5 Tips for Determining Your Editing Style

Your editing style determines how you want your pictures to look after post-processing. While the photography world already has several styles, you can still create a unique image editing style by researching, combining different styles, experimenting with Lightroom presets, looking for work patterns, and being patient when practicing.

Finding your editing style is a core part of finding yourself as a photographer

Look into these tips to get you started in finding the best editing style for photography.

Know the Different Editing Styles

If you’re unsure where to start, you can try all of these photo editing styles and experiment until you find what suits your niche, angles, or subjects the most.

Clean Editing: Being the most basic style, this edit means doing some tweaks on sharpness, clarity, or color temperature to clean up a photo. The goal is to make an image look as natural as possible as if you didn’t edit at all.

Monochrome: This only contains a single hue, although not necessarily black and white. Know that monochrome is different from grayscale, as monochrome allows the use of other colors, while grayscale uses shades of gray.

Desaturated: This editing style involves muting or toning down colors.

Matte Finish: This one results in a slightly washed out yet dark and moody effect. Matte can also mean vintage-like edits with heavy image grain.

High Contrast: Produces a strong contrast by making the image colors more vibrant or saturated. Brightening the whites or darkening the blacks also creates this dramatic or edgy effect.

Look for Color Palette Patterns in Your Work

Try investing time in some photographic seeing exercises like pinpointing patterns in your shots. Gather your favorite photos and see if there are recurring themes such as popping colors, bright tones, heavy contrast, or washed out hues.

Limiting the colors in a picture is one way to determine your editing style and dominant colors. While it may feel restrictive at first, this can help you maintain a consistent palette or theme eventually.

Invest in Lightroom Presets

The best part of using Lightroom presets is that you can apply filters on a set of edits with a single click. In effect, you obtain a 30% increase in image quality and consistent style for future edits.

While Lightroom comes with some built-in presets, you can search the internet for both paid and free presets to grow your collection.

However, you need to consider the niche as some filters may not suit some photography categories. For example, what looks dreamy for landscape photos can make a professional headshot rather lousy.

Research and Study Other Work

One of the best ways to discover your editing style is to look through the portfolio of other photographers and watch tutorials to see how they retouch their images.

Another option is to make a collection on Instagram or create a mood board on Pinterest. You can also visit galleries or view online stock photos to get an idea of where to start.

Practice and Be Patient

With lots of styles and filters around, editing can be overwhelming at first. While you may not be able to master using an editing style right away, remember that growth takes time and patience. Dedicate time to practicing, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and learn as you grow.


Finding a consistent editing style takes time, patience in studying, and lots of experimentation. With these tips for determining your editing style, you can find the most creative way to edit your photos and streamline your editing process.

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