Creating a Photo Calendar: How to Keep Your Photo Editing Consistent

Marianne Stenger
8th October 2018

Personalised photo calendars make excellent gifts for friends and family, but they can also be great additions your own home. When creating your photo calendar, one thing to keep in mind is that all the photos should be fairly similar in terms of colour, tone, temperature and saturation, as this will give the calendar a more consistent look throughout.

You can do this by moving all the calendar photos into a separate folder and then editing the whole batch in the same style. This will be fairly straightforward if you already have some photo editing experience, but anyone can learn to edit more consistently by using a few simple tricks.

If you’re currently in the process of designing a personalised photo calendar, here are some tips for keeping your photo editing consistent.

1. Choose a colour palette

Your first step when selecting and editing the photos for your calendar will be to decide on a colour palette. For example, you could choose three to four complementary colours that will feature prominently in your photo calendar and then shortlist photos that contain at least two or three of these colours.

In addition to selecting photos with the right colour palette, you’ll also want to make sure the photos are similar in terms of colour temperature and level of saturation. Fortunately, even if some of the photos look somewhat different, you can give them all the same look by adjusting the exposure, shadows and highlights, contrast, and white balance sliders in Lightroom or Photoshop.

2. Decide on a size and layout

The images you use for your photo calendar should have a high enough resolution, as this will ensure that they still look good once printed at larger sizes. With that said, even if some of the photos you want to include don’t have a high resolution, you might still be able to use them if you opt for a layout that uses smaller photos.

For example, instead of including one large photo for each month of the year, you could place four, six, or eight smaller ones side-by-side. You can also create seasonal photo collages that match the different times of year, such as a collection of summer holiday photos in July and August, and wintery photos featuring snow and cosy indoor activities in the months of December and January.

3. Practice batch editing

Once you’ve worked out which colours and tones you want to include and have decided on a layout that you like, you can work on editing all the photos the same style. One of the best ways to make sure all the photos for your calendar come out looking the same is to batch edit.

To do this, you start by editing one photo, and then applying the settings you used for this first photo to all the other photos in the same batch. In this way, you can give each photo the same look, without having to edit each one separately.

The best way to do this will depend on what editing software you’re using. In Lightroom, for example, a simple way to apply the same settings to multiple photos is to right click on the photo you’ve edited, select “Develop Settings” and then click on “Copy Settings.” After this, you can select the photos you want to edit in the same style and click on “Paste Settings.”

4. Use presets and filters

Depending on what editing software you use, you’ll probably have the option of applying presets or filters to your photos in order to give them all the same look. This can save you considerable time because instead of having to think about how to achieve the look you want or play around with different settings, you can simply select the preset or filter that contains the colours and tones you’d like your photo calendar to have.

A quick search online will reveal countless presets and filters that can be downloaded for Lightroom and Photoshop. Some are specifically for portraits, while others might be more suited wedding or landscape photography. If you don’t use Lightroom or Photoshop, you could also use some of the filters that are readily available on your phone or photo editing program of choice.

5. Create your own presets

If you already feel comfortable editing photos and want to give your photo calendar a more distinctive look, you can also create your own presets rather than downloading existing ones. Creating your own presets is a good idea if there are certain adjustments and edits that you always make, but it can also be fun if you want to apply any special effects to your photos.

So if you’re not pressed for time, have some fun playing around with some of the more advanced settings like Tone Curve and Split Toning until you’ve developed a style you like. You can then save the preset and apply it to all the images that will be included in your photo calendar for a more consistent look.

6. Let your personality shine

The best part about creating your own photo calendar is being able to give it a personal touch, so think about you can make your calendar a reflection of your unique personality. This might mean adding quotes or captions to your images, giving each month a different theme, or using some of the paintings or drawings your kids have created over the years as background images.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you might even consider shooting photos specifically for the photo calendar, and have the whole family dress up or coordinate outfits. If you’re not sure how to go about it, check out these fun ideas for a homemade family photo shoot.

Want to know more about the calendar layouts and formats that are available from Bob Books? Make your calendars here.