Lately I’ve received many questions about how I edit my photos for the blog and how I am able to keep them looking consistent. I use a program called Lightroom, which is a part of the Adobe Creative Suite. Both of these products are quite expensive, but Adobe offers monthly payments as low as $9.99/mo. I highly recommend getting Lightroom (not necessarily the Creative Suite unless you need it for design purposes) because it has absolutely changed the quality of my photos. Below is a step-by-step process of how I edit using Lightroom- I’m still a beginner too, so it’s quite easy!
How to Edit Using Lightroom:
1. Load the picture into Lightroom using “Import” button on the lower left of the Navigator.
2. Once the image is loaded, head to the right and select “Auto-Tone”, which will adjust the white balance, temperature, tint, and exposure. Sometimes the auto tone doesn’t work perfectly (over or under corrects), and the exposure needs to be adjusted. Use your eye to determine the appropriate brightness. I like mine on the brighter side. A few helpful hints: if the image was shot indoors/under artificial light, it will likely have too much temperature, so you will have to take some away and add some tint. If the image was shot in the shade, it will be the opposite- not enough temperature and too much tint. Again, use your eye to determine the appropriate amount. The more photos you edit, the better you will get at this, I promise!
3. Adjust the image so it is straight. Navigate to the “Develop” tab, to the right of the “Library” tab and scroll down the right hand pane until you see “Lens Corrections”. Select “Constrain Crop” and hit the “Auto” button. This will automatically straighten and crop your image. Again, sometimes the auto function doesn’t work properly, so I only do this when I have a landscape in the background or stairs, for example, that are very noticeable and need to be straightened. Most of the time the auto function works properly, though.
4. Apply a VSCO film filter to the image. I didn’t do this step until recently, but I really like the results. I bought VSCO film filters for Lightroom, which give the image an ethereal feel. This step is completely optional, so don’t feel the need to buy filters! They are just easier for me than trying to re-create a film look in Lightroom. To apply the filter, head to the “Develop” tab to left hand pane under “Presets”. You should see the list of “VSCO Film- FE Canon”, depending on what filters you bought, under this list if you installed them correctly. If not, head to this guide. Scroll down until you see the filter you would like to use. I use C – Portra 160 + 1. The filter itself might look a little harsh if applied all the way, so I found this great plugin that allows you to partially apply filters.
When finished you will have beautiful looking images like these!
I hope this guide helps! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
Photos: Sara Pope