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Creative Styles Vs. Picture Profiles: How This Photographer & Filmmaker Keeps It Simple In Camera

On a regular basis, photographer and YouTuber Chris Brockhurst is asked what his settings are, how he grades and what picture profiles he uses for his videos. The thing is, he typically isn’t grading or using Picture Profiles at all. In a video posted on his YouTube Channel, he explains why using Creative Styles with his Sony α7 III tends to work best with his workflow.

Photographer & YouTube reviewer Chris Brockhurst shares why and how he likes to use creative styles over picture profiles in his workflow.

“I use a creative style,” explains Brockhurst. “You’ve probably not even seen it in the menus, you’ve just glossed over it or scrolled right by it. But it actually is right next to picture profiles. Now a creative style is a set of baked-in settings.”

“It sets the contrast, sharpness, brightness and depth of color essentially for you. The two I use most frequently are Autumn Leaves and Neutral. Autumn Leaves makes colors a little bit more vivid, particularly the reds and the yellows. And I find that it’s a bit more contrasty than anything else, and I quite like that look. Then Neutral lowers your saturation and your sharpness so it gives you a little bit of a flexibility to grade if you want to.”

Why use a creative style? Brockhurst explains that it comes down to simplicity and ease of use, especially for beginner photographers. “Focus on story, content and composition. Those are going to stand out more when you’re a beginner, opposed to how green your greens are or how blue the sky looks because you haven’t tweaked it just right.”

Another big reason Brockhurst likes to use creative styles is the time that it saves. “In the last two years nearly every video on my channel has been shot with a creative style. I can film how I want, expose it exactly how I want it to look, throw it into the timeline, edit it, and not have to make any changes. That saves A TON of time.”

“For things like YouTube tutorials, even some time-sensitive client work like real estate where it needs to be out really, really quick – I think a creative style is often all you need. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t have to work harder than you should. What’s that phrase? Work smarter, not harder? That applies to a creative style.”

In addition to these reasons, Brockhurst’s use of creative styles has developed into another reason itself: that most people can’t tell you’re using one. 

“Based on the comments that I receive from people asking how I grade, what settings I use, even from client work. If they think it looks really good, I think it looks really good, why would I spend the time to use anything else? What’s the point?”

Watch the full video:


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