Today I am continuing with my blogging theme in honor of Waketon Road’s one year anniversary. Over the year I have gotten questions from people regarding photography, editing and creating a cohesive brand. This is all a work in progress and I will continue to evolve as I learn more. But I wanted to share with you what I have learned so far and the tools that help me stay cohesive.
It is important to note that Brian and I had never shot in manual mode before Waketon Road. We did not come into this as experienced photographers. There were many cuss words uttered, tears shed out of frustration and plenty of unusable photos in the beginning. We still have our days when we’re off but overall, practice makes
Invest in a quality camera. This changed everything for us! We started out with my little Samsung as our main camera. We upgraded pretty quickly when we realized it wouldn’t do the trick. I still use my Samsung when we travel for quick shots because of the WiFi capabilities but never for any blog photos. For the blog we use a Canon 5D Mark III with a 35mm lens. I did a lot a research early on and knew I wanted a body that would be able to last us a long time. I didn’t want to buy a good camera knowing I would need to upgrade in a year or so. It is expensive but well worth it!
Find your signature photography style. Everyone has a different look that they are attracted to and Brian and I have our own style of shooting. We prefer to shoot a little more underexposed so that I can lighten during editing. There is nothing worse than trying to salvage a blown out photo. I also don’t like my photos to be too exposed or white washed. There are plenty of accounts that do very well with very white, bright photos. It’s all a personal opinion and what look you are going for.
I personally love editing. It’s one of my favorite parts of photography and blogging. Having an image come alive through editing is so rewarding. Since we are not professional photographers, a little editing is always required. I have developed my signature editing style over the year and now I can edit pretty quickly with a few of my favorite tools.
Lightroom – The RAW images from my Canon go straight into Lightroom. This is where the majority of editing takes place. Lightroom can be very overwhelming in the beginning but there are plenty of YouTube tutorial videos out there to get you started. The rest is just playing around and finding a system that works for you.
Filters – My first step in editing is applying my preset filter. I use VSCO presets on all of my photos. There are 4 or 5 presets that I love and I rotate between them depending on the picture and location. I use the same filter for all of the photos from the shoot. This is the key to creating cohesion.
Final Touches – I always adjust the brightness and contrast depending on the needs of the photo, reduce the yellow tone and up the pink tint. Add a little vibrance and saturation and bump up the clarity. There might be a few other adjustments that need to be made with shadows, color correction, straightening, etc. but that is all minimal. I never want my photos to look over-edited.
Next Steps – After I am finished editing, I export my photos to Dropbox. This allows me to access my photos from anywhere, including my phone to be able to post to Instagram.
Creating a Cohesive Brand
Curating my Instagram feed is a simple joy for me. Not everyone wants to have a cohesive feed and for others it’s too stressful. I personally love telling a story through photos and having them flow from one to the next. I do want to say that this is not necessary and not for everyone! It’s just my personal preference.
Using the same filter is the most important element in creating a cohesive feed. It will keep all of the colors blending and will create a good flow.
Planoly – This app is my go-to! I typically plan out my Instagram feed a few photos in advance. Once I have exported my photos to Dropbox I upload a few into Planoly and move them around to create the feel I am going for. I always want my supporting photos (the non outfit photos) to still evoke the same feel of the blog photos. I can also schedule my photos through this app to remind me when it is time to post.
To stay consistent across all of my channels I always use the same photos. You will not see my editing style differ from the blog to Instagram.
So, there you have it! My tips and tricks that I have picked up over the year to create a signature look through my photos. I hope you could find something helpful to take away from this. Everyone has a different process and there is no right or wrong. This is just what works for me! xo Bryn