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When it comes to branding photography, the aesthetic is just as important as the image itself. The right look is driven by the editing style and picking the right one for you is an important consideration.

Chances are if you’re an Instagram or Pinterest user you will already have an idea of your favourite editing styles. If you’re undecided, a useful exercise is to jot down some keywords you associate with your brand.

Having an aesthetic that complements your brand is key but it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. To help provide you with some inspiration, here are a few different editing styles you might wish to consider.


This is one of the most versatile styles to work with. Colour is controlled, balanced and characterised by:

  • Soft tones

  • Not too contrasty

  • Balanced exposure

My personal preference is to slightly reduce the overall vibrancy for a softer feel. The end result is a welcoming, familiar feel and a good starting point for your images.

Keywords: approachable; warm; personal; natural


This is a more dramatic and gritty style of editing that achieves a distinct mood by slightly under-exposing the image:

  • Deeper shadows

  • More contrasty

  • Limited colour palette

This style works especially well when it incorporates earthy tones – browns, greens and yellows – making it very popular for travel and adventure-related branding.

Keywords: low-key; adventure; moody; travel; wanderlust


A clean editing style is very effective on minimalist images which have plenty of negative space: no clutter and a clear focus. Key features include:

  • Bright and light

  • Cooler colour tones

  • Very effective with minimalist images

Cooler, crisp colours – often favouring whites, greys, and blues – tend to feature prominently with this style and high-key lighting can create an almost clinical feel.

Keywords: high-key; minimalist; clean; technology


This is one of my own often-used styles for branding photography and is characterised by a low-contrast look with subdued colours:

  • Low contrast

  • Low saturation

  • Often considered to have a film-like quality

It tends to wash out the overall vibrancy slightly and removes detail from the shadows – so if you need maximum clarity this is perhaps not the best choice. But for portraits and lifestyle images it is an effective and very popular look.

Keywords: film-effect; lifestyle; matte


If you need your images to jump off the screen, this is a great choice of editing style. The look here is bright, bold and designed to catch your eye and make a statement:

  • High contrast

  • High saturation

  • Lots of primary and secondary colours

The increased saturation might not make it ideal for every situation but for detail shots or products it can be extremely effective.

Keywords: bold; vibrant; eye-catching


I hope you found this post useful. If you would like to discuss editing options for your own personal branding photography session then drop me a message to arrange a time to chat.

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