How I Edit Photos | Tips + Tricks for Blog and Instagram Photography
Shoot in RAW
My photography knowledge is limited to say the least, but switching to shooting images in RAW has increased the quality of my photographs ten-fold. There really aren't any negatives to using RAW - aside from the images taking up more space and sometimes taking a few seconds longer to import - and the difference is immediately noticeable. Editing is an easier task when you shoot in RAW too, giving you more control over the changes you make.
Lightroom > Photoshop
While Photoshop is probably considered the 'go-to' for editing photographs, I've always had much more success using Lightroom. While it doesn't offer certain specifics (such as a blemish removal tool), it's generally far easier to use for a novice like myself. Every adjustment that you could possibly wish to make is kept in one, easy to browse menu and it's simple to compare the final result with other photographs, keeping your blog photography neat and co-ordinated.
Shoot in bulk during natural daylight
I have a couple of artificial daylight lamps that come in handy when I'm filming videos during winter. Even so, for still images I don't think they're any match for natural daylight. There's something about artificial light that just doesn't look right in still imagery and I always find that lit images take a lot more time to edit and perfect. My top tip? Plan, plan, plan. Plan posts you want to write and take the pictures in bulk - even if you work full time, aim to get a week or two's worth shot and edited at the weekend so that they're ready to go.
Using VSCO has made the biggest difference to my Instagram photography. While Instagram have taken steps to improve their in-app editing options, I still just can't get on with many of them. VSCO is a free app that allows you to edit images quickly and easily, with controls for everything from exposure to shadows and colour temperature all in one place. It also displays the images in rows of three, much the same as Instagram, allowing you to see what the images look like next to each other before posting.
Go easy on harsh, pre-set filters
Leading on from talking about VSCOcam, I have to admit that I don't think I've used a single pre-set filter on Instagram since I downloaded the app. While Instagram offer a vast range of filters now, many of them really do go to extreme lengths to alter the contrast, temperature and/or saturation of the original photo. Taking the time to work on each element individually might seem like an extra effort at first, but for me the results really are worth it.
Try not to get bogged down by a theme
Instagram themes are a trend that I don't really understand. While it makes a profile page pretty to look at initially, I actually tend to stick around and follow accounts that offer variation within their images. Seeing products in exactly the same setup, with the same lighting, filter and colour scheme doesn't hold my interest in the same way as an account that experiments with different types of photography. Giving your Instagram a general 'vibe' is all well and good, but it's when an account refuses to stray even slightly that I get a little bored.