How to Quickly Increase Consistency With A Photo Style Guide

In order to create a cohesive look to your photographs, you should consider setting up a style guide to keep a similar look to all future photographs that you use. The following are some aspects to consider including and defining for consistent results.

Color Palette

There are many ways you can go with your color, but you first have to decide if you want color at all. If you go with black and white photographs, you will focus on levels of brightness and contrast as your defining look. Assuming you do not go in that direction and head towards color, you have a few additional variables to consider. Mainly you will be deciding on colors, do you want a warmer or cooler color palette? Greener or more magenta? Ultimately you want to choose a look that you know you can replicate consistently and easily, consider including examples for reference. Also remember to choose a level of brightness and contrast that can be replicated also. If you are conscious of maintaining these few variables, your photographs should be on the right path to consistency.

Composition

There are a few sides to the decision you must make on composition. First, you need to consider if you want to have all your images composed in a very similar way. If so you might want every shot to have the subject centered and any horizon line at or below the lower third. Secondly, if you do not want to be so restrictive consider setting at least one variable. It could be having a similar horizon line, never cutting off part of the subject, not having anything obscuring the subject, or any other aspect that could remain constant. Thirdly, consider the foreground, background, and anything in the middle. This could make a big impact, especially if you always want them to be similar and if they take up dominant part of the photograph. There are a lot of variables to composition that you can consider specifying including leading lines, balance, scale, hierarchy, and contrast. 

Subjects

This is mainly to help you create a list of possible subjects to get photographs taken of, relevant to your business. This can also help you to know what does not belong, knowing what does and does not get people's attention and engagement also helps to adjust this section. Technically, if you follow your color and composition guide lines, you should be able to make any subject fit in with the rest. It is then up to you to give it context in relation to the other photos. See this as a place to create a list of possible ideas beyond what you think of right away, consider looking at other businesses for ideas also. Then apply your other guidelines. 

Perspectives

Perspective is a great way to establish a uniform look to your photographs. If you were to choose one or two perspective that you stick with it could be only using photographs that look straight down on your products or straight at a subject using the product.  You do not want to have photographs where you are looking slightly up at your subject then down and then from the side next to each other. You also probably do not want to throw in an unrealistic and disorienting perspective that distorts reality. As with everything else above, if you are very restrictive with perspective, you can ensure consistent photographs. 

Interaction Of People

If you have people in your photographs, be aware of how they are interacting. Consider if you want them to appear to be aware of the viewer, as if they are in the scene, or have them in their own world doing their work or having fun with the product you are selling. The same applies if you are providing a service to your customers, the way the people in any photograph are interacting with one another and the viewer is very important to be aware of. It is worth establishing general situations when they should be interacting one way or another. 

In Conclusion

Consistency might not guarantee great photos, but setting restrictions for the above guidelines will set you on a better path. This way if you are not taking all the photos yourself, The people that are will be able to follow your guidelines and get you the results you want. Consistency builds trust, customers want to see that you take your image seriously and that you are not throwing unwanted content at them that has no relevance and doesn’t look like it belongs. Put down some ideas for each of the above sections and try keeping them for a month or so and see how that goes.