Capturing Home: VSCO and Consistency

Favorite Phone Photography Apps

Capturing Home is a mini blog series exploring the rich beauty of home in the midst of the everyday mess, routine, and joy of life. Throughout the series, we’ll cover the freedom of embracing the ordinary, the purpose of place, and the practical ways we can capture home with the art of photography and words.

So far in this mini series, we’ve wrestled through the meaning of home and how to embrace the ordinary, and have also explored lighting and a few of my favorite iPhone photography apps.

And while I haven’t been the most consistent with keeping up with this series, spreading it thin over many weeks, today we’re going to talk about the benefits of consistency when it comes to photography. Ironic, I know.

When I talk about consistency, I’m not referring to how often you take pictures or necessarily what you take pictures of in your home, but am rather referring to a consistency of style.

Before we talk about how to achieve a consistent style in your photos, let’s first talk about why we would even try and what the benefits are.

Achieving Consistency in Phone Photography

(image via VSCO)

First, consistency gives a cohesive overall look to your work. This makes memory keeping, such as photo albums and journalling so much nicer because your photos will look like they belong together. Consistently capturing and editing your photos with similar tones, lighting, coloring, and temperature will make it far easier to create pleasing layouts within your albums and will more effectively tell the story you’re trying to communicate.

Second, consistency makes your photos uniquely yours. Once you develop a style that you enjoy, it becomes observable and you’re eventually recognized by it, just like you’re recognized by your handwriting or by how you dress. Now this isn’t terribly important for most people as they could care less whether their photos are recognizably theirs, but it matters a great deal to photographers, creatives, and business owners who are trying to be known for a particular look and style. So if that describes you, learning how to produce consistent work is vital.

Third, consistency creates trust between you and those who enjoy your work. Again, this is a benefit for those of us who are trying to market our work to a larger audience. In the instagram world, this means creating a steady feed that is marked by an overall consistent style, allowing followers to know what to expect from the pictures and captions you post. Consistency in quality, style, and content type will gain you the trust and loyalty of those that choose to follow you. A take-it-or-leave-it point based on how you enjoy using instagram though.

Fourth, consistency allows you to streamline your editing workflow. Knowing the overall look you’re trying to achieve cuts the work of editing your photos in half. Instead of constantly flipping through filters trying to find the absolute perfect one for that particular picture, you’ve already predetermined the select filters that fit your style and that you consistently apply to your photos. Time saved.

Now let’s talk about how I do this with my iPhone photos.

Achieving Consistency in Phone Photography

(image via VSCO)

I mentioned last time that I use VSCO for all my editing, and it is so helpful for keeping me consistent. While all my photos are taken using the basic pre-installed camera app on my iPhone (most often set in the square view), I import all my favorites into the VSCO editing app.

First, I select my preset, which is almost always A5 for my color images or X1 for my black and whites.

Next, I adjust the contrast, bumping it up +2 or more. Typically I’ll take the contrast up super high at first and then bring it back down to where it looks natural and crisp.

After that, I adjust the temperature, usually bringing it down a touch as I like a cooler look to my photos most often.

After temperature, I knock around the tint a few degrees to see if taking out some of the pinks in my image helps the overall look, but I don’t always think it does.

Then I play around with exposure. The reason I leave exposure until after all the other adjustments is because contrast, temperature, and tint will all effect the exposure. So adjusting exposure prior to making those adjustments will throw them all off anyway. More often than not, I can leave exposure where it’s at, but do bump it up +1 or +2 at times as well. Most of my pictures are moodier with lots of shadows, and I hate to lose those, so I’m careful not to over-expose.

Finally I apply a tint to the shadows, most often +3 of the blue, but sometimes +4 of the yellow. This is the step I’m still trying to nail down consistently because I’m not confident of the look I prefer the most just yet.

Other edits I might make are cropping or straightening the image. But that’s on a case-by-case basis.

Now that might sound like a lot of steps, but the great thing about VSCO is that you can copy and paste your edits from one picture to the next if you have a lot of similar photos to edit all at once! Learn how to HERE.

After editing, I export the full size photos to my camera roll! And that’s it!

Following the same steps with each edit keeps the look of my photos consistent and cohesive, and I love it. If you scroll through my feed on instagram, you’ll see I recently adopted this philosophy about 10 weeks back. Before that point, I was using a different filter or look for every photo I uploaded. I much prefer my current method!

Achieving Consistency in Phone Photography

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few instagrammers who are nailing consistency within their feeds: 

lifes_simple_joys

dearestdaughters

tiffany_lea

rosemary_wild

laicie

cloisteredaway

emily_jeffords

calebsprenger

What are your favorite ways to achieve consistency in your photos? Do you have a favorite filter you use? Share in your photos this week using #capturinghome and let’s help each other improve!

you can catch updates about this series on:

bloglovin’ | instagramfacebook | pinterest

Comments

  1. lovely post, Susanna. I have horridly awful consistency in my pictures and I’d like to blame some of it on my android camera – as I always get better pics with my husband’s iPhone. but I know a good part of it is user error. 😉
    thanks for the tips. I always love your photos!

    • Susanna says:

      You are SO kind! I love VSCO and it IS available for android users now if you’re interested. You have a fun style all of your own infused with humor that I could never pull off. I especially liked the post about shopping for “organic” food with your little one a few days back. Haha! 😉

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