How to Strike a Balance Between Design and Photography

Design and photography go hand in hand.

A photograph can say a thousand words and when something so powerful is included in design, be it print or digital, it can help to reinforce the message or say something different altogether.

It’s essential that both components live in harmony alongside one another, rather than fighting for space or the limelight in the piece you are trying to create.

We’ve got some top tips from X Change Training on how you can a design and photography masterpiece.

Don’t Over Clutter

It’s can be tempting to fill your design up with all of your favourite elements and while you may love that it involves all the things you like; it won’t translate well to someone who doesn’t.

You should always ensure there’s white space left in your design and enough room for each element to breathe. We’ll discuss following your instinct a bit more below, but before that, try to narrow down the number of photos you want or need to include then base your design around this.

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It’s tough to edit it down, but your work will look far better for it.

Go with Your Instinct

Usually your first design and photographic choice is the right one. However, when you have too many options available in terms of almost identical images and design concepts it can all get a bit confusing.

Your gut will probably tell you which one is right at the start, but if you still can’t decide then enlist the help of someone who has had no involvement in the project. An external perspective can do wonders for decision making.

Check the Details

Never assume anything in design as everyone has different ways of working. Whether you’re the photographer or designer you should check dimensions and other technicalities before you begin your work.

If you’re working to a brief, then ensure you know it inside and out. There’s nothing worse than having to revisit work due to elements of the brief being missed.

Draw it Up

Before you begin adding photos to your design try sketching it out first. Taking it old school can often help to keep the creative spark alive and means you won’t spend hours mocking up a design idea, to realise it doesn’t really work.

Start with a pencil drawn layout, then once you’re happy transfer it to your digital workspace.

Adapt How You Work

Both photographers and designers will be used to working with different clients but it can often be hard to adapt how you work, especially if you feel you are compromising on your own design style.

Sadly, that’s just part of the job. However, you can still stay true to your style throughout your shots if you make it clear from the start how you work. You’re likely to of been hired based on your portfolio which means the client is going to be expecting work in a similar vein. If you do have to adapt your style slightly, do so graciously – you never know you might like it.

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Edit Photos to Fit Your Design

Don’t be afraid of editing photos to fit in with the design you are working on. You want to create a blend between the images you use and the goal you are looking to achieve. If an image doesn’t sit right within the rest of the design and needs editing, then go ahead.

Most people tend to stick to playing around with the brightness and contrast of an image, but you’ll get more out of it if you also enhance the colours and sharpness of an image. You could also experiment with laying filters over your image to tailor them even more to your design.


Cover photo courtest of Kevin Potts

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