Day 1: Finding Your iPhoneography Style

We’re going to start Day 1 off with a revolutionary idea.

If you’ve been in the blog world for any amount of time, you’ve heard the advice to essentially keep your head down and look at your own paper.

Stop following other bloggers in your niche.

Don’t let others influence your work.

The only way to find your own voice is to not listen to the voice of others. 

So today, we’re going to do the exact opposite.

We’re going to copy our little hearts out.


Copy the Masters

I don’t condone outright copying by any means. But I strongly believe that when you’re first starting out, or trying something completely new, it’s easiest to learn the basics by learning from those that have already mastered them. 

If you’ve ever taken an introductory art course, you may have had an assignment where you recreate your favorite classical art piece. The purpose of this assignment is to help you visually identify the techniques, instead of just reading about them in a book. It also forces you to think creatively through the problem, and solve it in a way that works best for you.

Today we're going to look at some examples of different Instagram users' photos, and how they use different techniques to create a style all their own.

Remember: There's no way you'll find your iPhoneography style in one day. This is something you'll have to work on continuously, but it's important to start thinking about from day 1.

Download the Day 1 Worksheet below to take notes as you explore different photographers & what you like about their work.

Now let's take a look at how some of my favorite Instagrammers have used mood, color, composition and subject matter to create their own photography style, and think about how you can incorporate some of these techniques into your own work.


Beth Kirby of famed food blog Local Milk (and the instagram account @local_milk) uses lighting and muted palettes to create dark, moody scenes. Remember that not all photos have to be light and airy. Experiment with different lighting and see how it changes the mood in your photos.


Ashley Izsak of @ashleyizsak incorporates the same palette of colors into the majority of her photos to create a dreamy pastel grid. Can you think of ways you can incorporate your own brand colors into each of your photos?


Matt Crump of @mattcrump, the photographer behind the wildly creative and popular hashtag #candyminimal, keeps his grid bright and minimal through his composition of each photo. Notice how he composes each shot by keeping the subject at the bottom of the frame.

Subject Matter

Kim Bui of @sincerelykimbui lets her amazing nail art designs steal the show in each of her photos. By using dark backgrounds and natural light, she is able to make her nail art really pop.

Now it's your turn!

Click the button above to download your Assignment checklist!

  • Create a Pinterest board to host your photography inspiration. You can make it private, or share it with the world so we can see what inspires you.
  • Start searching Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Tumblr for photographs with styles that really inspire you. 
  • Download the Day 1 Worksheet to take notes on what you find.
  • Select one (or two) of your favorite photographers, and study their style. Do a little research about their history - did they go to school for photography, or are they self-taught? What inspired them? Who are their role models? Use the “snowball effect”, or what I like to call the “Wikipedia Effect” - follow a trail of links and see where you end up.
  • Over the next week or so, try to pinpoint specific techniques used by your favorite photographer(s) and start experimenting with those techniques in your own work.
  • Head over to the private Facebook group Love and Local Biz Buddies and share your favorite photographer(s) and what you like about their style. Then share your “copycat” versions for the group to see!

Click the image above to join the exclusive Facebook group!