Whether you want to believe it or not – first impressions do matter in the online world. Your blog and instagram photos need to work for you not against you, my friends.
I truly believe that there are two things that make fabulous photos – pre-production (the actual taking of the photo + styling the subject) and post-production (aka photo editing)! Last week, I gave my best 5 tips for photo styling for food and blog recipes. If you missed it, check it out here!
I know some of you are photoshop wizards and some of you aren’t. Today, I am showing you how to utilize photoshop and use some of my favorite smartphone apps to make your photos be your brand and blog’s new best friend!
ADJUST YOUR BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, SATURATION, ETC.
I usually shoot in RAW from my DSLR, which allows your photo to be edited at a higher capacity than just shooting as a JPEG. A JPEG is actually a compressed image file, which is totally ok to save as this file type, but starting out with a RAW file is ideal. Look at your camera’s manual and make sure you set it to shoot RAW.
From there, when you open your RAW file up in photoshop you’ll get this screen to make these adjustments to your photo. These are the three things I ALWAYS adjust – exposure, contrast, saturation. I sometimes adjust the photo’s shadows, blacks/whites, vibrance, and clarity depending on the photo’s needs. For this photo – I adjusted the exposure, contrast, saturation, and vibrance.
Don’t worry, if you didn’t shot RAW this time or this is a photo you took with your phone you can always go to the right of your photo in photoshop and your photo adjustments are all there. Once you adjust these, it will add a new layer on top of your image file.
Now you can see where we’re at now after making the adjustments. I chose this picture to show you because I want you to see how I fix that shadow in the bottom right corner using my most favorite thing in photoshop – the dodge tool! Yay!
UTILIZE THE DODGE TOOL
This tool increases the exposure in a certain area. You use this tool to drag over the area you need lighter and it works like magic! There’s also a burn tool that does the opposite.
I set my dodge tool to 30% exposure. I am then dragging it over the bottom right corner and a tad bit on the bottom left corner.
You’re going to see what a HUGE difference this AMAZING tool makes and I hope you get as excited as I do about this! Seriously, it’s the BEST! #photonerd
Now, you can see a complete before and after. Crazy, huh? Photoshop is truly magical.. amiright?
MAKE PINNABLE GRAPHICS OR COLLAGES IN PHOTOSHOP
Photoshop is amazing for editing photos, of course, but you can also use it to create fun collages for your blog posts, social media, or website. You can insert images, place them on top of shapes, and add text. To do this, you’ll have to start out with the shape tool. For text, you can use the type tool. This is probably my most favorite function of photoshop.
I do have to admit that I make most of my graphics in Illustrator, but when I work with photos I use Photoshop.
I use Photoshop for creating pinnable blog title photos to insert into my blog and then pin them to bring +++ traffic to my site. If you want to know exactly how that works, check out my post on that here.
Not only is this useful for those of you who aren’t photoshop experts, it’s also great for photo editing on the go. Whenever I have down time, I LOVE editing photos on my phone. That makes me a total nerd, huh?
My #1 favorite photo editing app is VSCO cam! VSCO cam is a free app with purchasable add-ons. I have purchased the add-ons but I never use them. I’ve been using VC for a couple years now and haven’t found anything that quite compares. I know there’s tons of snapseed fans out there, but I haven’t got into that yet. I think it’s mostly because I have developed my own editing routine and I’m excited to share that with you today.
I first import this photo into VSCO cam. I frequently use the C1/VIBRANT filter. I usually set it to the middle at +6. I then adjust the exposure if needed. This photo I adjusted the exposure to +3, I then adjust the contrast slightly at +2. And BAM! I’m done with that.
BUT I’m not quite done yet, I have to show you my new favorite app – anti crop! I’m completely obsessed with it. It’s 99 cents and worth every penny!!
Do you see that little white triangle on the left side? I’m not really feeling it and I want to take it out and add a little more blue empty space. First, I am going to crop it out on my phone before I take it into anti crop. I’m going to use anti crop to create more of my desired negative space. I’m now going to import my photo into the app and drag the bottom left corner to make the photo bigger. It will automatically add content around it. It doesn’t work for every photo, but photos with a clean background it’s brilliant. This app is my new BFF!
PS – Did these pics make you want to plan your own summer soirée? These photos are from a lovely creative collaboration with Katie Bressack and Gabby Norton aka the raddest chicks around. To grab this amazing grapefruit cocktail recipe go Gabby’s blog here and to grab this popsicle recipe go to Katie’s blog here!