Branding is a long-term investment and picking your chosen style is an important decision. When considering the images associated with your brand, how they look is just as important as the image itself. There should be a relationship between the two or else its impact will be reduced and the message confused.

Chances are if you’re an Instagram or Pinterest user you will already have an idea of your favourite styles. If you’re undecided or unsure, a useful exercise is to jot down some keywords of the feelings you want to express in your images. More on that here.

The options are endless and completely subjective. But for those of you who need a starting point for inspiration, here are three three common editing styles you may want to consider for your photographs.

1) Natural

This style focuses on soft tones and balance. Not too contrasty. Not too saturated. Not too under or over-exposed. The use of colour is controlled and subtle; in this particular image I selectively increased / decreased particular colours based on the client’s preferences.

It’s an effective style for small businesses that work closely with other people and want to create a welcoming, personal feeling.

Keywords: approachable; homely; inviting; warm; personal.

2) Moody

This is more dramatic cinematic style exaggerates mood by under-exposing the image. The dominant theme here is earthy tones – lots of browns and yellows – which makes it very popular for travel or outdoor-related imagery.

It can also be used to great effect for business branding, especially those in the creative industries or any business that uses a similarly low-contrast, muted colour palette — think your local independent coffee shop.

Keywords: low-key; muted; mood; travel; wanderlust.

3) Clean

Using a clean editing style is very effective for editorial photographs where you need to overlay text as there is often plenty of negative space to work with. No clutter, concentrated detail and a crystal-clear message illustrated by the presence of just one or two elements.

Cool, crisp colours – often favouring whites and greys – tend to dominate and even, high-key lighting creates an almost clinical feel. It has become almost a standard for technology businesses.

Keywords: high-key; minimalist; clear; technology; editorial.