Discover Your Photography Editing Style: Step-by-Step Guide to Success
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


1. Understand Your Photography Goals

2. Explore Different Editing Styles

3. Analyze Your Favorite Photographers

4. Practice and Experiment

5. How to Find Your Photography Editing Style: Refine and Develop

Discovering your photography editing style can be a fun and rewarding journey. It's essential for creating a cohesive portfolio and developing your brand as a photographer. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through how to find your photography editing style and achieve success in your photography career.

1. Understand Your Photography Goals

Before diving into editing techniques, you must first understand your goals as a photographer. This foundation will help you make informed decisions about your editing style and ensure it aligns with your overall objectives.

Define Your Creative Vision

Begin by defining your creative vision. What emotions or stories do you want to convey through your images? Consider the following aspects:

  • Subject matter: Are you drawn to portrait, landscape, or documentary photography?
  • Composition: Do you prefer simplistic or complex compositions?
  • Mood: What mood or atmosphere do you want to create—light and airy, or dark and moody?

By clearly defining your creative vision, you'll have a solid foundation for choosing an editing style that enhances your photography.

Identify Your Target Audience

Next, think about who your target audience is. Are you aiming to attract clients for portrait sessions, or are you more interested in selling prints to art collectors? Knowing your target audience will help you tailor your editing style to their preferences and expectations.

For example, if you're a wedding photographer, you might lean towards a more romantic and timeless editing style that appeals to couples. On the other hand, if you're a travel photographer, you might opt for a vibrant and dynamic style that captures the essence of each destination.

Establish Your Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how you present yourself to the world and how you differentiate yourself from other photographers. It encompasses everything from your logo and website design to the way you communicate with clients. Your editing style plays a significant role in shaping your brand identity.

Ask yourself: What do you want to be known for? What makes your photography unique? By answering these questions, you'll be better equipped to choose an editing style that reflects your personality and sets you apart from the competition.

2. Explore Different Editing Styles

Now that you have a clear understanding of your photography goals, it's time to explore different editing styles. Familiarizing yourself with various styles will help you determine which one resonates with you the most and aligns with your creative vision. Let's take a look at some popular editing styles to get you started on your journey to find your photography editing style.

Classic and Timeless

This editing style focuses on producing images that stand the test of time. It aims to retain the natural colors and tones of a scene while making subtle adjustments to enhance the overall image. Some characteristics of the classic and timeless style include:

  • Minimal editing: Focuses on preserving the original photo's elements with only slight adjustments to exposure, contrast, and sharpness.
  • Neutral color palette: Emphasizes natural colors, avoiding overly saturated or unnatural tones.

Does your creative vision align with capturing images that remain relevant and visually appealing for years to come? If so, the classic and timeless style might be the perfect fit for you.

Moody and Dramatic

If you're looking to create images with a more emotional and atmospheric impact, the moody and dramatic editing style might be for you. This style is characterized by:

  • High contrast: Emphasizes the difference between light and dark areas, creating depth and intensity.
  • Rich, desaturated colors: Muted color tones that evoke a sense of mystery and emotion.

Are you drawn to the idea of telling a story through your images by evoking strong emotions? If so, consider experimenting with the moody and dramatic editing style to see if it suits your creative vision.

Vibrant and Colorful

For those who love capturing the vivid colors and energy of a scene, the vibrant and colorful editing style might be the perfect match. Here are some key aspects of this style:

  • Bright, saturated colors: Enhances the vibrancy of colors to make them pop and bring life to your images.
  • Increased clarity and sharpness: Makes every detail stand out, providing a sense of depth and realism.

Does the idea of creating eye-catching images that showcase the beauty of colors excite you? If so, the vibrant and colorful editing style could be the key to unlocking your photography editing style.

Minimalist and Clean

If you're a fan of simplicity and want to create images that focus on the essentials, the minimalist and clean editing style might be your ideal choice. Characteristics of this style include:

  • Simple compositions: Focuses on the subject with minimal distractions or clutter.
  • Subtle adjustments: Enhances the image without over-processing, keeping a natural and clean appearance.

Are you drawn to the idea of creating images that convey a message through simplicity and elegance? If so, the minimalist and clean editing style could be the perfect way to showcase your photography skills and find your photography editing style.

3. Analyze Your Favorite Photographers

With an understanding of various editing styles, it's time to take a closer look at the work of your favorite photographers. Analyzing their techniques and identifying common elements in their style can help you find inspiration and direction for your own photography editing style. Let's dive into the steps you can take to learn from these talented artists.

Study Their Editing Techniques

First, create a list of photographers whose work you admire and feel a connection to. It could be a well-known professional or even a talented friend. Next, examine their images and try to identify the editing techniques they use. Pay attention to:

  • Color grading: What kind of color palette do they use? Is it warm, cool, or neutral?
  • Contrast and tone: Do they prefer high or low contrast? How do they balance highlights and shadows?
  • Sharpness and clarity: Are their images crisp and clear or soft and dreamy?

By studying these aspects, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the techniques your favorite photographers use to create their unique style. This can be a great starting point for finding your own photography editing style.

Identify Common Elements

As you analyze the work of your favorite photographers, try to identify common elements that resonate with you. Are there certain themes, subjects, or compositions that appeal to you? For example, do you find yourself drawn to:

  • Nature photography: Images of landscapes, flora, and fauna?
  • Urban photography: Capturing the energy and architecture of cityscapes?
  • Portrait photography: Revealing the unique personalities of your subjects?

Recognizing these common threads can help you narrow down the type of photography you enjoy most, and give you a clearer path to finding your photography editing style.

Experiment with Their Styles

Once you've studied your favorite photographers' techniques and identified common elements, it's time to put that knowledge into practice. Experiment with their editing styles by applying similar techniques to your own images. For instance:

  • Color grading: If you admire a photographer's warm and earthy tones, try adjusting the color balance in your own images to create a similar effect.
  • Contrast and tone: If a photographer's use of high contrast and deep shadows intrigues you, experiment with adjusting the contrast and tone curve in your own work.
  • Sharpness and clarity: If you appreciate the soft and dreamy look of a photographer's images, try reducing the sharpness and clarity in your own photos.

Remember, the goal is not to copy their style, but to learn from their techniques and incorporate them into your own unique photography editing style. By experimenting with different styles and techniques, you'll get closer to discovering how to find your photography editing style that best represents your creative vision.

4. Practice and Experiment

Now that you've explored various editing styles and learned from your favorite photographers, it's time to practice and experiment with your own images. The journey of discovering how to find your photography editing style involves a lot of trial and error, but don't worry—every photographer goes through this process. Let's get started with some practical steps you can take to refine your skills and develop your unique editing style.

Learn Photo Editing Software

To effectively experiment with different editing styles, you'll need to become proficient in using photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or other similar programs. Start by familiarizing yourself with the basic tools and features available in your chosen software:

  • Exposure: Adjust the overall brightness of your image.
  • Contrast: Control the difference between the lightest and darkest areas of your photos.
  • Color: Tweak the hue, saturation, and luminance of individual colors in your image.

Once you're comfortable with the basics, you can explore more advanced editing tools like tone curves, gradients, and brushes. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things—this is how you'll learn and grow as a photographer.

Try Different Editing Techniques

As you become more proficient with your editing software, it's time to play around with various editing techniques. This is a crucial step in figuring out how to find your photography editing style. Keep in mind the styles you've admired in other photographers' work, but don't be afraid to branch out and try something new. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Black and white: Convert your images to monochrome to emphasize shapes, textures, and contrast.
  • Split toning: Apply different colors to the highlights and shadows of your photos for a unique look.
  • Texture overlays: Blend textures into your images to create depth and atmosphere.

Remember, there's no right or wrong way to edit your photos. The goal is to find an editing style that resonates with you and helps you express your creative vision.

Evaluate Your Results

After experimenting with various editing techniques, take a step back and evaluate your results. Which edits do you like the most? Which ones feel true to your creative vision? To help you answer these questions, consider the following:

  • Consistency: Do your edited photos have a cohesive look and feel that represents your artistic intentions?
  • Emotion: Do your edits evoke the emotions you want to convey in your images?
  • Impact: Do your edits enhance your photos and make them stand out?

By evaluating your results and reflecting on your editing choices, you'll gain valuable insights into your preferences and style. Use this information as a guide to refine your editing techniques and continue developing your unique photography editing style.

5. How to Find Your Photography Editing Style: Refine and Develop

At this point, you've explored different editing styles, analyzed your favorite photographers, and experimented with various techniques. Now, it's time to refine and develop your unique photography editing style. In this section, we'll discuss practical steps to help you achieve success in finding how to find your photography editing style, so your work shines and stands out in the crowd.

Gather Feedback

As you continue to hone your photography editing style, it's essential to gather feedback from others. Whether it's friends, family, or fellow photographers, constructive criticism can provide valuable insights to help you grow as an artist. Keep in mind the following tips when seeking feedback:

  • Be open-minded: Accept feedback graciously and be willing to consider different perspectives.
  • Ask specific questions: Instead of asking, "Do you like it?", try asking more focused questions like, "Does the color grading evoke the mood I'm aiming for?"
  • Find a mentor: If possible, connect with an experienced photographer who can provide guidance and support as you develop your style.

Create a Consistent Portfolio

As you refine your photography editing style, it's important to showcase your work in a consistent portfolio. This will not only help you attract potential clients but also demonstrate your growth as a photographer. Consider these tips when creating your portfolio:

  • Curate your best work: Choose images that best represent your editing style and creative vision.
  • Organize by theme or project: Group your images in a way that tells a story or highlights specific aspects of your style.
  • Update regularly: Keep your portfolio fresh by adding new work and removing outdated images as your style evolves.

Remember, your portfolio is like a visual resume—it should convey not only your skills but also your unique photography editing style.

Continuously Evolve Your Style

Finding how to find your photography editing style isn't a one-time event—it's an ongoing process that requires continuous growth and adaptation. As you progress in your photography journey, your tastes, interests, and skills will naturally evolve. Embrace this change and be open to experimenting with new techniques and ideas. Here are some ways to keep your style fresh and dynamic:

  • Stay inspired: Regularly seek out new sources of inspiration, such as photography blogs, exhibitions, or social media feeds.
  • Learn new skills: Expand your knowledge by taking workshops, attending seminars, or enrolling in online courses.
  • Collaborate with others: Work with fellow photographers, models, or stylists to challenge your creativity and explore new perspectives.

By staying curious and open to growth, you'll be better equipped to refine and develop a photography editing style that's truly your own.

In conclusion, discovering your unique photography editing style is a rewarding journey that involves understanding your goals, exploring different styles, learning from your favorite photographers, and practicing with intention. By gathering feedback, creating a consistent portfolio, and continuously evolving your style, you'll be well on your way to finding how to find your photography editing style that sets you apart from the rest. So grab your camera, fire up your editing software, and let your creativity shine!

If you're looking to further develop and refine your photography editing style, don't miss the workshop 'How Do I Find my Photographic Style?' by Louis Bever. This workshop will help you explore various techniques and approaches to find your unique photographic style, ensuring your work stands out in a crowded industry.