Creating Consistent Photos for Your Brand
BRANDING. There's that wonderful word again. Part of branding is having consistency, well all of branding is having consistency - it just depends on how you define that.
There are a million different directions I could go with this blog post, but I am going to start with just one: Instagram.
"How do I get a consistent feed?!"
I'll tell you.
REMEMBER: What you enjoy looking at and what inspires you, might not be what you are good at creating. One of my favorite bloggers is Julia Engel (Gal Meets Glam), but my Instagram feed looks nothing like hers. I learned I tend to shoot and edit with more contrast and am drawn to cooler tones... and a lot of denim. I will shoot more similarly to her brand from time to time, but I've learned to play to my strengths and market myself a certain way.
I asked, and you all told me your favorite instagrams to follow - the people whose feed you look at and you just think, "I like this vibe!"
1. DEFINE YOUR STYLE
Each of these bloggers has her own sense of style. Some are feminine, some are summery, some are vintage, some are laid back... Having a sense of style doesn't mean only wearing certain things, but it means knowing what makes you feel like your best self and expressing yourself through you clothes, accessories, or home decor in a way that is uniquely you.
2. HAVE A COLOR SCHEME
Identifying with a color scheme is one of the easiest ways to start adding continuity in your feed. Editing and filters can only go so far - WHAT you take photos of matters the most. For example, Ashley (Teacher Diva) is good about keeping a thread of soft pinks throughout her feed, and finds the color everywhere - flowers, drinks, clothes. Pick a few colors that work for your brand AND are what you happen to see every day. Try to pick a couple neutrals and then a pop of color, like green, blue, cream, with a pop of peach or orange
3. SHOOT IN CONSISTENT LIGHTING
Something that may not be as obvious at first glance, but a huge way to have consistent photos is to shoot in the same type of light as much as possible. Either in the shade, or at dusk, in the bright sun, or inside with cozy ambient light. Once the first two are nailed down, and you are shooting in consistent light, you will start to really see all your images coming together. This really helps keep your whites and blacks consistent, which creates a huge impact when looking at all your photos together.
4. PICK A FILTER OR TWO
Since we are talking about Instagram, let's talk about VSCO - the app that is the easiest way to add consistency in your feed without using Instagram filters and picking what suits your brand best. Because life cannot all be one color scheme, or one type of light, I suggest you buy all the filters - maybe a total of $20, and play around with the filters to find what fits your brand. This helps keep your color tones (whites, blacks, etc.) the same throughout your feed, even if the photos were taken by different people at different times. Be careful about using them subtly, I can speak for every photographer when I say there is nothing like delivering one batch of photos and then seeing something COMPLETELY different on someone's feed. But when used correctly, by all means, add a filter at a strength of 20-30% to add some continuity to your feed. When executed well, it's a game changer.
5. USE A PLANNING APP
For a while I was against this, because if you are doing the first four, they should all go together. But I have learned, especially when I am sitting on a lot of content that needs to be posted, it helps to see it all laid out.
I send myself 3 or 4 photos from only 3 or 4 shoots, and then add a few detail shots of other things that go with my color scheme, run them all through VSCO (adding a slight filter), then open them in my planning app. Then I rearrange them until there is a good thread of each color or texture running through the 9-12 photos. And if I'm traveling or out and want to post a photo right there from that night, great! Nothing should stop you from being spontaneous and posting what you love. Even if a photo doesn't fit sometimes, if you love it, you should post it, and then just pick up right where you left off in your feed.
Tag me if you try any of these tips! I'd be so excited to see how you apply them to your own feeds!
As always, have fun with it! If it's stressing you out, take a step back to remember why you do what you do and what makes it enjoyable. Give yourself a reasonable set of boundaries to establish your brand, and then go wild!
Also note: what's really on trend right now is not giving a s*** - so shoot in mixed light, wear a funky accessory, don't highly edit your photos, and you will surely be on-trend.