To be honest I rarely love my portfolio, everything is just a mess. I realise people working in creative fields tend to feel the same most of the time. And everything has to do with the search of a “style”.
I used to go to workshops and talks and ask the same thing: “How do you find your style?” and sometimes not even the teacher/speaker knew the answer, but now I get it and I want to share it with you:
1.- Style chooses you
Well, yes you choose your personal style but not in a conscious way. Style is not something that happens overnight, you build it through time. Example: The places you lived, where you´ve traveled, the books that you’ve read, the music you’ve listened to, etc. Style is a collage of you actually.
2.- Go with the flow
It is nice to experiment, finding the things that you like and don’t like. There were times when I wanted my photos to look a certain way but they never came out as I imagined and I felt very frustrated, I was forcing something that wasn’t my style. So, if the work you’re making doesn’t feel like yourself, it’s ok; don’t force it, let the things flow.
3.- Take a break
Relax, stop working and just look at your portfolio, there must be a recurring theme that connects all of your work and you haven’t noticed. Example: I notice my photographs always have elements of nature.
4.-Know your likes
I love to check the like section of my instagram, a lot of the images that I like in there had something in common. Look for that thing that connects all of the images that you like: Is it the light, the composition, a recurring element?, what is it?. Also, you can create a Pinterest board and put everything that you like in there without judging it.
5.- Change is what you’re looking for
Everything is changing. The work you did a year ago is not the same as the work you do now. Your style is gonna change, some themes are going to be the same but the aesthetic may be different. So don’t get obsessed, just keep working, your style is going to be there when you least expect it.
Versión en español aquí