Editing is easily something that can make or break your photos. It will be the difference between a brand paying for your work or a hotel allowing you to have a free nights stay in exchange for photography skills. It will also be the difference between someone deciding if they want to follow you on Instagram in a split second.
Learning how to edit photos is not something that comes naturally, but a skill that you have to teach yourself! Even though you can easily buy Lightroom Presets now-a-days, they don’t always work on every photo (except mine of course hehe). It is good to learn the basics, so that way you don’t have to rely on pre-made filters to get a beautiful photo!
And even after learning my top 5 tips on editing in Lightroom.. the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is PRACTICE!
Tip#1: Don’t Over Expose your Photo
The #1 mistake people make when editing photos is over-editing, specifically over-exposing their photo. If you use the FREE Lightroom Mobile App (which if you don’t have it yet… go on, download it now!), always brighten your photo with the shadows tab BEFORE using the exposure tab. Increasing the exposure in your photo can easily wash out the detail, but brightening the shadows will bring out the detail while brightening the photo.
Here is an example of brightening with exposure versus brightening with shadows:
See how the first image does not have much detail left in it? It looks washed out and too bright! Brightening your image with the shadows slider allows you to brighten your image with preserving your detail! 🙂
Tip #2: Adjust Individual Colors using the HSL Tabs
If you go to the color tab in Lightroom Mobile, you can adjust the overall temperature of the photo, the vibrance and saturation! While these are all great tools that I use constantly, most people don’t realize the best part in this section!
If you click on the mix button on the top right corner, you can adjust the individual colors in the photo. For example, I am wearing yellow in this photo that I wanted to really pop! I can adjust the yellow color individually without affecting the entire photo!
Hue: The tone of the color
Saturation: How strong you want the color to be
Luminance: How bright you want the color to be
Tip #3: Use a Gradient Filter to add dimension to your photo
If you are taking photos outside in natural sunlight, enhance the sunlight by adding a gradient filter! This will bring more dimension to your photo and make it look even brighter / sunnier outside! In Lightroom Mobile, go to the “Selective” tab, press the plus sign on the top left corner, and then select the square.
Drag from the top corner of the photo (where the sun is coming from) to the center of the photo. Add a little exposure and a little orange temperature and that’s it!
Tip 4: Use the Color Wheel for Complimentary Colors
Do you do golden greens or earthy greens? Do you do a pop of yellow or a muted yellow? There is truly no wrong way to edit, and it’s a good thing to have your unique editing style!
BUT, you want to make sure you are following standard photography and editing rules to make sure your images are appealing to the eye. One of the most known and easy to follow rule is using complimentary colors on the color wheel.
For example, if you have an ocean landscape or waterfalls (something with a deep blue), golden colors will compliment it well! So if you have any yellow, orange, or red tones in the photo, try to make them a golden color using the color slider in Lightroom!
Tip 5: Buy Your Favorite Photographer’s Presets and Learn How They Edit!
Did you know that when you purchase Lightroom presets from your favorite creator, you not only get to see how their edits look on your photo, but HOW they get to that edit.
In Lightroom, when you apply a preset it shows all the editing settings they use to create that preset. That way you can learn what combinations they use and learn how to edit from them!
If you’re looking for the best ones in town that have over 300 5* reviews and are extremely affordable… click that big, fun button.. you know you want to 😉
HUGE PRESET DISCOUNT
I recently did a massive giveaway on my Instagram where you had the chance to win preset packs from myself and 5 amazing ladies! So many people entered and messaged me asking if I was going to do it again. Even though we are not planning another giveaway at the moment, I did want to offer a discount to those of you who wanted them!
My preset packs come with 10 presets that have been testing on many skin tones and lighting situations, making sure you have at least one preset to work on your pretty photos 🙂
They are currently buy two get TWO FREE! Click here to check them out!
Okay, that’s a wrap! I hope this quick and easy guide was super helpful for you! At the end of the day, just spend some time playing around with your settings, practice on your friends photos, ask them for feedback and just try!
I always look back on my old photos and just CRINGE at how awful I used to edit! But, that’s how I know my editing has improved tremendously. You’ve got this!!