Finding Your Editing Style
Beautiful pictures are all around us! Each photographer on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook has a slightly different style. Some styles are dramatically different. Some people love dark and moody images with lots of shadows. Other people love light and airy pictures. Obviously there's a lot more that goes into a picture than just editing, but editing plays a significant role in how the final picture looks.
It took me about 2 years to finally nail down my editing style. I would describe my style as light and airy with a film inspired look. I love the look of moodier images, but I just decided to keep my style light and airy. I still love to look through other photographer's work, even if their style isn't the same as mine.
When I was starting out, it'd take me hours to edit just a few pictures because I was always experimenting with different ways of editing. There are many styles of editing that look good, but developing a consistent signature editing style is extremely important! In this post, I talk about why you need to have a consistent editing style, and then give you steps to develop that style.
Why should you have a consistent editing style?
- Makes your photography recognizable - When you have a consistent style, clients are able to recognize your work. Having recognizable work is extremely important for building a brand.
- Gives your clients security - A consistent style gives clients security because it allows them to know exactly how their finished pictures will look. If your editing style is constantly changing, client's won't know what to expect. An inconsistent style could even deter client's from choosing you as a photographer. A signature editing style allows clients to trust you and your work.
- Saves you time - Having a consistent style saves time because you don't have to experiment on every picture. When you know exactly how you want the finished pictures to look, it makes editing so much faster!
How can you develop a signature style?
- Research and experiment - Browse Instagram or Pinterest for photography inspiration. Pay attention to each picture that you're drawn to. Determine what kind of look you're drawn to the most. Experiment in Lightroom to determine how to get your pictures to match your ideal style. You might have to adjust the way you shoot. I always underexposed my images when I started out, so that made light and airy images difficult to achieve.
- Create a workflow or preset - Once you've decided how you want your finished pictures to look, develop a specific workflow or preset in Lightroom. For example, to achieve my style, I've created a preset in Lightroom to do the following steps: increase brightness, decrease highlights, whites, and blacks, increase shadows and contrast, desaturate greens, lighten greens, increase blue tones of the greens, and lens corrections. Depending on your style, your workflow or preset might look drastically different, and that's OK! The point is to create a way for your style to be easily repeated, giving you consistency, and saving you time.
- Be confident in your style - It's important to look at a lot of different styles to find what you like best. But once you have your style, be confident in it and don't constantly compare your work to other photographers. Comparison to other photographers can be discouraging and time consuming. Be OK with the fact that there's a lot of beautiful ways to edit, and accept the fact that you don't have to (and shouldn't try to) do it all!