As you all know, I like to rant about my pet peeves… Not just the stuff that other people do, but also the stuff that I do. And I think the fact that I do it bugs me even more, so I find ways to fix it.
Sometimes, even though it goes against all of my rules, you have to edit more than one shot from a look. Sometimes you need to edit two shots from a look. Sometimes you need to edit 20 shots from a look. Perhaps you are doing a series or a web gallery of some sort and you need several images from the same shoot, probably even the same look or pose. The thing that bugs me the most is not having a bunch of the same image… What bugs me is the inconsistency that often ensues. Even though an image is from the same shoot, either through shoot conditions or photographer error, the images just don’t look the same. And they’re from the same flippin’ shoot!
Images from a series should look like they are from a series; meaning they are exposed the same way, edited the same way, color corrected the same way. And this all starts at the beginning… When you’re shooting. You should be shooting on manual; which is to say your exposure, color temperature, ISO, shutter speed, and aperture should all be the same for every shot. You may have to make small changes as you go, but for the most part the end goal is the same.
And when you take the photos off your camera, you should be making sure that when you work with them, you are working them in a group. For instance, if you are editing in Lightroom, make sure you make all of your adjustments the same. Lightroom makes it easy to copy develop settings from image to image.
If you are bringing the images into Photoshop for retouching, you obviously are going to retouch one image at a time… But before you finish up, maybe open up the previous images for reference and look at them side-by-side, just to be sure they all look the same.
If you work with actions, make sure you write down your recipes, sequences, or the order that you run your actions in. This will help you keep the same workflow from image to image.
Consistency is so important… It lets clients know you are able to nail the shot 100% of the time. They hire you for your style and skill, but they want to make sure you can achieve the same look on demand. By making sure your end product is not only quality, but also consistent, you demonstrate that you can deliver. And creating a polished end result is the mark of a professional.