Whereas I do try to get everything just right when I shoot my photos – something I do for hours each day, so I’ve had to really get used to my camera and understand it, I talked about my tips and tricks here, but I have to admit there is some work to do after I take my photos. Sometimes I just need to crop the photo down but sometimes I’ll need to do more if the light has been terrible or I’m using a sheet as a background that has creases in it – I know, my life. I shoot in RAW which is a royal pain because they take ages to upload etc. but I used to avoid RAW and no one noticed a difference. But RAW mode gives you more control when it comes to post-production so handy if you need to do a lot of editing.
When I talk about photo editing here, I assume you have access to Photoshop or something similar. I’m part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which is an extortionate amount of money each month but it allows you to have access to everything, from Photoshop to Illustrator. It’s a good idea and I think students get discount. Otherwise, I will not ask where you got your copy from. A friend, you say? How generous.
Another thing, I’m talking about editing your blog photos (mostly products but you could absolutely apply these to anything) to enhance, not to make you look like Kate Moss. I swear down, bloggers need to stop photoshopping their knees. Show me someone who has nice knees – please. Certainly not your blurred out versions. This is the same for eye bags, we all have them – leave them alone. Stop making me feel weird for having wrinkly knees and eye bags. Use these tips and tricks for enhancing your photography, please.
Curves. Curves work miracles! Upping this will brighten your picture, I think by changing the tones or something or perhaps something else. If you have quite a dark photo, for example you took it at 2pm in the near pitch black (thanks GMT), you will need to up the curves. This is a step I’ll allow for face photos too, it can hide many an imperfection – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. I just have it on the default preset and move the line up a little to brighten – it makes such a massive difference. You will probably only need to change curves if you’re already happy with your photographs, to be honest.
Sometimes, especially with bright makeup etc, the colours can look a little washed out. This is when I use the Vibrance tool, although once the box pops up (enough with the technical terms, Kate!), I move ‘Saturation’ up rather than ‘Vibrance’ – usually just up to +3 but it makes a big difference when shooting makeup. You can play around with it a little to match up the colour to the product which I think helps A LOT. Nothing worse than shooting a hundred pictures and they don’t even represent the colour of the products.
You can download Photoshop Actions from quite a few places, such as good ol’ DeviantArt - these are probably best for fashion photos but still handy to have. They basically work like an Instagram filter, you press the play button after selecting your Action and it carries out a range of changes and ends with the finished result – your edited photograph. There are SO many Actions available, you can even get actions of the Instagram filters so you can basically Instagram your blog photos. Pretty crazy, amiright? I have about 30 saved in Photoshop and use them occasionally to change up photos.
I found about everything in Photoshop through trial and error, I’ve been using it since I was about 14 so I know it like the back of my ear. I use Exposure a lot to make photos stand out a little more – moving the Offset bar down a little will darken any black bits in your photo – ie. it is a dream come true for NARS products that always seem to look filthy. Just move it down two notches and everything looks so much better! It’s honestly a dream come true for blog photography. Gamma Correction below it is also handy for making a white background more… white. So helpful if you’re all about the white background, which we bloggers are! Crisp.
Things such as the blur tool to neaten up cream blushers is also helpful – it just makes makeup look cleaner I reckon. Colour balance is really good if you have to shoot with the lights on, I find they turn my photos yellow so I just move the slider more to the blue or purple regions to even it out. So helpful when you have no other option – a little bit of red also enhances photos too I think. The Healing Brush tool is good for hiding any specks or crumbs in the background – not all of my white surfaces are perfect so the healing brush tool allows me to copy a perfect region and basically airbrush any chips to the table or whatever. Gotta hide my biscuit obsession one way or another. You can also Sharpen photos to make them more clear and crisp, personally I think this should be avoided because it makes photos look a bit weird but it’s there if you take a blurry picture.
I think that’s pretty much everything that I would ever use to edit my photos – I usually stick with curves and exposure to be honest as I use an SLR and I understand how to use it by now so my photos are pretty much done by the time I upload them but a little editing never hurt anyone. Blog photography doesn’t require much work so it’s easy as pie. In the above snap for example, I would have upped the curves a little to brighten, changed the exposure to highlight and enhance the black in the photo, and also up the gamma correction a little and then use the healing brush to make sure there were no bits of dust or biscuit crumbs in the background. Maybe change the colour balance to a bit more blue. Finito.
Obviously this is just the Kate guide, one idiot to another. I’m just here to help, promise. I hope this gives you a little insight, I feel like I’ve been promising this post for years so here it is, there’s not much to it.