I wanted to talk a little bit about photo editing because I get asked frequently what tips I have on photo taking and photo editing and thought I’d just put everything together in a post! I pretty much do all my photo editing on my phone. I just don’t have time to spend on the computer editing, and I’ve found this is just the easiest way for me. First I’ll talk about apps I use and then I’ll show you some before and afters as well as give you some easy tips I’ve found that help make an eye catching photo. I would say I use my iPhone 7+ about 75% of the time and my DSLR 25%.
This is my all time favorite app for editing photos on your phone. I’ve gone through a lot, and I find that this is the simplest and give the best outcome. I used to use PicTapGo, but have made the switch to Light Room. I typically use the exposure tool, up the whites/blacks, and then use the color tool to lower yellows/up luminence, lower orange, and brighten any colors I want to stand out that might have gotten blown out with the exposure tool (blue water, a pink dress, green grass etc).
Sometimes when lighting isn’t great and I have to up the exposure quite a bit in Light Room, I come to Snap Seed and use the brush tool to lower exposure on a certain piece in a photo. It might be a product shot where the exposure was blown out on the item, and I need to lower to make the logo stand out. The other tool that I love in Snap Seed is the transform tool. I’m a little psycho when it comes to straight lines, and sometimes with certain angles it just isn’t possible. This tool helps to literally transform a photo either vertically or horizontally and fill in the spaces to create straight lines.
This app is amazing for removing objects and lines. It is super easy to use and I highly recommend this one. You can do this in Snap Seed, but it never looks quite as good.
This app is great for smoothing out facial features, adding a little brightness/glow, and whitening teeth.
Before and After
In this photo, I upped the exposure, lowered the yellow tones, and upped the pinks in Light Room as well as straighten the lines using the cropping tool (you can use this right in the photo app with an iPhone as well). I then removed the dirt on the wall with the Re-Touch app. Photo taken on my iPhone.
I could not for the life of me get both the line at the edge of the pool and the line of the fence both straight, so I used the transform tool within Snap Seed to transform the photo and voila! Two straight lines (I know, I’m psycho!). I also upped the exposure just a bit, lowered yellows/oranges and upped the blues. Photo taken on iPhone.
Sleep stalking at it’s finest! I have slowly gotten better at taking sleep stalking photos. I go in right after she has fallen asleep rather than towards the end of a nap because you risk waking them up then! I had the fan going but the blinds open so I could get some natural light. I closed them after I took the photo. I also had a stool ready to go so I could get up higher. With this photo, I obviously used the cropping tool to straighten the photo, upped the exposure, whites and lowered blacks in Light Room. I also lowered the yellows (increased luminance) and lowered oranges. I upped pinks just a bit. Photo taken on my iPhone.
In this photo, I didn’t have to do too much since I took it with my DSLR in perfect lighting. I straightened it using the cropping tool and then removed the random trash and pipe using the Re-Touch app. Pretty awesome right?!
Photo Taking Tips
There are SO many tips out there, so I will just give you a few of my favorites. These are pretty obvious ones, but also the simplest and make all the difference!
- Lighting is EVERYTHING. The best times to shoot are during the golden hours (at sunrise or sunset) and natural lighting is always best. There is only so much editing you can do with bad lighting. If you up the exposure too much, you risk the photo becoming grainy. If the sun is out, make sure it is behind the photographer, but I try to avoid shooting in direct sunlight anyways. You end up with squinted eyes and too many shadows!
- Rule of Thirds. You always want to have your subject taking up 1/3 of your photo. You can turn the grid lines on in the photo app (at least on the iPhone) to help with this. Sometimes centered subjects work great, but offset always looks more appealing.
- This isn’t really a tip, but more of advice. Don’t be afraid to shoot in manual. I avoided it for so long. It takes a lot of practice, but the more you practice the easier it becomes. I just love a good blurred background and the best way to get this is by using your DSLR. The new technology of the iPhone + is great (portrait mode), but there just really isn’t a perfect substitute for your DSLR. I have a lot more to learn!
- Have patience. I obviously mainly shoot my girls, and sometimes they are just not into it. Everything else could be perfect (lighting/setting) but they might just not be into it so I’ll have to give up for the day and that is ok. There’s nothing worse than a forced photo. Just let them be themselves and I promise you will get a great shot (or at least one you can edit to be great!).
I have learned SO much from @nicole_digi on Instagram. She posts tutorials on her stories on how she edits photos. She was the one who got me to use Light Room and Snap Seed! You will find her tutorials so helpful!
Does anyone follow @Juliaengel on Instagram? Well, her husband takes amazing photos and he has a blog himself that gives some great tips on photography and how to actually use your DSLR. Check out his page here. He hasn’t updated it in a while, but the tips are great.
Ok, I think that is everything I wanted to cover. Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions!