Today, I wanted to share with you my top 5 tips for post-processing. Maybe I should call them steps because I make sure to follow these in every image that I edit. Whether you are going to edit a photo more creatively or very clean, these tips will apply to either situation.
1. Check your lighting in camera-while you are shooting to make sure that it is flattering. Use a reflector when you see shadows on the face or near the eyes. Bad lighting is hard to fix in post and will slow down your workflow incredibly. So while this isn’t a Photoshop tip, it all starts in camera. Make sure you are bringing the best photos into Photoshop to make them even more beautiful. In the photo I shot below, you can see how much easier it is to edit the photo that is lit correctly as opposed to the one that has all of the shadows around her eyes and mouth. See how much better her skin looks when it is properly lit? Even if you can’t use a reflector, make sure to move your subject(s) into better light where you can find a natural reflector to help with harsher lighting.
2. Fix your white balance. Shooting in RAW will help you correct the white balance easily because you can adjust the temperature right in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. This is SO important and it will effect the rest of your editing if you don’t correct it. Starting with correct white balance is like starting with a blank canvas for editing.
3. Correct your exposure. If you need to, this is the next thing that needs to be adjusted if your exposure is even slightly off. In Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, it is easy to correct your exposure for a bunch of photos at once, so that it helps your workflow be even faster! Make sure your whites are not blown and that you have detail in the shadows. If you tend to edit brightly or use actions that brighten the photo, you might want to adjust your exposure slightly darker than you normally would so that you don’t have to make more adjustments later.
4. Keep the skin looking as natural as possible. Almost everyone can benefit from a little skin smoothing and softening. It can actually help the image look more professional when they skin looks amazingly creamy. Try to go for the creamy look without making the skin look fake. Krista and I both love to use Portraiture because of the amazing results and the time it saves, but you can do it without. A simple Gaussian blur layer masked onto the skin is a great way to smooth skin.
5. Don’t over do it! It is like that saying, where you get dressed up and put on jewelry/accessories/etc on and then before you leave the house make sure to take one of two things off. Whether you are creatively editing and adding a texture or a tone to a photo, make sure that you are not over doing it. You want people to say, ‘Wow, how did they do that?’ instead of ‘Wow, they overdid it in Photoshop.’ Edit in a way that will enhance the beauty of your photo and try to not do too much editing that you aren’t noticing what the photo is of.
I always try to keep these tips in mind while editing. We can all get too carried away and spend too much time editing a photo. Just remember to enhance and not overpower.
If you have any tips that you would like to share, we would love to hear them! Please comment below to share them with us!
Want to see us edit live? Check out our instantly downloadable post-processing workshops!