But it's important to know that style changes over time as well. You don't have to and maybe you also shouldn't stick to the same style forever. With new changes in your personal or professional life such as trying out new environments, techniques, subjects, etc, there always comes new challenges, and challenges makes you grow. If you find your photography style, don't expect it to stick around forever. In fact, if you look at my images at the beginning of my photography, you can find really drastic changes in my style. At the beginning, I tried a lot with flung exposure photography. After that, I shot a lot outside while traveling to stunning locations, and the colors were all quite natural beside of one pop of color, which was mostly my outfit and that was it. But after four years, I got really bored of my style, and I missed a deeper concept in most of my photos. Also when I started photography, I was in a really different state of mind. I've just gone through a really extreme breakup from my best friend at that time, which was actually also the reason I started with photography in the first place, by the way. I was processing the feeling of loss and loneliness in my images. But after four years, I luckily didn't quite feel it anymore and I felt much more inspired by surreal photography and uplifting popping colors. I changed my style and still feel really comfortable with it. What I want to say is, don't force a style to stick forever. Do what you feel most passionate about, and sometimes feeling a bit uncomfortable at the beginning really pays off in the long run as this only means you're trying new things you haven't perfected yet. Not every change has to be as drastic as the change I did on my style. For example, during lockdown, I was forced to shoot a lot of my images inside as we were to not allowed to go outside for not really necessary tasks. All of my recent photos were inside images. But right now as the lockdown is coming to an end, finally, I want to start shooting outside more and I want my images to still look surreal while having a different surrounding than just my colorful background. I'll take this class as a challenge for myself, and I will work on my style together with you step-by-step while showing you how I usually approach it. 5. Advantages of Style: If you already chose this class to find your photography style, you probably already guess why it's important to have one but let's narrow it down to make clear what the advantages are if you develop your individual style. First of all, probably the most obvious one is that you will be recognized for your style. This also comes with being more memorizable, and therefore people may think of you when they are looking for somebody for a specific job so having a style and have you to get more jobs. But also having your individual style makes you more valuable. There is probably nobody who can create your style exactly the way you do it, and if a client wants exactly yourself for their product or campaign, it will increase in value, and therefore you can ask for more money. Also, let's say even if somebody copies your style it will also be more valuable as you are the first creator and people and clients usually know that. Another thing that comes with having your style is that you are able to reproduce it. If a client asks you to shoot images for their cause they know what to expect from you. It's a safe place for them as well as for you as you don't have to go forth and back to figure out what a client actually expects from you. Having a style basically saves you time which is really helpful 6. Step 1: Creating a Mood Board: As the first step of finding your individual style, you need to have a vision of why you want to hunt. To do so, we will create a mood board with images that speak most to you and find words to describe the aspect, to love about the images you chose. At the end of Step 1, you will have a clearer understanding of what you are aiming for in your photography style and you will be able to describe it in simple sentences for your own understanding, but also for the understanding of others. First of all, let's create a collection of images you love. To do so you have different options, like going in a magazine store and look through all the magazines and you can also find images on social media of course, or in museums or art galleries. But whatever medium you choose, I would highly recommend you to create a mood board with images that speak most to you. My favorite way to find inspirational images for my mood board is Pinterest. You can find really great photos really easily and if you like one similar images will be suggested to you underneath. To create our mood board really easily now I put together a template for you that you can find in our class resources on the side of this class. You can either print it out, cut out images you like for magazines and tape them to the mood board, or you can do it digitally like I will. Let's switch to my computer and search for some inspirational images to use for my mood board. Now I'm here on my computer and to find images you like on Pinterest, you can either look for keywords like street photography, surreal photography, or you already know photographers or painters you like. You can search for that and find similar images that are suggested to you. Now for example, as a first step, I just type in Rene Magritte, which is a French painter I really admire and he does really cool surreal paintings. Down I'm just looking through all the images and if I like something really much, I can just click on it and you can see similar images are suggested and underneath the one image. If I like any of the images, I can just save them and create a new Pinboard. For example, this one I can just create a new pinboard, create board and I can say mood board skillshare, and then I can just save it. Basically what I'm going to do now is I'm going to look through a lot of different images, just pin whatever I really like. After that, I will look through all the pins in the board and I will select a couple ones for my mood board, like the ones I prefer the most. I'm just doing it right now and I'm just showing you how I usually create my mood board. Now I'm searching for surreal photography. I couldn't find any other images. I really like this specific area. You can see right here it's getting more interesting again for me, especially as my intention is to shoot more outside, so I obviously want to find some images which have some surrounding outside. Maybe this one, it's really nice. I'm going to save this one to my mood board here. Another designer I really admire is Storm Thorgerson, and I'm just going to type in his name here and search for him and maybe there are some more coming up which inspires me and as well. What I'm going to do as a next step is I'm going to choose six images I liked the best from all of them and I will create my mood board. As I mentioned before, you can download the template it's an in-designed template. If you open it, you have this mood board template and you can use it for your own mood board if you like. These five squares on here are actually for the color palette we're going to create in Step 4 of this class and so you can just leave them like they are right now. But you can see we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 images. I'm just looking through all of the images I collected and I think the first one I definitely want to have in a mood board is this one as it is outside. It's really surreal and I actually also really loved the colors in the image. I'm going to save the image, and I'm going to save it on my desktop and say, mood board, click Number 1. Then, I really loved this image as it has a really surreal aspect, but also like walls like these usually only exist outside, so I'm going to save it as well to my mood board as Number 2. As you may be already seen in my pins there are some different categories. For example, there's a category weather so you can see there is like surreal images with weather like the cloud and the rain here or the sky where it's breaking through the sky. But they're also surreal images with becoming one with nature like here which is really awesome. They're images which play with dimensions of people and their surroundings. For example, here you can see in this image It's a really small house in relation to the person at the image and here you can see it's a really huge person in relation to the houses. There are couple of different categories where I think I will only pick one and first time here you can see it's also with dimensions. I think this one because it is straight. That's why I think it fits the best to my visionary style, which I'm aiming for so let's save this as the third one. Then I honestly love this image. I think I'm going to save it as well. Let's save this one as the fourth one. Then, I can only choose two more. I will definitely take one of the becoming one with nature ones. Yes, I think I will choose this one as you can also see like the landscape and that's actually what I'm also aiming for a little bit to have some landscape in my images, later on, and to make them look a little bit surreal. The last one, I think I will choose this one because it still has a simplicity. I want to have really simple images, but still really meaningful and surreal images, so this will be my sixth one. Then I just going to import them into my mood board. 7. Step 1: Describing the mood board: Now that we have our mood board, we're going to work with it. To go off the mood board is not to copy any of the amazing images we just found but to make ourselves aware of what we actually like about them. As the next task, I would like you to select three of your favorite images from the mood board and describe in 2 to 3 simple sentences why you like them. To do so, you can just use page 5 of our workbook, which I included in the resources of this class as well. In my mood board, these three images are my personal favorites. The first image, I really like because of the movement, because of the really one set of color like this pinkish tone color, and also because it has this twist, it's a real twist, which obviously all of my images have, but I think this one, especially is really interesting. I'm writing a couple of sentences down for this one. The second image I'm going to describe is this one. I think I really like it because of the landscape, that there's a really clean landscape, that the grass is really at one height, so it looks really clean like almost a soccer field, and of course, that it's just so surreal that they grow out of the grass like carrots or something dense. What I really love and I want to do it in my own images, as well is that there are little funny details like the birds sitting on the shoe of the one person. I think that's mainly what I really love about this image and again, I think I started at the beginning to set off colors, so it's all one set of colors, all is greenish blue blue tones. Then you can see there's these yellow parts, which is a contrary color of blue, but it fits so well. It has a really nice set of colors. The third image is this one and I really love the concept, as well like having squares. I think in this image, especially, I really love the repetitive part. There's a lot of people in the same suit. It has some structure, some repetitive structure. I really love the concept once again and I think that's the main focus in my photography so that there are some really cool surreal concept. I really actually like that the person is looking away and you can't actually see a face, which makes it more anonymous and more surreal, I guess. That are the things I really love about this image. I wrote for image 1, I liked the image because it shows some movement, which reflects a motion, as well of the person. I also liked the color setting as it's mostly one set of color, pink and I like this surreal shape of it's body in the wall. For image 2, I wrote down I love the concept of the image. It has something funny, which I really like. The bodies remind me of carrots growing out of the grass. I love the light in the image, it looks mystical, flat, and surreal and I love the little details such as the bird sitting on a shoe of the one person. For image 3, I wrote down I love the repetitive structure of the image. The person looking through the square hole is repeating over and over. I also love that the person is anonymous as he looks away and you can't see his face, and I love the concept of cutting through the sky and looking through. Also, let's find some adjectives that describe the images from our mood boards. On page 6 of your workbook, you can already see that I've already collected some adjectives for your inspiration. If any of them apply to your images, just cross them and you can also add your own images here at the bottom to describe yourself. Be as precise as possible without describing single images. In my case, I would say that the images in my mood board are artificial, so I would cross that. I would say that they are whimsical as well, so I would cross that as well. Let's put it up. Obviously, I would also add surreal down here because I didn't add it before, so I would say surreal and make a cross here. I would also say that all of the images on my mood boards are really conceptual, obviously, as I'm a conceptual photographer, so I would add conceptual down here, as well and make a cross. Also, what may be goes hand in hand with conceptual, but it's a little bit more specific is, I think all of the images tell a story. For each of them, I can actually imagine what happened before and what will happen afterwards. For example, here, you can see that this girl actually had a face and now, she's only invisible. As the fifth adjective, I would say storytelling. I think that is also really important. I have artificial, whimsical, surreal, conceptual, storytelling as adjectives for these images. Lastly, we adapt the overview of our taste to our own style goal. Was there anything you did like about the photos? How would you like your style to be different from them and is there something you would like to add or leave? The adjectives for your own style can be really similar to that adjective you found for the images in your mood board. But please, take a couple of minutes to just reflect your own vision. I, for example, would also describe my style as conceptual, surreal, storytelling, often now, of course, also really whimsical. But I think one thing that is really missing here is that I'm much more colorful. I would like to keep really colorful tones in my images still, even if I'm shooting outside and I would want to have more scenery thing. I think this one image goes in the right direction, but I imagined even bigger sceneries or more surreal things. That are the things that I didn't find in my mood boards and that I would like to include. Adjectives for my own style would be colorful, really important. Artificial, yes, probably as well, but maybe not the most important one. I would, of course, say whimsical. I would also say surreal, conceptual, storytelling. I think the colorful was the one part, which was actually missing in my mood board and which I'm now including as an adjective. I don't really know if it's necessary to describe everything in your adjective. For example, if I want to include more landscape, it's something I have in the back of my mind, but I won't necessarily need to write it down here. If you may have something similar, you can do it the same way. I'm just writing down surreal, conceptual, and storytelling. Great. Now we have the vision of how we want our style to be even better. We have adjectives that describe our style, but still, leave us all flexibility in a while to fit with our own concepts and ideas. These adjectives will be our anchor points to finding creative ideas and therefore, our photography style. 8. Step 2: One Week Challenge: In the second step of our journey to find our photography style, we'll challenge ourselves to shoot photos for at least 30 minutes for a whole week. I did it over and over again, and every time I did this, I walked out with a new style. I guarantee you that this will help you to find your own photography style as well. Basically, I go out with my camera in my hand for seven days straight and take photos of anything that I might find interesting for now or for images in the future. If you are a street photographer, you can already try to catch some good shots on the street. If you're an architectural photographer, go have some cool buildings, and if you are an art or people photographer like I am, try to take photos of potential occasions for images in the future and try to think of cool concepts you might want to shoot. It doesn't have to be long, but try to walk different routes every day to keep finding new surroundings. I will probably mostly go out and shoot some images in my lunch break, but I will also try to mix up the time of day so I can see how the light is changing during the day and what light fits best to my images. Hey, guys. Today is day 1 of my one week photo challenge. I'm here in my neighborhood and I'm just walking around looking for some locations, I maybe haven't seen before and I want to shoot new images in, and I'm just going to show you how I'm approaching the source. Let's go. For example, this could be really interesting as well as you can actually go inside the bush, but you can actually also shoot from the side and you can't really see there's a gap inside the bush. You can actually do maybe a really cool conceptual image here. I'm also going to take some photos here and I'm going to reuse this location maybe later on. What I also really like are these really around constructions here in this area, it's from a company and I think it should be art, it looks really cool. It really fits to my surrealistic style, so I probably will shoot another photo with these one here. I just have to see like which prospective fits best. If there's a perspective where you can actually see the building in their background, so let's shoot some images and see if a perspective really fits to my style. Hi, guys. This is day 3 of my one week photo challenge and I'm here in my neighborhood right now, so I'm shooting a couple of new photos. I'm searching for some other locations, and let's see what I will find. I already took some photos of some really great walls. I'm not quite sure these levers are really strong and I'm not quite sure if I can go inside, so I probably won't film or take photos inside the river but I think in this direction there will be a couple of hatches and parks. I remember that I really liked it, so I will see if I still like it, and maybe there's some photo location, I will shoot a new creative photo in. Let's see. Hi, everyone. I'm in the park. I just mentioned and you can see all the hatches, really strict and cut all the time. I remember them and I think I have a couple of cool ideas here to shoot new photos, but I'm just like doing location scouting right now, so I'm going to show you how I'm doing location scouting. I'm just going to take a couple of pictures from different perspectives etc, so you can actually see how I do it. Let's start. Another idea I have in this park comes from this little cup which lies underneath. I like the hatch, maybe we can go closer and you can see more closely. It's like a plastic cup lying underneath the hatch but what I had as an idea is that, I really like to confess, so I really like the red and the green of the hatch. What I was thinking is maybe if I lie underneath the hatch as a person, and I'm red and you can basically just see like an arm and part of my face or one leg or something and everything else is covered with the hatch. They could be maybe a really interesting image, so maybe I will do it, maybe I won't, let's see. Hey, guys. I'm currently here at the golf court and a couple of people are still playing. But what I love about this golf court is that grass is so strict, and so it looks surreal. I'm now just trying some perspectives, shooting some photos, trying some different angles, and come back if there's like rain or something, so nobody is here in the golf court and I'm not interrupting anybody playing. Let's see. I actually really love the structure of this wall and actually also like this electricity thing here. I'm not quite sure what it is for, but it looks cool because it has the same color as the wall, and the same structures. Maybe I can shoot [inaudible] here. Lets take some photos. Well, I look at these images, they already look super surreal, so this is actually a really cool spot. Look how cool this house looks with all the IV all over the place, so maybe I can shoot another photo here. Hi, guys. It's day 6 of my one week challenge, and it's weekend that's why it's so empty here. It's a parking deck and I'm on a top of it. It looks cool, so I am here to shoot a couple of photos and see if I maybe come up with a really cool photo idea which I'm going to shoot in the next week. Let's have a look around. I actually really love the lines on the ground especially from this perspective. Today is the last day of my seven day challenge and I'm here at the lake again, and it looks really beautiful, but not quite surreal yet, so I'm looking for a place which may fit better to my images. Let's see if I find something. I was just walking by this bench and I think the bench itself doesn't look really beautiful, but I think the background does. 9. Step 2: Evaluation of the Challenge: Now that we shot a bunch of different photos every day for a week, we need to reflect on them. First of all, you should look through all the photos you shot and select your nine favorite images from that week. You can see that I shot at a couple of different locations. Of course, not all of the photos are golden, but they give me a good overview of what I can expect from that location. I now look through all of my images and this nine are my favorite. In the next step, we want to see what they have in common. Why do you like them? It can be the light, the colors, the composition in the image, the subject. But it also doesn't have to be anything specific about the image. It can also be an idea you have at that location for a photo concept. That's usually in my case. Looking at the images I chose as my nine favorite, I can quickly describe to you why I like them. For example, at this image, I really like that it's so monochrome and I don't know what it is, but this little thing sticking out looks like it's melting inside the wall. This one I really like the contrast between the red cup lying underneath the bush, but also like the green hatch. I really like that there's a hole in the hatch, but it also looks really clean, smooth, and surrealistic from the light. I like this image especially because of this realistic light. But also I had an idea at this image that I will stand inside the hatch and the hatch is cut around me. This is what I'm associating with this image and which may be also could be a really cool concept. At this image, I really love that it's such a long landscape and it looks really clean, almost as painted. That's also what I wanted to achieve in my new style to have even landscapes in my images, but they should still look surreal. I think this landscape could look really surreal if I edited a little bit more in Photoshop. In this image, especially I really love that there's a leading line and there's almost black and a background so the focus is really on the pathway. I could do something really surreal here. The light is so really interesting, but I think it doesn't 100 percent fit maybe in this realistic way I want to, so I maybe need to wait until there are some more cloudy day for this image. I really love that this image is really monochrome and also the grass looks really surreal as it's so strictly caught in this image as well. I really love the lines and the structure that you can see the dimension that it's flowing out of the image. In this image, I especially love that arrow points towards me, but also I love that you can see that there were actually cars running by as there are leftovers from the wheels. Maybe I can do something with that. In this image, I especially love that there is this plain rectangle wall in front of the sky because usually you can't see the sky behind big buildings, but there's no roof, so it's really a rectangle. If I use this location and I get a good idea with that location, I probably will edit fences, so I can't see any fences in the background and there's only sky. Let's quickly have a look at my images and see what they all have in common. Basically what I would include is that a lot of the images have quiet a surreal light as it's either really, it's sunny. But the subject I'm photographing is in the shadow that makes a really nice surreal light which I really love. Also, I really love the monochrome areas like these two images. You can see it's really monochrome and these two are basically probably my favorites. Also you can see that a lot of my images that I shot half lines in there so leading lines. This pathway, this arrow, these lines from the parking lot. Also what I see in my images is that I really love to have a plain area and then one mistake in there. For example, in this image you can see this plane bush and then this one spot where it is this red cup underneath or this hole in the bush. The rest write things down and I just said and that your images haven't comments on page 10 of our workbooks, I prepared a whole page where you can write things down either for your composition. If they have something in common which includes the composition, you can write it down if there's something you see in common with the light you use and the images you like most. You can write it down or the colors you preferred in your images. Basically what I'm writing down now is that I really see that I like leading lines. I really like it's strict. What I mean with that is that, I really love to have strict areas, maybe I say strict areas. For example, the bush and down the sky above or really strict lines, the square, for example as well. Also what I really like is to have some geometrical things in my images geometrical. For example, the rectangle or the lines as well. The lines are basically also geometrical. That's what I would write down and composition. With the light, I can see that most of the images are even like best at the nine I just shows are the images that were shot in the early evening, when the sun is a little bit further down in the sky, but still not that low that it's this evening, really warm light if that makes any sense. Generally for my solo excel, it's good if there's some sun, but if the subject I'm photographing is in the shadow, which is obviously not always possible to do especially if you have big landscapes in your image, but it's still something that I'm aware of. Emory guiding color, I would just basically say that, I like to have it monochromatic, still or just two set of colors like blue sky green cross or blue sky gray wall. Let's write it down. I like it. Now you can write down what you like about images or maybe even photo concepts you have in mind, you shot in your one week challenge just in three sentences in your workbook at page 10. 10. Step 3: Color Theory: Now in step 3, it's time to find your color palette. If you are a black and white photographer and you're already 100 percent sure about it, you can just skip this lecture. But if you use colors in any kind of way, here we come, let's find our color scheme. Why is it important to have your color palette? If you have common reappearing colors in your images, your pictures appear more like one body of work. This is really helpful to manifest your style, but it should not restrict you from trying out new things. It should only be an orientation, especially, if you're looking for the colors for our new photo or while you're editing the image. To get to know what color palette fits to you, let's dive a little bit deeper into color theory. First of all, the tone of a color is put together by three main attributes. The first one is hue which means the color family or the color name like red, purple, blue, yellow. The second one is saturation which is also called chroma and it basically means like how pure a color is and how sharp or dull the color appears. This third aspect of a color is the brightness which is sometimes also called luminance or value and it basically means how bright or dark a color is. You can find these three aspects in a lot of tools, for example, here in Adobe raw, and it's really good to actually know how this affects a color, like how you can mix a color and create one specific tone with these three aspects. Also, all colors can be divided in three different categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. If you have a look at this color wheel, you can see that they are evenly spaced at the color wheel. So if you put a line between all of them, it will be a triangle. The secondary colors and the colors that emerge when mixing primary colors. So for red and yellow, it's orange. For red and blue, it's violet and for blue and yellow it's green, and these three colors are also spaced evenly in the color wheel and will be a triangle as well if you put lines between them. The third category are tertiary colors and they come when you will mix secondary colors with the closest primary color such as red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, green blue, blue violet, and red violet which is also pink obviously. So that is for your basic knowledge that you know how all of these colors come together and how you can refer to them if you want to speak about them in any kind of way. Also, there are a couple of common color harmonies and color contrast that I like to show you for your consideration to use them in your images as well. The first one are complimentary colors and a complimentary color of a color is always on the opposite side of the color wheel. For red it's cyan, for blue it's yellow, for green it's magenta, etc. If you use two complimentary colors in one image, it creates a really nice color contrast and I actually use it in a couple of images already. For example, in this one which is the most obvious, I guess I have this huge cyan wall and I used my red jumper for a nice complimentary color contrast. The second color contrast is quality contrast, and also called analogous harmony as a color harmony. Analogous harmony basically means that you have similar colors which are next to each other in the color wheel. So in this image, you can see that the main color is a desaturated yellow tone. But you also have a really strong yellow tone in the windows and of course, my dress has an orange tone. The whole image is held in the same set of colors and therefore creates a great color harmony. The next harmony is called split complimentary color and maybe you already guessed what it is, as the nominal complimentary color contrast are two colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. With split complimentary, you don't have an exact tone on the other side of the color wheel, but two tones that are just beside actual complimentary color. In this image you can see that the sky is in a blue cyan tone and the actual complimentary color would have been red. But instead, we have orange in this image and a little bit of this reddish, pinkish tone in the mountains. So you can see that we have two on one side which are like next to red, and on the other side we have cyan as a complementary color. The next color harmony is called triadic as a contrast, you can also call it color of hue. It basically means that you have three colors in your image which are evenly spaced around the color wheel. On these images you can see that I use red, yellow, and blue for these three colors. The last color contrast I want to show you is a warm, cold contrast. This contrast means that you use really cold colors like blue and cyan together with really warm colors like red and orange in your images. You can see in this image, I use it with the fans, like her lipstick is really red and there are only two fans in red, but all of the other ones are in this blue cyan tone and I think therefore it puts the focus more on the girl with her red lipstick and on the two red fans. So now you have a good overview of how colors come together and what different contrasts you can use in your images. But to be able to use any of these harmonies in your image is necessary to pick a color palette with different tones that fit to your style. Of course, you can choose what color harmony you prefer in your images. Therefore, it can be that their actual color scheme of your images only contains all kinds of red tones, but I would still recommend to you to have a wider range for your color palette just for your orientation. So have different use as we just learned to work. So one tone for blue, one tone for red, one tone for yellow. For example, to just have an orientation for yourself, what different tones of a color you prefer in your images. 11. Step 3: Pick your Color Palette: Now you have a really good insight of how colors come together. To find your own color palette now, you can either pick the colors yourself. But if you don't already know what colors you preferred, there're a couple of tools that can help you. One of them is Adobe Color for example. In this tool, you can just upload any image that you love, it colors off and it picks the five most dominant colors in this image for you. You can then save it as a JPEG or you can save it in your CC library if you have an Adobe account and open it in any Adobe application. Also, there's a huge library of amazing images where you can look through and choose a color palette you like. Generally, I would suggest you to select a color toning for the five most dominant colors. For example, red, violet, blue, green, yellow, and orange. But you should have in mind that each of its most dominant colors can come in a different brightness. Here's an example of my color palette I already have for couple of years now. You can choose your own color palette now and use the squares in a mood board board select your five dominant colors. I have my color palettes in my CC library already, some I'm just opening the CC library and InDesign and just filling the squares in with the colors. 12. Step 4: Concepts: We arrived in step 4. Now probably the most exciting part of finding your style. In this step, we're going to adapt everything we collected so far and use it to create the first images in that style. All the tasks we did so far should guide you as orientation points to help you find ideas within this framework. Just to give you a quick review of what you already know. You know what you are interested in photographing. You collected images that you adore. You have five adjectives that describe these images. You have origin of how you want your images to look like. You describe your visionary style and five words and you know what colors you should look out for. But how do you find brand-new ideas? Generally, I get a lot of new ideas while going outside and taking photos of potential locations like we did in our one-week challenge. When I put all my focus on finding new ideas and walk through my neighborhood, there are towers and ideas popping up in my head. First of all, I want you to look through all the images you shot during your one challenge and think of ways how you can integrate it in your originally cell. Maybe you like to location and already, have an image in your mind, or maybe you like to color setting and want to have to sync colors in your image or maybe you enjoy to spontaneous documentary style and want to explore more in this direction. If you have an idea, I would suggest you to capture it with a simple sketch. I usually sketch my conceptual images with Adobe Sketch or Fresco. To upset, I can use really easily on my iPad. My first idea is with this wall, I walked by. I like the structure of the wall a lot and it looks like a box of electricity is melting into the wall. That's why I want to take this surreal look even further and create an image that looks like I'm putting my hat through all. My second idea comes from the golf course. I was on day 4 of my one-week challenge. I still had this image of a mood board on my mind and I really loved the person coming out of the wall. Combining this idea with the golf course, I came up with an image idea where I want to make it look like I'm covered with cross and I've been awakened and now we're omitting golf balls. It's pretty surreal and I hope it turns out the way I imagined it. The third idea I have actually comes from a song, it was triggered by the park deck I was on. As there was no houses around the park deck, you can actually see the sky really clear. It reminded me of a painting of funny my kid, where people were flying everywhere. I associate this image always with a song from Florence and the Machine where one lyric is "Grabbed me by my ankles, I've been flying for too long." This idea was born. In the next video, I'll take you with me behind the scenes of shooting these brand new images. 13. Step 4: Shooting: Now we're at the most important part for this course probably. We're going to shoot three different images in the cell we worked out. This will probably look different for each of us, but I'm going to take you with me now behind the scenes of shooting my conceptual images. This is the first conceptual picture. I'm here at the golf course. I'm going to shoot here in the grass because I like how green it is and I'm going to do the golf ball vomiting image, we can say so. Let's do it. I'm back again at the park deck shooting my last photo and it's really cloudy sadly. I actually needed a blue sky, but within the next couple days it's going to rain and rain. So I thought it's better to shoot it now as there is still a little bit of sun and the light is actually pretty good. Let's do it. Let's shoot the last image. Now it slowly starts to rain. I need one more photo from the person who actually grabs me by my ankle and drags me down to the ground and I don't have anything in the form of my ankle. What I saw here, it's a little disgusting, but why aren't you doing it for good photos. I saw this empty beer bottle here. I'm going to use it as my ankle because it has the form. 14. Step 5: Learn New Techniques: Great job. You can be really proud of yourself that you've already come this far in your journey of finding your photography style. Finding your style is not a one-time thing you will do, but it will become easier with time to develop your new direction. The fifth and last step is to learn and keep learning new techniques. This will help you to underline your style even more and it can guide you to a new level of expertise. Often trying out new techniques was the first step of finding a new direction in my style. Of course, not every new learned technique is as valuable, but you should be open for new things. These techniques can be, for example, any post-production skills like working with Photoshop, Lightroom, or even After Effects, and you can also try to use different camera equipment, shooting on film, for example, or even on iPhones, or you can even try to work with different light sources like studio light or a torch, for example. You can learn a ton of new techniques on platforms like Skillshare. There's so many good classes on here. YouTube for example as well, of course, workshops, there are a bunch of really good workshops where you can learn new stuff and books or of course, one-on-one lessons as well. To give you an easy start on learning new techniques, I'll show you three techniques that I tried out and liked a lot in the next video. 15. Step 5: Techniques: The first technique I quickly want to show you is long exposure. I think most of you have probably already heard of long exposure. Maybe you already know what long exposure can do. Like making water smoother or capturing movements when people are moving by, but you can also use it to for a really cool photo concept. At the beginning of my photography, I used long exposure really, really often and it was regarded as it also helped me to understand how my camera works really well as I have to shoot in manual mode. Basically what you have to do if you want to shoot really cool long exposure, make sure you have to turn your aperture up and your exposure time down. To achieve results like I added here my images, I use an exposure time of one to four seconds by you can go higher or lower depending on what results you want to achieve. To shoot a long exposure image now you have to have a dark room. It doesn't have to be pitch black or it shouldn't be pitch black as there should be some small light source that should be dark enough that long exposure actually works. stare are also filters you can use if you want to shoot long exposure in daylight, outside. It's called ND filters and you can just get them online. I really love to experiment with long exposure as you can achieve really creative and conceptual results with only one shot. The second technique I quickly want to show you is called light painting or wonder light. I used it in a couple of my fashion shootings, which was really cool and interesting to try out. Also a really, really famous photographer called Paolo Roversi use it in most of his photos. I mean, he is one of my favorite photographers of all times. I really love this style. If you want to try this yourself at home, here is a quick introduction of how you can do it. Basically, it's a long exposure image again, so you have to put your camera on long exposure. I would recommend around five seconds to 15 seconds exposure time. You of course, need a darkened room or you need to go outside at night so it's dark and the long exposure actually works. Done, you need a torch. I have a torch from a bike and I taped it a little bit in the front. I only have one light spot, but you can also use a torch function of your iPhone. We have to go around the object you want to photograph. In my case, that's the flower bouquet one more time and you just have to point to the light areas you want to highlight a little longer. In the long exposure, it looks like little dots and images and it looks very mystical and nice. You can try it out yourself with objects. It's really easy and it's really interesting as it's different each time and you can experiment a lot of that. The third technique is pretty simple but pretty cool. You can achieve really nice effects like you can see in these images. Basically, what you need is a small mirror like maybe a pocket mirror like this one. You need to hold it in front of your lamps. You can reflect the subject you want to photograph 2 times 3 times however you want to add. It can create really mystical images. You could also try to hold other stuff in front of your camera, like for example, this stone. It also can reflect things three or four times. It can make a really nice effect. You can try with different things. I especially like the mirror. I also saw that other photographers as well that they use a pretty regularly to print their images a little bit and just get some cool effect in the images. 16. Conclusion: Congrats, you made it, you learned how to find and develop your style in photography in five steps. We created a mood board of images that inspired us and articulated why we actually like them. We challenged ourselves to go out and shoot images for a whole week and we found our color palette. Of course, most importantly, we created three brand new images in our new photography style. I hope this class inspired you to keep on developing your style and learn more and more techniques while you're growing. Everyone has their own individual style and I'm excited to see yours, so please make sure to share your results in the project of this class. I hope you enjoyed this class, if you did, make sure to leave a review and if you're interested in learning more about how I find my photo ideas and how I shoot new images, make sure to check out my other class about shooting and editing images on the iPhone. I had so much fun creating this class and I hope to see you in some of my other classes soon. Bye.