I’ve been doing this work for a couple of years now, and as such I’ve developed a process for editing and selecting photos. Indeed, I hope that one of our biggest draws to our company is our editing styles.
While I am most often pleased with my work, there are always specific photos or shoots where I feel that my style suffers, or because of lighting/colour of the shoot itself, the way I usually edit does not work. One of the biggest problems I run into when colour correcting is trying to do the same thing on images where that clearly is not going to work. What I need to do, and what I am always trying to do, is have a more fluid style, that I can apply to a wider set of images.
Consistency is key, especially when building a portfolio, but for stock photography consistency can also be a problem. Something I’ve come to learn over time is this: rigidity will not be rewarded. For example, say we have an outdoor shoot on a summer day. In that case I will try for a radiant, sunny look, and I’ll want everything to look more washed out, brighter than the typical clear, bold, and full look I am often trying for.
Another example are athletic/exercise photos. These types of photos can mean something totally different depending on the editing style. A person stretching before a run with a lens flare that looks bright and sunny has a totally different meaning (and more importantly, a totally different commercial use) than that same photo edited to look much darker, with lots of contrast and shadow.
Variety is important when selling images, especially on stock websites. With stock, every potential customer is looking for something different. What is perfect for one designer is not right at all for another. Therefore, you’re looking to create a variety of images to hopefully have enough content that makes many customers say “That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” to the different images you have.
In that same vein, being in a partnership is excellent for the development of our editing style. What Katey does and what I do look notably different, and that’s great because not everyone will love everything we do. As mentioned above, this allows us to create content that is useful to a wider array of customers. Further, it allows us to constantly give each other feedback, and to more quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.
Editing is tricky, and it takes a long time to be content and comfortable with a consistent style. I’m very happy with how most of my editing turns out these days, but it took me a long time to get here. Feedback is critical because it can be hard to see what you’re doing wrong, and you need to get that feedback before you develop too many bad editing habits. Researching trending styles and different techniques is equally important. Those are the two tools I’ve used, feedback and research.
Both Katey and myself have a lot to learn in regards to editing and recolouring images, and hopefully our style will consistently be good while constantly changing and updating.
Thanks for reading,