Imagen How to Achieve a Consistent Photo Editing Style With AI – Through the Viewfinder – Imagen Articles

How to Achieve a Consistent Photo Editing Style With AI

Michaela is a photography and digital marketing expert.
By Michaela Luyt
Kelly Hendrickse
Edited by Kelly Hendrickse

Published September 20, 2023.

A close-up of a woman, accentuating warm skin tones.

The biggest issue with finding a distinctive editing style is that it should truly represent you and the type of art you want to display to clients. Each photographer has their own specific look and feel in their work. As of 2021, there are 74.6 million professional photographers in the world, so implementing specific editing techniques to get results that are unique to you is crucial to standing out.

We spoke to Michaela Luyt, an expert photographer with experience in commercial and lifestyle photography, to gain some insights into finding a unique photo editing style, the importance of consistency, and how AI can help with both.

How to Edit Photos Consistently With AI

I think AI is revolutionizing the way that we edit and how we approach the post-photography process.

AI tools can learn from how you specifically edit and incorporate your art style and approach to editing. This can save time and effort.

Some examples of photography processes AI can automate are:

  • Cropping
  • Removing backgrounds
  • Adjust lighting

However, there still needs to be retouching afterwards, but as AI progresses, this will theoretically no longer be manual.

Some shooting and AI editing techniques include:

1. Shoot in Raw

Shooting raw is the best because the quality that you're going to get is superior, and working with raw photos is so much easier.

The camera sensor's captured data offers greater flexibility in post-processing, so there are more editing options available—you can go more in-depth with a raw photo compared to a processed one. This allows you complete control over the exposure, white balance, and color adjustment, to name a few examples.

2. Apply Color Palettes

Choosing a color palette is very important because the end results of your photos will depend on it. It sets the mood and tone for the entire photographed event and for the results the client will get. For instance, many would favor a timeless and elegant feel from a wedding color palette that easily evokes memories of that special day when looking at the photos.

So, the color palette should:

  • Be harmonious
  • Tell a story
  • Be unique and individual to the client
  • Create an appropriate tone or feel

You may wonder how to choose a wedding color palette. Try to ensure it's unique to those getting married, their preferences, their wedding venue, and the event's ambiance.

"I think one of the biggest things AI will possibly impact is lighting and adjusting aspects for specific time-of-day shoots," says Michaela. For now, when you shoot at night, it's more challenging to edit those photos. So, consider what lighting you have available and whether the color tones and lighting work together.

3. Utilize Image Filters and Photo Editing Presets

Filters and presets have to be carefully crafted and customized to portray your unique style and bring out the right elements in the photos. It should align with your artistic vision, while not misrepresenting the client. So, these definitely provide a good starting point for your editing process as it can help ensure a cohesive look across all photos.

"But every preset should be adapted for different shoots' lighting and elements because your preset for a professional shoot versus your preset for a sports shoot or live-action shoot is going to be very different," explains Michaela.

4. Leverage Batch Editing

  • Create custom profiles: With Imagen's AI-led software, you can tailor a profile to your style, your visual signature and make sure it can be applied to different photos and circumstances. Imagen's algorithm analyzes your finished photos to understand the exact parameters of your editing style, which can be applied to and tweaked across batches of photos in your editing program, such as Lightroom.
  • Update your existing profile: As your career progresses, your photography knowledge will expand. Keeping your profile up to date with your abilities by allowing Imagen to learn from all your latest edits can help you keep your evolving style current and showcase your expertise and authority on the techniques you use.

» Check out these ways AI will affect photography editing's future

How to Protect Your Photos' Individuality

Editing a photo of a woman with Imagen.

One of the biggest things to remember is every photo is an individual story and is a special element to the totality of the shoot that you've done.

You can batch-edit with Lightroom to help save time. But pay attention to the small details of every photo and make small adjustments to make your photos cohesive stylistically.

To ensure you maintain quality across photos, you should still check every one individually after batch-editing for the following reasons:

  • Tailored to the situation/style
  • Lighting and contrast are suitable
  • The emotion of each captured moment isn't diminished

This can be particularly tricky in less artistic photography. Michaela offers her critical approach to all her photo editing, which can be helpful here:

"As somebody with extensive experience in commercial photography, I aim for perfection in every image. When looking at any photo, I recognize the effort put into editing to achieve high quality, always scrutinizing it because commercial photography has no room for mistakes. Usually, commercial images can't have personal quirks or idiosyncrasies."

How to Balance Authentic Moments and Consistent Editing

  • Candid moments: Capture emotional moments while you are present. For example, hone in on moments between posed shots, like when people are setting up a wedding venue, getting ready, or a singer is mid-song. Obviously, this depends on your equipment and what you're charging your client, but candid moments help capture the essence of an event.
  • Post-processing: Enhance authentic elements and maintain the look and feel of what you want to represent through your photography. Use editing to bridge between authenticity and artistic vision.

While different photography can warrant different editing techniques, Michaela emphasizes how emotion is still at the root of it all. "It's not just whether it be a well-taken shampoo bottle versus an experience that a mom and a newborn have. They both have most of the elements to them but just a different type of emotion," she explains.

Let AI and Style Work Together

When you're a photographer, you don't switch off.

With AI tools, you can save time in your editing process, so you can focus on drawing out your artistic vision, emotion, and the visual story you hope to tell with each photo set. These tools can also free up some time to switch off and rest.

"Capturing the moment but not overshadowing it with too much editing—that's the balance you need to find," advises Michaela. So, by leveraging photo presets, filters, color palettes, and batch editing, your photography can keep a signature style across different shoot types, from weddings to product launches, in a more efficient way.

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