Most bloggers are constantly looking to up their photography game, whether to accompany a sassy new post or for the ‘gram. Whilst fundamentally a lot of it comes down to how well you can actually take a photo in the first place, editing can not only help to create a sense of cohesion and branding but also hide a multitude of sins (e.g. mega creased bed sheets, toast crumbs and yellow lighting).
Although I do use Lightroom for most of my photography, sometimes I want to make a quick edit when I’m on the go and in fact, I have now actually tailored my Lightroom presets to my phone editing, rather than the other way round!
THREE STEPS TO PERFECT BLOG PHOTOS EDITED ON YOUR PHONE
UTILISE THE INBUILT IPHONE EDITING TOOLS
The first thing I do is I open the edit option in my photos app – if you’re not an iPhone user then..well…sorry. I’m sure there’s an Android equivalent – then I make 3 simple adjustments.
CROP AND STRAIGHTEN
Nothing, I repeat, nothing irks me more than a wonky photo. You’ve got a beautiful image and then BAM oh look there’s a doorway casually chilling at a 45 degree angle. The straighten tool is a life saver, use the guide lines and make sure the horizon line is straight. If your image doesn’t have a horizon, like a flat lay, look for something that you intended to be straight such as the edge of a book. Not only does it look a million times more professional, you won’t risk making your followers seasick either.
INCREASE THE BRILLIANCE
This tool is your new BFF. It will lift and brighten your photos without blowing them out like getting too happy with the exposure tool will (hi Voldemort nose). I judge how far I push it based on the picture but generally I aim for somewhere between 0.50 and 0.70 – sometimes I’ve been known to go the whole hog and whack it up to .100. Wild!
INCREASE THE BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST
Be careful with the brightness tool, it’s great for giving your images a boost but misused and it will make it look like your having your brunch amidst that weird heaven/cloud scene with Harry and Dumbledore in the Deathly Hallows. I normally go somewhere between 0.15-0.20 and often reduce it again at a later stage. If the image needs it, bring the contrast up slightly too to make sure it’s still got some depth.
USE THE FACETUNE APP (SPARINGLY)
I’ve got a real love/hate with Facetune. For actually using ON a face or body I’d say it’s a big no-no; not only does it look a lil bit ridic, it’s also akin to photoshopping yourself and that makes me feel a bit uncomfortably. That being said, there are a couple of tools that are really handy for blog photos…
This tool is the main reason I ever open the app. It’s perfect if your white walls are actually a bit yellowed or your crisp white sheets are verging on the grey side after many a wash and many a spilt cuppa. What I like is that you can actually see the colour whitening as you slide your finger across the image so you can ensure that you’re not verging too close to ‘Simon Cowell’s Teeth’ on the whiteness scale.
Didn’t iron your sheets (nobody has time for that)? Big fat crease right down the middle of your top, making it look like you have three boobs? No problemo. Use the smooth tool to gentle blur out creases! Again, I’d use this sparingly or your picture will just look a bit strange.
The detail tool is really great for picking out accents in an image, such as a metallic piece of jewellery. A little swipe can make something shine a little brighter or look a little crisper.
FINALLY, EVERYBODY’S BAE, VSCO
Which VSCO filter you use is entirely up to you, I’ve experimented with a few and finally settled on one that I think suits me best. If you’re after a real sense of continuity then choose one that works for you and stick with it as it will create a sense of cohesion across your imagery. Once you’ve chosen your filter, use the adjustment tools as you see fit. I follow the below pattern, but am always mindful of the individual requirements of the image:
I set my filter to somewhere between +6 and +8 depending on the image.
I tend to reduce the exposure by 0.5-1.0 to counter balance the brightening I did previously.
I increase the clarity by 0.02-0.04.
I don’t have a set rule for saturation. If the colours are looking a bit garish I’ll reduce it, equally if my picture is looking slightly washed out then I increase it a little!
I usually take the temperature down between 0.04-1.0 depending on the white balance. The yellow an image, the more I bring the temp down and if I’ve increased the saturation I may bring it down a bit further to counter this.
I tint all my images +1.0. There’s no rhyme or reason, I just like the soft glow it gives!
TA-DAH! I hope that’s somewhat helpful. Having read a lot of these posts myself I wanted to show you clearly what I do but also make sure that you have the confidence to do your images in your way. Instagram would be a VERY boring place if we all had perfectly white C1 feeds so find the style that you personally love the most and own it! Here are some more examples of iPhone only edits: