Most recently, the question I get asked the most is how I edit my photos. I am not a photographer by trade and have never had any formal training. However, I am self taught with A LOT of trial and error, and also learned a great deal from my time working at Bloguettes. Believe it or not, I edit everything on my phone. It’s free and somehow so much easier for me. All my photos are taken on a Cannon 6D by either my husband or my mom, but this method of editing can be done on images from a DSLR OR from an iPhone just the same. But first, a few tips:
My first piece of advice is to spend some time and figure out exactly how you want your pictures to look. Go to Pinterest and Instagram and start saving all the images you love. After that, really narrow in on which colors and subjects best represent you or your brand. I LOVE really moody photos like @tyfrenchphoto and I also LOVE airy photos like @julahengel. But I had to decide for myself what style best resonates with me. And after some time (probably 1-2 years tbh), I think I’ve figured mine out.
Second, be consistent. Just because you love really colorful and bright images and also really textured images with shadows, choose one style and stick with it. A cohesive Instagram feed (and branding of any kind) is ALL about being consistent with your editing style.
If photography is your profession then obviously there are more efficient ways to do things. If this is the case, I highly recommend using the desktop version of Lightroom, and even using presets, especially if you are editing in bulk. But if your editing is for personal use, then this way might be helpful and applicable for you too!
Here’s how I do it:
1. Lightroom Mobile
I always start with Lightroom mobile (available for free in the app store) to brighten, darken, and/or change colors.
- LIGHT: I usually like it fairly bright so I will play with the “Light” menu option down at the bottom. Move the exposure and highlight to see what looks best depending on the image. I also like contrast so I bring the whites up a bit, and the blacks down a bit.
- COLOR: Tap on the upper right hand corner where it says “MIX”. I almost always take down the yellow saturation and the blue saturation. Depending on the image I will also bring down the reds, oranges, and pinks a tiny bit. Click “DONE” and it will take you back to the main “Color” options. I always bring the temp up by at least by 28-30.
- EFFECTS: I bring the “clarity” up a bit, and the “vignette” down a bit.
- DETAIL: I take the “sharpening” tool up to at least 65-70, and the “noise reduction” up by 15-20. SAVE.
Now, I send the photo from Lightroom to the Picfx app for some filters (MAYBE $2 in the app store?? It has been so long since I bought it so I’m not sure, but it’s worth a few bucks I promise).
- VINTAGE: I always choose a mix of a little bit of V 08 and V10.
- MODERN: I love finding the sweet spot with a little bit of M 01, M 06, and M 07. SAVE.
For fine tuning I send all my photos to Facetune 2 (Free in the app store). Please keep in mind that I keep the intensity VERY LOW on all edits I do through Facetune.
- RETOUCH: I make whites a bit whiter. Then I run the “Details” over the focus of the image, and over my eyelashes or other details that I want to be darker. Then add “Glow” on the bridge of the nose/cheekbones to make the highlight pop.
- PAINT: Depending on the photo, I will paint the sky a different color of blue, or add a bit of yellow if it is a sunset (since I took out all the blue and yellow in Lightroom earlier).
That’s it! I know its soo many steps for EACH PICTURE. But once you understand the look and feel that you are wanting to achieve, it starts to get really quick! I have grown to love it and it is now my favorite part of blogging/Instagramming.