The XEQUALS Personal Style Field Guide

When does it all start to come together? When do photographers start to feel like they’ve finally got a handle on their craft? I’ll tell you exactly when. It’s the moment you, as a photographer, start to adhere to your own personal style.

Without it, it’s like a leaf blowing in the wind. With it, everything else (money, enjoyment, fulfillment) will start to fall into place.

When you have it, you have a unique edge over any competition you might have in business. When you lack it, you’re just another camera owner.

Let’s get you started with the basics of building your very own personal style. By the end of this article, you should be armed with enough knowledge to be able to identify (and capitalize on) what makes your work so different and wonderful.

The Step-By-Step Guide To Photography Style


This is a 3 part series dedicated to recognizing, acquiring, and applying  a style that’s all your own. It covers (in the words of the immortal Doc Brown) the pitfalls, the perils, and the promise.

In Part 1, we cover what style is and why you need it. We go deep (briefly) as to why a working photographer’s style is paramount to their success and how it defines them.

Cost is less of an issue because it is your unique way of seeing that is what the client wants. -Craig Ferguson

There is even a how-to assignment to get you started very quickly.

Know Thy Self →

Once Part 1 is in the books, you’ll need to know what to avoid.

The biggest pitfall in getting your own style is straight imitation. But there is a sneaky way we can use the great photographers that we admire to steal some of their best moves and make them our own. Remember what T.S. Eliot said (or at least was attributed to saying) …

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”

Steal Like An Artist →

Now it’s time to dive into the process of taking a raw image and developing it quickly so that it syncs with your particular style.

To do that, we’re going to be building our foundation with the XEQUALS presets.

We’ll take you through it step-by-step.

Take My Hand →

Photography Rules For The Rebel


Rules are great for keeping things running smoothly. Commerce, the military, and various forms of government would not exist without a strong adherence to rules.

Art is a different story. With art, rules act as a guide but can get in the way of expression. When teaching photography to new students, one of the most important lessons to pass on is, “I’m going to teach you the rules so you understand why they exist. You are then free to use your discretion and ignore them when appropriate.”

Style is knowing which rules you want to break and when.

Break The Rules →

Photographer +1


Style should come from you naturally … from a place of love and passion.

This post is about discovering your other talent, combining it with your skill as a shooter, and then following that path to success. Photography is not an end in itself.

It’s the vehicle.

Connect your heart and your brain and see your personal style take shape before your very eyes.

One Heart, One Mind →

How To Create Dramatic Black And White Portraits


There’s something about black and white portraits that makes you, as a photographer, return to them time and time again. For some reason, although a color picture may be a more accurate representation of what a person looks like, a black and white picture carries more depth, drama and emotional content.

Experimenting with a black and white style will undoubtedly enhance your use of color, as well.

Incorporate these best practices of black and white and you’ll find your personal style automatically making a much deeper connection to your subject

Give Your Style Depth →

Making Cool S**t Is The Future Of Photography


The future of photography isn’t just about the screen.

It’s coming back full circle to being about making actual things with your work.

Personal style is a complete package. The presentation of your images are just as important as the images themselves. Whether the presentation involves frames, borders, or something with a bit more personal touch …

That Personal Touch →

So put yourself out there. Build your style. Own it.

We’ve got the tools to fast-track finding your own unique voice. It’s called the XEQUALS Platform. It’s all here for you, so use it.

Your personal style awaits you.

Brandon Oelling

Hi there! I'm Brandon Oelling, the founder of XEQUALS. My team and I believe deep in our hearts that inside every one of us is an amazing photographer.