get more consistent photos with 3 quick edits
This is the big question that everyone wants answered these days: how do I get my photos to look more consistent? I get it. You're taking flat lays and selfies and photos of your work in progress, and they all have different backgrounds and lighting. So how on earth are you supposed to get that consistent look to them like those beautiful Instagram feeds you see everyday?
Well, I gotta tell ya that getting that cohesive look is definitely a lot more than just the pretty colors that you see. (And if you ready to really take your business to the next level and get that cohesive branded look to your photos and videos, then check out my upcoming Cohesive Social course here to get on the waitlist!) It does take planning, a strong brand vision, and a specific formula for creating awesome images every time. However...
I've got you covered for what you can start doing right away to get that consistent look in your photo editing. And it really doesn't matter if you're editing on your phone or you've got Photoshop to do your editing. I'm gonna walk you through the three biggest things that you should be doing in your editing process to make your photos look more consistent. Every. Single. Time.
Always Make These 3 Edits the Same Way:
Exposure is basically going to make your images brighter or darker depending on where you put the selector on the scale. You can find the exposure selection in any editing software or app, and it's usually got either a little sun icon or a +/- sign with a sliding scale. As you move the slider back and forth, you can start to see your image get darker and lighter. The exposure of your image is one of the biggest keys to your consistency. If you want super bright, airy looking photos, then you're gonna want to take the exposure up higher to get that look. You could even blow out some of the details if you wanted to crank it up and make a very etherial image.
Or if you're one of those people who love those dark photos with lots of deep shadows to them, then go ahead and test out that look with your own images. Pull the exposure down a bit (and you might even want to couple that with darkening the blacks or the shadows in your editing program). This will give you a richer image rather than lighter and airier. So decide based on brand style that you have and what resonates more with your audience.
I love playing with the saturation levels in my images! Like, really love it! It's probably my favorite edit because I'm really a sucker for deep, saturated colors. But I know other people who want that washed out look that's almost vintagey or even like a farmhouse style. Finding the saturation in your editing software will allow you to change the whole feel of the photo.
So look in the color section of your editing software for the part that shows a scale from darker to lighter. You just need to do the same thing as you did with the exposure and drag that slider back and forth until you get the amount of color saturation that you want in your image. Now, a word of caution on this one. If you're taking a photo to sell an actual product or show what something looks like in real life, then make sure you don't go off the deep end with this one! In that instance, you'll want to keep the colors consistent with how they really look especially if someone is buying that item. Otherwise, go crazy! Find what saturation level looks best for your brand style and stick to it!
Okay, hue is the edit that will allow you to change the color of your images. Like warmer tones to your images? Take the hue slider over to a more yellow tone. Prefer cooler colors? Slide it a bit to the blue side. Most of the editing software that I've seen calls this slider "hue," but you may also see it as "cast" if you're using an app on your phone. In Photoshop, the hue selection box also has a drop down menu so that you can select either the entire "master" hue or very specific hues such as cyan or magenta and get levels tailored to each one of those.
Test out a few different photos with various hue selections. You want to make sure that a bunch of different images will look good with that hue before you start posting images with it. Just set up a trial and put the photos side by side to view them as a whole before you really decide if that's the right setting for you.
You may also consider using a filter if you'd rather not mess with editing at all and just have a done-for-you option. You can even use filters right in the iPhone Photo app itself. Easy peasy. Just make sure you still test out of filters on several photos first before you go using them on your feeds all willy nilly. They each tend to have a very specific look, and it really helps to get an idea of how they're applied to different images first.
So with those three edits, you should have a really great, easy framework for editing your images quickly. This way you'll just be able to use the same settings every time on every picture you take. They'll look way more consistent than when you used the photos straight out of your camera, but you won't have to stress about how you should be learning how to use some crazy editing software and do a ton of edits. These three are really all you need!