Finding your Edit Style

July 16, 2014

If you are like me, it’s not the actual taking of photographs that consumes your time. Instead, it’s likely culling and editing that we spend the most time on. Culling…well, that’s for another post as today we will talk about finding your edit style just a bit. So often times (myself included) get caught up in such minor details that will not even be noticed by anyone other than ourselves. Most certainly I would never advocate giving a sub par product to your client, there does come a time when you have to just not be so completely consumed with an image or a collection. Getting a great shot is number on priority, but in post processing, it’s really a chance for you to make a photograph your own.
I recall the days when in one gallery, I would processes each image a different way. Or maybe I would do like a few this way and a few that way. What I learned pretty quickly is that this is way to time consuming and it actually gets in the way of a more unique style. This week, I’d love to challenge you to really focus in on finding some consistency in your photographs. First of all, this will allow you to be most efficient with your time post processing and who doesn’t like to be efficient? Secondly, it’s important for clients who hire you to be confident that what they see in your portfolio will be reflective of the same sort of shooting style and editing style in their gallery. Rest assured that in this business, the most successful are those who are consistent in their finished product and who are being very smart with their time.
The easiest ways to find your way in editing is to simply try a few different techniques. While actions and presets are fine, the best way to achieve the perfect edit match for you is to also be able to do at least some minor manual editing. I suggest over the course of several days, take three to five of the same images and play around with them with a a few options. It’s vital that during this time you do not look at any other photographers images. This is a time for you to focus on how you and you alone want your images to look and also to become more comfortable working in Photoshop and/or Lightroom. It’s time for you to make it to where when someone sees an image, they will many times know that it is yours without even seeing a watermark. Now how cool will that be? Very cool indeed!
To just get you inspired a little for your assignment, I’ve taken the liberty to show you a few different styles with a few images of my own.  I suppose it will be more difficult to see the differences in these because I’ve put them in a collage, but hopefully you can see enough to get the idea.

The first series is my normal edit.

Untitled-1

This next edit is a bit more washed out in color, with much more subdued highlights and a bit more contrasty.

Untitled-4bThis edit is full of color, a bit darker and with more contrast.

Untitled-2

These are most certainly the softest of the bunch.  Very light contrast and a bit washed out, but still pretty natural looking.

Untitled-4

This one is more close to the first one but with more yellows and contrast.

Untitled-5

This one is a sort of popular look right now of which I will call the hazy look.

Untitled-2b

A few tips to help you along the way:
Give yourself a deadline to chose a post processing style stick to the deadline.
Take lots of notes on what you have done to achieve this look.
Commit to being choosing one style (look) and to using this style to at least the next 10 sessions, at the very least.
Continue to remind yourself that consistency is good and so is good time management.
Have fun! Maybe the look you have is not what most would like, but you love it. Rest assured, there will be other who do so too.

I prefer my final images to just be pretty true to color, bright and medium contrast. This is just the look that makes me the happiest. However, I feel that being true to yourself and what you love should be priority one. If that means coloring outside the lines of the ‘norm’ for you, then by all means, I say go for it!

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

And we shall just leave it with that. Now get to editing. :-)

amyvecchio

Amy Vecchio

Informational Blog Admin

Families, babies, and children are what makes Amy’s heart sing. She catches the divine in the ordinary using natural light and everyday settings. Amy’s style is pretty simple. It’s a dab of traditional mixed with modern lifestyle portraiture, indoors and out. She strives to capture a child’s spirit and a family’s personality, even if that’s not traditional smiles. She wants to photograph families in real life, not something that was imagined or ‘created’…to not just tell a story or get a certain ‘shot’, but to tell your story though a collection of photographs, capturing all the joy that fills your soul. Amy resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and son. Outside of photography, her life is full of faith, family, fashion, food, and all sorts of DIY projects.  WEBSITE | FACEBOOK |GOOGLE+

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