Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of presenting my Architectural Photography talk to members of the Adelaide Camera Club. Each time the talk is given I revise it to make it more relevant with more variety of content and to make it flow better. It must be up to version 5 by now.
Developing one's own style of photography is one important thrust of the talk. For a dedicated photographer this will evolve over time by choice of subject matter, development of a personal way of 'seeing' and evolving post processing techniques which are so important in giving finished images a characteristic look.
It's difficult to develop a personal style without input form mentors but fortunately there are many people in camera clubs willing to take on that role. However, I have reservations about how far that will take you because in my view there are cultural constraints in camera clubs which produce a conformity in style. In my view this is an unintended outcome of judging and it is difficult to change the culture.
It is necessary to find other mentors who in all probability you will never meet. Their work will be found in traditional art galleries as well as the more avant-garde photography exhibitions which unfortunately are in short supply here in Adelaide. Books are a great source of inspiration and learning. By reading widely and visiting as many exhibits as possible, you will be exposed to a wide range of images, techniques and styles.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it is also a good way to learn, but the ultimate goal should be to find your own way. Your way doesn't have to be radical, just distinctively your own.