When it comes to your photographs, we can often be sucked in into new looks, driven by social media and creative filters and looks on social media platforms like Instagram and Flickr.

But while it might be enticing to try some new looks for your images, it’s ultimately more effective for your marketing if you stay consistent to your brand’s image.

Why those filters are so “cool”

If you spend any time on Instagram, you’ll see a plethora of different looks. You see the everyday public put them on their images and you see all the likes that the photos get. In turn, you see photographers who consistently use these looks in an effective manner and think, “this photo would be great if I made it look like an old-school film photograph.”

To you, it’s a new style. It’s a new look. The idea of new always draws us in — whether it’s on photographs or the latest iPhone look. But, in the case of marketing, it’s not always in our best interest to go “new.”

Why being consistent is the most effective

Consistency is key when it comes to your images. It does a few things:

1. It tells your clients what to expect

When your prospective clients look at your website, they’ll expect to see your images presented in a consistent fashion. For me, my clients like that I capture things that look natural, instead of processing my photos with a high-contrast, film-like style. They know I’ll consistently deliver on my natural look, whether it’s event, food or portrait photography.

2. It makes your job easier

While you might think it’s creative and fun to play around with different looks, it actually makes your job more difficult. You start second-guessing your style of not only the new look you’re using but with future photoshoots as well.

3. It keeps your clients confident

If you have a long-term client, and switch up your look on them randomly, what are they going to think? They’re going to wonder why you processed your images differently. While it’s OK to tweak your style subtly to something that better suits your creativity, it’s important to not make any drastic changes. Should you do that, your clients might start to second-guess your processing abilities, and wonder if you’re the right photographer for them.

It’s OK to play around

All this being said, it’s perfectly fine to play around with different styles. But before you do, I’d encourage you to fine-tune your own style. That’ll help you understand what every slider in Lightroom or Luminar is doing, and how you should go about editing future photoshoots.

But if you see something that you think looks cool, great! Feel free to share it, but mention that you’re playing around with a new look.

Ultimately, creative filters, looks, and styles may look cool, but they won’t help your cause of creating a consistent brand that you can present to current and prospective clients.


For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.