with Courtney Slazinik
4 Ways to Become Consistent with Editing
4 Ways to Become Consistent with Editing

As photographers, no matter how long we have been on our artistic journey, it’s a recurring goal for our work to be noticed by others. I mean, this is how we get business, right? By others noticing our talent.

Not only do we strive for our work to be noticed, but we long for the signature style we aim to create with our imagery. Through our shooting and editing style, we might even long for others to recognize our work by just taking a glance at a single photo.

You might be thinking to yourself that this isn’t a goal of yours, but I’m here to tell you why it should be. Why is this so important might you ask?

Let’s answer this question first.

Can you think of a few photographers off the top of your head who fit this criteria?

Photographers who you can instantly recognize just by seeing a single photo in your Facebook newsfeed?

Now think about HOW you were able to recognize these photographers in your mind. Most likely it was because of their profound and unique choice of editing and shooting style. Am I getting warm?

Not only will a consistent editing style help others notice you right away, but it brings a certain level of skill and professionalism to the plate. Notice that the photographers that you most likely thought of right away are very set in their brand and have been for a while.

Would you consider a photographer whose editing work is “all over the place” a seasoned professional?

Most likely not.

So if you are striving to be the best photographer you can be, then your editing style is a huge factor that needs to be put into consideration!

Let’s look at the basics of creating your unique editing style, shall we?

Use these 4 easy tips to become more consistent with your photo editing. Time to find your style!

  • No.

    Take a moment to collect all the various things about a photograph that captivates you personally. Is it the light? The subject? The use of lenses and environment? Or could it be a combination of all those plus the end editing result?

    Look for work that inspires you as a photographer. Scour the internet searching for what lights your match and draws you in. Once you figure it out, this is the style you need to be trying for.

    For me personally, I am naturally drawn to backlight, luminous creamy skin tones, and well-executed pops of color done in post-processing. You could define my style as a bright, lively, and playful.

    1 - consistency in editing style
    Most likely, you will adapt a style over time that attracts your eye & leaves you feeling satisfied as a photographer.
    Do you know what your visionary style is?

  • No.

    You might not think that your shooting style and choice of lenses makes a difference in your editing style, but it surely does!
    Choosing certain locations for lighting and aesthetic purposes is the first starting point.

    If you are all over the map with your locations and lighting conditions, then most likely your end results will be the same as well.

    2 - consistency in editing
    Notice how the various lighting conditions and locations make for a completely different look and feel?

    The photo on the left was obviously taken during a sunny day and with the sidewalk acting as a natural reflector, it helped brighten the children’s faces and made the photo more vibrant.

    The photo on the right was taken on an overcast day in a wooded clearing. The same editing tools were used, but because of the vast difference in lighting and location, the photos do not compliment a consistent editing style.

    Being picky about choosing your shooting locations will help define your editing style when it comes to your post-production work!

  • No.

    The most obvious way to create a consistent look to your photos is in the post-processing magic. However, this often can be overlooked, especially by beginners.

    Yes, over time your work might evolve and change, but sticking to a strict editing workflow is the key to consistent imagery right now. This is especially true when it comes to editing a single session at a time.

    3 - consistency in editing
    Your editing style will be lost in translation or be completely interpreted the wrong way if you choose to try your hand at various editing styles and themes for one given session, like the photo example above.

    Being consistent with your knowledge of Photoshop or Lightroom & using the same tried and true editing tools will help you to not only cut down on editing time, but provide you with a clear cut editing style that quickly becomes apparent to your viewers!

    4 - consistency in editing
    By using just one Lightroom preset, I was able to edit an entire session to create a consistent appearance to the photos while not confusing my clients with different editing looks.

  • No.

    No, not compensation as in getting paid (although that sounds pretty awesome too!). Compensation as in counteracting against environmental conditions that you cannot control.

    For instance, shooting on a rainy or cloudy day in October will give your photos a much different look than they will on a sunny day in May.

    For me, I love bright and colorful imagery and distill this in my editing workflow by the techniques and presets I use. However, sometimes I have to tweak my workflow slightly to keep my editing style intact due to the elements of nature that I cannot dictate.

    5 - consistency in editing
    The photo on the left shows how my normal editing workflow looks like on a photo that was taken during an overcast day which made the overall appearance of the photo very dull and lacking.

    I compensated for this with the photo on the right by tweaking my editing a pinch by adding more light, vibrance, and brush adjustments in Lightroom. Now the photo goes more in line with my defined editing style.

Can you think of a few ways to help you compensate in your editing workflow?

So, just by envisioning your photography style, selectively picking your shooting locations, coming up with a tried and true editing method, and knowing how to compensate for less than ideal lighting conditions, you will be well on your way to creating an editing style visible for many eyes to see.

And who knows, maybe one day someone will be able to notice your work just by glancing at it!

What ways will you employ to create a consistent editing style?

Free Lightroom Presets

  • Linda Bickford
    November 19, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    Under editing workflow you said you used one preset for all photos. Which one would that be in Lightroom please.

    • Heather
      November 19, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      Hi Linda! I wrote this post and use the preset ‘timeless film from my classic film collection for the majority of my photos. You can find my presets on my site: http://www.twoblooms.com

  • Chiobhón
    November 19, 2015 at 1:16 AM

    What an awesome article. I’m still in my neither here nor there phase.. But after reading this I’m on a serious mission to try and figure this out..

    A lot of people has actually told me they love my style………. Now I just need to figure out what the heck that is! But obviously I’ve got SOME sort of consistency going on 😉


    • Heather
      November 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM

      Glad you found it helpful!

  • Stephanie
    November 19, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Great article! Thank you so much for this! I’ve been struggling with consistency and this helps so much!

    • Heather
      November 19, 2015 at 8:01 PM

      Thank you, I am glad you found it helpful!

  • Diana
    November 19, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    I love your look, do you ever sell your presets? I am not a professional, but love using Lightroom to make my personal photos look amazing.

    • Heather
      November 19, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      Hi Diana, thank you so much! Yes, I certainly do – you can find all of my presets in my shop at http://www.twoblooms.com

  • Dawn
    November 20, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    It is like you guys read my mind…. I just googled “define my editing style” two days ago!! This article is great and backs up my gut feel of it al needing to be similar. Thanks again!

    • Heather
      November 20, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      I’m so glad you found it helpful and at such an opportune time!

  • Steph K.
    November 20, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Great article!
    I often find myself struggling with this in times that Mother Nature isn’t cooperating with my style. Thank you!

    • Heather
      November 20, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      I can very much relate, it isn’t always so easy!

  • Carmen
    November 21, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    Thank you so much for this article. It came at a much needed time. I am a newbie and just bought my first non-kit lense. I’m also learning Lightroom but am just trying out the free trial. I’m planning on buying it but am nervous about all it can do. I love your style and would say that I also prefer bright and playful but have been unable to consistently capture it. What presets are your favorites to show this off? Thanks so much!

    • Heather
      November 21, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      I’m glad you found it helpful! I would say that although I use consistent presets for my work, capturing in camera is KEY & sometimes that takes a lot of practice and time. I use my Classic Film collection the most that you can find on my site, http://www.twoblooms.com Let me know if you have any questions!

  • Sara
    November 26, 2015 at 12:32 AM


    How to you achieve “luminous creamy skin tones” in camera? Is is time of day? Direction of sun? reflector?

    • December 11, 2015 at 1:58 PM

      A lot of it has to do with the lighting. You want to make sure you aren’t in harsh light but have soft light. If outside on a bright day, look for open shade. Also, the editing does affect the look of your skin tones.

  • Zooney L
    November 30, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    I understand why you would want to stick to one style of editing, but i think i’d like to surprise people by my different styles as much as i’d like them to recognize me from a picture. I like going from one style to another depending on my mood and i think that sticking to only one would eventually bore me. I do have favorites that i could focus on more but career-wise, i think i find a broad portfolio to be more interesting.

    • Heather
      January 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      If that’s what your clients like and you are successful at it, then that is great! For me, I’d want to know exactly what I was getting before hiring a photographer, but that is just me. That’s the great thing about photography, it’s all artistic and subjective :)

  • Zooney L
    November 30, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    I agree about keeping the same style for one given session though, and i find your pics lovely :)

  • […] reading Heather Ford’s guest post, 4 Ways to Become Consistent with Editing, on Click it Up a Notch, I’ve been working on trying to find my photography style & give […]

  • Jessie
    January 13, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    Heather, thank you so much for this post. As a new photographer, there are so many things I’m not even thinking of when I’m taking my pictures / editing them. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, I was using a different editing style for every single photo. After reading this post a few weeks ago, I’ve been working on making my photos consistent, and they look SO much better. This has been one of the most influential posts for my photography…THANK YOU :)


    • Heather
      January 22, 2016 at 8:37 AM

      I’m so happy to hear you’ve found this helpful Jessie – simply music to my ears! :)

  • Janet
    January 24, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    I tend to go for vintage with about every photo. I love rustic style and that is where I end up. I I believe I found my niche. Any tips on lightroom editing with this style?

    • Heather
      January 28, 2016 at 3:51 PM

      Woo hoo Janet, that’s great that you know the style you like! As for your how to make it happen in Lightroom, I would strongly advise you to play around with the develop module until you start liking what you see. You can gather some tips from my tutorials if you’d like to help along the way: http://www.twoblooms.com/support/video-tutorials/

      Hope that helps!

  • Sadaf
    September 18, 2016 at 1:05 AM

    Your article is amazing but I have more questions how edit them same? I edited my photos in same steps but the results wasn’t looks same style. I working on it all night but I can’t fix it. If you help me I really appreciate it.

  • Isabel Magnasco
    September 28, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Love your article ! Thanks

  • Megan
    February 4, 2017 at 6:26 PM

    Great article! And lovely pics :) If I may give one piece of advice as a fellow photographer, I’d suggest being extra mindful of where your focus points are (and how many you have). I know that I’ve often taken pictures thinking my subjects are in focus, only to later find out that they weren’t (in post processing). For instance, the picture of the little boy sitting on the steps in front of the door…the door is in focus but his cute face isn’t quite! Maybe also try using the sharpening tool for faces (I have to do that a lot). Anyway, just wanted to hopefully give some helpful hints because I think it will make your great pictures even better! :) Have a great rest of your day!


  • Nina Plymouth
    April 20, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    This was a good article.

  • melissa
    January 11, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    Thank you. I need to develop a consistent look, so this helps!

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