Have you ever wondered why it even matters to have a portfolio that looks consistent? Getting “consistency” is an important goal for photographers, but why does it actually matter? Why can’t each shoot just be shot & editing completely differently?
Well imagine this: you were looking for a photographer, and you came across a certain persons portfolio. You scrolled through it and saw some images that you absolutely LOVED—the shooting & editing style were exactly what you were looking for. It aligned with your vision for our own photos perfectly.
You kept scrolling and you saw more images that were completely different. They had a totally different editing style and you didn’t like them so much. The skin tones weren’t the same—there was a different “feel” to the images, and it was definitely not what you wanted.
And then you kept scrolling and saw yet a 3rd different style of editing that this photographer was experimenting with—this one was your least favorite of all.
Would you feel comfortable hiring this photographer? How much do you trust that they would deliver the exact vision you were hoping for… when less than 1/3 of their portfolio matched what you wanted?
It all comes back to trust—can your clients trust you? And I don’t mean in a “well, you won’t steal their wallet” kind of of way—but in a “how confident do they feel that you’ll deliver exactly what they want?” way.
It’s important to remember that every person who visits your site or Instagram feed is only looking for what’s going to directly help them. They’re only thinking of their own exact photography needs—and trying to find someone that they trust can fulfill their own vision. This concept applies not only to editing style—but also to content. An engaged couple is only looking for engagement/wedding photos on any photographers site—a 17-year-old is looking only for senior photos, and a mom of 3 kids is looking for family photos. They are desperately scanning your site to find what they are looking for—so its important to ask yourself, what percentage of your site will they find is relevant to them?
Why specialism works & matters is an entirely separate topic for many blog posts—so let’s get back to editing consistency for the moment.
If you have more than one editing style or “version” of skin tones on your site or IG feed—it’s likely that anyone looking at it, is only looking for 1 of those styles—and you’ve immediately made at least 1/2 of your site/feed irrelevant to them. This makes it so much more difficult for them to trust that you’ll deliver the version of edits they love—and if they find another photographer who is consistently showing exactly what aligns with their vision, it’s likely they’ll hire them instead.
However, if you have a consistent style across your whole portfolio & Instagram feed—then anyone scrolling through can see exactly what they’d be getting if they hired you. There’s no worry, doubt, or confusion in their minds. As photography is a subject art—it’s impossible to create a style that every single person who lands on your site will love—but if you’re at least consistent, they’ll know exactly what they’d be getting and it properly sets their expectations. They’ll either love it all—or they won’t—and either option is good for you & good for them. Consistency not only helps clients trust you—but also magnetizes the right type of clients, that are in love with 100% of your style to hire you—and heads off any potential figure confusion about what a client is going to be delivered.
Being consistent in your edits improves your client's experience, and it helps you work with the right type of clients that are in love with your unique style.
So that's why consistency matters!
If you’d like to learn more about how to edit consistently across all of your shoots in various different lighting conditions, this is what the entire editing workshop is about—and the exact reason why I created the 45 Maddie Mae Presets. Check it out here.