Should My Images Look the Same?

After a photoshoot, the editing starts. This can be a simple process, or as complex as desired. As part of this editing, the overall look and feel of an image is determined. This includes the colour pallet – basically the dominant colours used in an image. If you think about a great movie, all the scenes look like they belong together, the frames similar scenes look like they were all made on the same day, under the same light conditions, even though the movie was probably photographed over many months. This activity is colour grading, although it can be confusing. because the term is also used for correcting errors between exposures, to make them realistic, and also to bring different exposures from different environments, to a common, accurate, baseline.

For us, making still images, the question is “should they be graded the same?”. As artists, the answer is a strong “maybe” 🙂

If the series of images are telling a continuous tale, say a walk down the street, then there is a strong argument for keeping the colour pallet constant through the series. The same is often true for a fashion shoot. But, for a series of artistic images that stand alone, or for a beauty shoot with different looks, a different pallet that complements each image may give a better end result.

Another thing to consider is the destination for the images. In a portfolio, you may want to showcase consistency. For social media, with time between each image post, and very probably different people seeing each image, the need for consistency is less. Making each image look the best it can regardless of what comes before of follows it, is a good choice.

Other creatives involved in a shoot can give a photographer valuable insight, especially into the story of the images, and their intended destination.

Above all, have fun!