Finding your style. This piece of the editing puzzle is SO important you guys! If you're up to speed, lets just hop to it, if not I suggest to catch up on this series, you can check out parts one & two, respectively, holla!
OK, so why is determining your style so important to editing? Because before you actually begin to edit, you need to know what your end game is. It's easy to slap on a preset you've purchased and feel content, but if you really want to hone your style, it's important to figure out exactly what that is. I mean, if you don't know what you're destination is, how ya gonna get there, know what I'm sayin? So let's talk about how we can figure out your editing style by dissecting others' images that we admire.
Ok first thing we need to do here is open up our dear old friend Pinterest. What I want you to do is search wedding photos and create a board with 5-10 images in which the overall style of the photo catches your eye. Then what I want you to do is evaluate the photos. First and foremost, what is it the general style you're pinning? They ideally should be similar in style. Are they brighter or darker? If you're pinning completely bright and airy plus super dark and moody... looks like you need to figure out what you're most drawn to, or what feels most like you. While I adore dark, super warm and moody images, they are not me. I've tried it and it just frustrates me because something just doesn't ever feel right to me! So figure out you and do you, boo.
From this point, I want you to really dissect what is on your board. Grab a pen and paper and let's evaluate:
White balance. Warm? Cool? Natural? To really determine what end of the kelvin scale the white balance is on, it's easiest to look at the skin tones. Are they natural, more yellow toned, or blue toned? Also note, green/magenta tints are included in your white balance, they can however be trickier to pick apart.
Exposure. Over exposed? Naturally exposed? Really deep?
Contrast. Look at the highlights and shadows. Are the shadows super deep with no detail? Are they natural looking? Are they super lifted and soft? Highlights, are they nice and bright, natural or are they muddy? Overall is there high or low contrast?
Color tones. This is probably the hardest of all the categories to really dissect. But let's just start with are the colors natural, if not what tones do you feel like you re seeing? Are the greens muted?
Let's do one as example shall we?
When I type in Bright and Airy Wedding Photos, this is a sample of what populated. To me, I am most drawn to the two center images. Dissecting them I would say:
White balance: Pretty true to color, the top is slightly warmer than the bottom.
Contrast: Pretty low. The highlights are bright, and the shadows are pretty light as well.
Lighting: Backlighting in both. Lots of white in the background. Love the sunset photo on the top photo!
Color tones: The greens are muted and very light in both. Overall, the colors seem fairly natural.
Here's how my evaluation of what I wanted overall translated into my own preset.
So bust out that pen and paper plus Pinterest and start defining your own personal style. Next week, before we really get into editing I want to briefly address shooting for your style. This topic definitely deserves a little a bit of attention before we move on. So stay tuned for that!