Once upon a time, I made a REALLY BIG decision and changed up my editing style. I mean, this was really freakin’ big. People that follow my work were probably a little confused. But I made the announcement on my Instagram that I was no longer a moody photographer. I had actually started shooting film.
YIKES. That was pretty scary. But let me back up for a minute and tell you why I finally made the decision to switch.
For almost a year, I was pinning images and following other accounts that were dark and moody. My dream is to travel the world, so I made a special board on Pinterest for that (No shame in the pinning game). During that time, I fell in love with “traveling couple photos” and dreamed to do that someday. I noticed my love for those moody types of images was slowly going away.
One day, I was scrolling through Pinterest, yet again, and found an image that stops me in my tracks! I couldn’t figure out what it was about that image that was SO different, but it was like NOTHING I had ever seen. ‘THIS IS A TRAVELING PHOTO??? OMG!!” For months, I was trying to create presets that matched that image. I kept trying and getting closer… and closer, and for some reason, I could not figure it out.
Soon after, I was pinning lots of images that had that similar look and tone under my awesome “Inspiration” board.
This was the image by the way! It’s by Roman Ivanov and honestly, I didn’t think to ask the owner how he did it or what preset they used (I should have, it would have saved me months of my time), I just used the photo as a reference to create other presets that looked similar.
Yes, the presets were a little similar BUT I was still not happy with my images, because there was still the thought it my head “what the hell did they do to get their images to look like that????”
My work became a little boring. I got to a point where, even after editing, I felt like giving up. I wasn’t satisfied. But I just kept putting it off and saying “OH WELL”.
Finally, I decided to just go on the website and see what he did. His Instagram said it, HE USED FREAKING FILM.
UHHH WHAT. THAT’S NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING AND WTF IS FILM???
I became obsessed with this film. I mean, just look at #contax645 on Instagram and you’ll be obsessed too lol
I FINALLY HAD ENOUGH. I WAS GOING TO CHANGE MY EDITING STYLE, AGAIN.
I started learning film from an amazing teacher and got the hang of it very quickly. I was scared to change my style because I had so many followers that loved my moodier look. But the more I ignored it, the more I hated my image. I believe that when your passion starts to become WORK, its time to change it up a bit. SO…
I shot my first roll of film at a session and posted that thing all over Instagram. People were going crazyyyyyy over those images. It got the most likes out of anything I had ever posted.
My heart was so happy! I finally felt creative and passionate again. I actually loved my work and was so excited to share it with the world. Fear is just a mindset. Sometimes you just have to do it and not think twice.
If you’re thinking about changing your style, or if you don’t know which style is for you, I have a few tips below to get you started on choosing the best editing style.
- Pin away! Believe it or not, Pinterest can tell you a lot about what you love. Look at all your Pinterest boards for second and see what types of photographs you are pinning the most. Are they bright and full of color? Are they neutral and matte? Do you love dark tones? Write down what you love most about them.
- Look at your favorite house decor – 9/10, your house decorations (or your home decor board) can tell you a lot about what kind of style you love. I have light-colored decorations all over my house! My couch is dark green and my table is dark wood (hate). Imagine the struggle when I tried uploading an image of myself or home when I wanted the total opposite? I had to find a light wall outside somewhere for Instagram selfies.
- Look at other Instagram accounts with the same style. So you’ve figured out what you love, now its time to follow other people with the editing style you love. Study the accounts, pay attention to the colors they use. Are the greens desaturated or the skin colors more orange? These types of things helped me decide on what I really wanted to do
- Play around in Lightroom – Play around with a raw image to see what you love most. I suggest that you always get your White Balance right before you start playing around though. An image that’s way too blue or way too orange is not a style. I’ll show you an example of WB here.
- Buy presets. THERE IS NO SHAME in using presets. People think that because you buy presets to help you edit that you suddenly are cheating. UH, NO. Presets are a great starting point and honestly, some of the best photographers use presets. Find what you love and tweak it some. You can see the presets I use here.
It’s your work. Do what makes you happy. If you need to go through 15 photographer phases, like me, just to get there, then do it. But remember, NEVER ever change your style for someone else. Do it for YOU.