On Ten Minutes with Manzanita LIVE today we talked about consistency in editing. This is a big one--one small thing that can kick you out of amateur club and land you in the world of professional photography. Let's dive in:
1. Be a consistent shooter.
What I mean by this is shoot often. Shoot daily if possible. Constant shooting will help you discover the type of photography that calls to you and will change the consistency of your images. Maybe you'll discover you love portraiture. Maybe you love the nitty-gritty daily document. But unless you shoot often, you will never discover this and won't be able to craft what interests you most.
2. Use the same presets.
There is a caveat to this one I'll share at the end, but if you're trying to find a consistent look with your work, you need to use ONE or two presets. Buying that "all inclusive 142 presets" package for $39 is a terrible mistake for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is it will do nothing for your consistency. Instead, find someone you admire and ask them about their presets. Maybe they sell them, maybe they can tell you where they purchased theirs. Either way you'll be closer to achieving the look you want than buying an enormous package of over 100 presets will ever do.
CAVEAT: If you know your style and have been shooting consistently for a while, branching out into different presets won't hurt, especially if you know how to merge your ideas into a cohesive edit.
3. Do the Pinterest test.
Search "lifestyle photography" or "portraiture" or "city photography" into Pinterest and create a board where you can store the images that call to you. Gather enough images (I'd say at least 100) that you can see a pattern in what you post. Do you trend dark? Do you like color? You'll see those interests emerge in your pins, which will help you create your own look.
4. Always evolve.
Yes, be consistent. Stay the course. Don't edit all over the place and hope you get bookings. But once you've mastered your "look" or brand, branch out. You have to evolve as a photographer or you will get left in the dust. A stagnant artist is a sad artist, so get our your camera and make something new.
What about you? What have you found works for keeping your work consistent?