In my previous Fashion Blogging Photography Tips blogpost, I gave a few tips on ways to work with lighting, so I thought it would be good to follow it up with some simple advice on how to edit your blog photos using editing softwares. The two go hand in hand.
To start off with, I want to make it clear that by ‘editing’ blog photos, I mean in the sense of adding depth to your photography, tweaking or enhancing the overall look of them. I don’t mean editing as in airbrushing – we’ll leave that to the magazines!
But have you ever shot a bunch of outfit photos for your fashion blog only to look through them afterwards and think “these are awful, and the light isn’t good enough and I can’t be bothered to re-shoot!!” … Because I have! Plenty of times! Luckily, I shoot in RAW format now so it’s literally 2 seconds to fix bad lighting, but below are some tips on how to re-adjust JPEGS.
Here are some of the ways that I how I edit my blog photos. First of, I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 which isn’t the most updated version, but it does the job. This might vary from your version of Photoshop, so the tools and actions might be in a different place. (Also please also note that this is just the process in which I do things. I’ve been using Photoshop ever since we were taught it at college, but I hated the classes because the teacher was horrible. I ended up teaching myself, and I might have probably picked up some habits along the way! But I thought I would share what I know)
Brighten up your photos
Starting off with a simple one here! Ordinarily, I’ll discard this photo (the original on the left hand side) and just choose one another to use, as I’ll have lots of other ones to pick from. For the purpose of this blogpost, I’ve picked a fairly dark jpeg photograph to show you what can be done to “fix” it.
If the only option is to shoot in jpeg format, this is totally fine! Start by opening the JPEG file in Photoshop and below is a quick run-through of how to edit:
You can just go straight in to Brightness and Contrast and leave it as that but you may lose a lot of detail in the photograph in the process (the white will be too washed out), and you don’t want that to happen. It’s always best to spend 5 minutes tweaking it so that it looks the best it possibly can.
1. EXPOSURE: Image > Adjustment > Exposure
The first thing I do with all my photos is adjust the exposure. Start off by making really small changes, but turn gamma correction down and the dark image will brighten up without over-exposing.
2. CURVES: Image > Adjustment > Curves
As soon as you move the diagonal line, you can see the image changing. You can make a few points on the line to adjust your image. Again, don’t go too mad on this because it will ruin your photo (remember, you can always go back a step if you’ve made a mistake), but a few tiny adjustments in curves make the biggest difference.
3. LEVELS: Image > Adjustment > Levels
I don’t always use this setting but if you need to, Levels adjusts tonal range and colour balance by intensity levels shown on the slider. There are three points to move on the slider; shadows, midtones and highlights.
4. CONTRAST: Image > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast
Usually, it is at this point that I will use brightness/contrast to add definition back in to the image. However, I didn’t use this setting on this particular photo because the clouds in the sky and my white shirt was fading each time I tried to change the contrast. You still want to maintain as much of the detail as possible so this is where you to be careful not to over do the editing, as it can look over (or under)-exposed and washed out. Whites are really difficult to change and it’s always best to salvage this in RAW mode.
Using Blending Modes to Brighten A Photo
The best way to describe is that this effect is a bit like putting Instagram filter on a picture. I use blending modes to brighten photos but I don’t usually use a brown toned overlay on photos like I’ve done here, but this best demonstrates the difference between the original and the edited version.
As you can see from the original photo, this was a bad choice of backdrop. The whole vibe of the photo is heavy, and there are a lot of clashes. The darkness of the trees completely clashed with my hair but here, I’ll show you how to add a layer to transform the image to a useable one. We actually ended up moving a little bit further down the road (you can see the actual blogpost here
and see how much difference it makes when you choose a suitable backdrop).
1. EXPOSURE: Image > Adjustments > Exposure
Same as before, adjust the image by using the exposure setting. Don’t touch the Offset slider for this one.
2. USING BLENDS:
First of all, create a new layer and then pick a colour using the colour picker tool. I’ve used brown here, but you can use any you like. Brown, red, and yellow tones adds warmth, but if the photo is already quite yellow-y and you want to cool it down, use blues. I tend to use a light purple as it neutralise the colour and it doesn’t change the photo too much. The second stage is to fill the image with the colour you’ve chosen and change the two settings that I’ve circled in pink. In the Blend Mode dropbox, pick Soft Light and by this point, you may notice the image looking very different. Sometimes it can look a bit too washed out, so turn the opacity down. You can see that anything in the picture that used to appear too dark is now considerably brighter and the details are now showing up (eg. my jeans)
3. VIBRANCE: Image > Adjustment > Vibrance
Instead of using brightness and contrast settings, I’ve used Vibrance and Saturation here. This does exactly what it says, and makes the colours in the photograph more vibrant.
Matte Finish Photography
This is really easy to do! I use the quite a lot but not to this extreme. I usually make a lot of my close up details shots this way (shoes, bags, jewellery details) and as you can see, it’s ends up looking a lot more interesting than the original photo.
1 and 2: Edit lighting with EXPOSURE and CURVES like before.
If your photos are dark and dull, brighten them up in the steps I mentioned above. If your happy with how your photos have turned out and all you need to do is make them “matte”, just open up EXPOSURE (images > adjustment > exposure) and turn the OFFSET up.
You can also do this by opening up CURVES and pushing the bottom left hand corner upwards. You’ll see the image change as you do this so you can determine how much to toggle upwards.
3. You can choose to leave the photo as it is but I like to add definition to the photo, and for it to not look so flat. Increase the contrast and it just lifts the colours up a bit.
OTHER QUICK TIPS:
• You can download Photoshop Actions that apply blends (“filters”) at a single click of a button. They are set filters so you can’t go back a step if it appears too much or not enough. You do lack control but there are thousands of actions to download, and you can pick the ones that suit your style the most. You can create actions yourself but I don’t know how to do this yet.
• Magazines editorials vary within a single issue, otherwise it would be really boring if you flipped through the whole magazine and everything looks samey-samey! Feel free to do the same with your content and experiment with photo editing, the creative freedom is all yours! You may want to change things up each time you publish a blogpost but it’s best to stick to one style per blogpost so that each post looks more cohesive and consistent.
• If you don’t have photoshop, you can use free photo editing website. Picmonkey
is my favourite but another good one is Fotor
. Just upload your photo and away you go!
If you have any other tips to share, drop me a comment below! Would love to hear what you think of this blogpost! It took me ages to put together! I’m going to be doing a Beauty Photography blogpost too – I’ve already got the photos sorted out so it’s just a case of writing it up. I won’t keep you waiting too long so if you’re a beauty blogger and want some tips, keep your eyes peeled for it!
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25 thoughts on “Simple Tips On How To Edit Fashion Blog Photos”
These are really helpful tips! I love using photoshop to edit my photos, but I usually just use pre-made photo actions I find online. Your explanation of the different techniques you can use is awesome cause it helps me understand how I can create my own edits for my photos. Thanks!
Fantastic tips! I've been using Photoshop self taught since I was 13 and I've probably picked up some awful habits, but I just find it to be the best photo editing software I've used so far. One thing I like to do sometimes is to duplicate the base layer of the photo and blur it (using Gaussian blur, I play about with the radius & strength etc) then changing the blending modes until I get a bit of a more "dreamy" photo. It's been a while since I've done that with any of my blog photos but I've been using it a lot lately for coursework!x
Charlotte / coloursandcarousels
That was sooo useful, thank you Sarah! ♥
This is a great post! I've only just got the hang of how to work with iPhoto, which is as basic as it comes, but am planning to get hold of Elements… I don't know anything about it though so this guide is really handy for someone like me 🙂
Great post! I use Pixlar a lot and I use Photoscape a good bit too, which is similar to Photoshop but is freeware. I've never heard of PicMonkey and Fotor, but they look great based on the links, so I will definitely have to try them.
A trick a like to use to brighten up my photos is the Bloom feature in Photoscape, which brightens by add a soft glow to the image. I don't use Photoshop a lot, so I don't know if there is a similar feature.
Interesting post, I find all this editing stuff quite complicated so don't do it much but you've made it a bit simpler. I'm looking forward to seeing the beauty photography post.
I'm already quite savvy with Photoshop but I think these are excellent tips. You did a good job of explaining how to do certain things.
I think as far as other tips… another free program you can download is GIMP. Also don't be afraid to experiment! Before my Fashion Technology class I learned everything I know about Photoshop by looking up tutorials and just playing around.
Overall I think this was a great post! I love this little series you're doing. Photography is one aspect of blogging I'm really trying to improve on so this is very helpful. It also shows how helpful and friendly the blogging community is. 🙂
this is an amazing post, helped with lots of queries! Surely going to try some of these tricks 🙂
Ahh this is such a useful blogpost! 🙂 Thanks for this!
This was such a useful post, thank you! I'm saving this to refer back to now 🙂
Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing
These tips posts are great, I need all the help I can get with my ohotograohy
Great tips. Very useful, loved the matte finish tip. Never knew how to do that.
This is so helpful, thank you! X
The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog
This is amazing! Thank you for all this info! 🙂
Any tips on not going overboard? Hahaha! I'm a big photo tweaker; I have to admit that I'm a bit of a hipster with my filters but I love the effects that they have– turning an ordinary photo into something a little bit whimsical!
It used to be a lot worse and I used to have too much contrast in my photos so you couldn't see details too well but I've gotten it down to a level of extreme that I like and think portrays the outfits very well still. I'm a massive fan of warming hues in my photos–just makes everything come alive.
I think sometimes you need to be careful about brightening a photo too much though–it takes some of the richness out of the colours IMO.
Great work on the post! 🙂
These tips are super nice, thanks for sharing !!
Bookmarking this! I love you posts on fashion photography. I don't do outfit posts but I feel like I'm well prepared when I eventually try them out 🙂
Megan x | MeganRoisinn
Great tips you have here! Definitely something I will keep in mind the next time I do a fashion post! 😀
<3 Pauline, Addicted to Makeup
Thanks for the great tips!
The matte finish looks great!
Water Painted Dreams xo
These are such great tips, definitely bookmarking this one ^-^
boho vanity ♡
Great tips! I am going to try the matte finish photography I really like how your pictures turn out to be!
This is great Sarah! I think photo editing can be so daunting but your post makes it much more easy to understand and grasp.
I'll definitely be giving these techniques a go next time!
<a href="http://www.smazsays.com>Smaz Says</a>
Great post my dear !! Really good tips !!
Laura – The Salala Girl