Going for Consistent Style and Color in Your Social Media Photos? This Video Explains How It's Done

Have you ever looked through someone's Instagram account and noticed that all of their images seemed to have a consistent color palette or style about them? If you've ever wondered how that is possible, give this video a watch. Sean Tucker dives into the details of how and why some creatives choose to present a consistent style, and then he goes on to process a small set of photos to show how it can be done.

I love that Tucker uses the example of cinema to show how color palettes are used across a wide range of images, for the entirety of a particular film. Styles like this are preconceived and planned for when filming, and fully processed in post for maximum effect to complement the feeling or mood of the film.

Tucker uses the Darkroom app, and you might recognize him from another video we shared recently, which was about creating dramatic black and white images for Instagram.

When editing your photos, an important thing to consider is defining your own style and look. When you see a photo or series that you like, that doesn't mean you should simply try to emulate what someone else has done. Developing your own methods for creating a look that you find desirable, and then continuing to refine and add to your portfolio with that consistent style, is going to go a long way in setting you apart from others. There are some good comments on the YouTube page that go into this, with more insight into why this kind of consistent approach is or isn't a good idea.

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7 Comments

This guy always has good videos, more of him.

Oleh Brevus's picture

Very instructive video, simple to understand and with good advices! Thanks a lot Sean.

John Paul's picture

AMAZING video, for me it's about the background of the presenter / education, flowing seamlessly into the details of why the viewer is watching and then of course the before and after recap.

Lee G's picture

Very good!

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

Great advices, thanks!

Josh Bryant's picture

Excellent video! Being partially color blind, I especially enjoyed the opening as I found it very relatable.

Sean Tucker's picture

To add to the conversation, this is a comment I pinned to my channel responding to some of the comments to this video:

"Some of you have expressed disappointment with this idea of colour consistency, even suggesting that this is 'killing photography'. I hear what you're saying, but you might be missing the point. I think you're confusing a 'subtle colour theme' with 'homogeneity'. I thought it was too obvious to say, but maybe not. YOUR IMAGES SHOULDN'T LACK VARIETY, EITHER IN SUBJECT MATTER OR COLOUR PALETTE, OR PEOPLE WILL GET BORED. This isn't an 'either, or' issue. You can absolutely have all the variety you want in your shots, and still pull a subtle colour theme through in your processing. But editing colour should never remove the individuality of the image. If it does, you've messed up. However stepping back and seeing a subtle theme to the work, like old school photography had with photographers who shot with one particular favourite film stock (McCurry and Kodachrome for example), will give the work a style, as much as the subjects you choose, or the methodology for capturing the images. If that's not for you, that's fine. If you think it's wrong, then avoid it. But I think however that if you look at the photographers you respect they are all pulling through some sort of theme to their core work, to a greater or lesser degree. Maybe there is something to learn from them? I also wouldn't say this is a moral issue, and personally I don't think consistency in your work is a bad thing. You wouldn't accuse Rembrandt of 'having too much brown' in his portraits, or 'killing painting' because his work had a colour consistency. I'm sure when he went outside to paint landscapes his palette changed but his work in the portrait space had a consistency to it. A look which people knew him for and sought him out to deliver. Perhaps I'm speaking more here to people trying to build a portfolio in a specific space. It shouldn't be a rule for you, and it should never kill creativity. Remember this is just free advice which you are equally free to ignore. Ultimately, the simple answer is, do what you want. I think I'm offering my opinion from what I've seen as a professional photographer in the digital age with some understanding of what clients are looking for, but you're right. If you're just shooting for yourself for the expression of it, don't let anyone give you rules. Do whatever you want. Genuinely."