How To Edit Blog Photos In Under 5 Minutes || Quick, Simple, and Easy
I am a shit photographer. There are no ifs, there are no buts, I was not put on this earth to take gorgeous photos. The advent of good phone cameras with all their nifty little camera ways have upped my game significantly, but I just don't have the eye for a good composition, or the artistic ability to put together beautiful flatlays. As a blogger, I really am quite awful.
But, I like words. I like writing words, and I like making awful jokes, and I like combining those two things and putting word to page (screen?) and writing my blog. With that territory comes the need to take photos. It's well known that blogs with photos do better than blogs without, plus half the time you need the visual to accompany the words so people actually know what you're going on about.
I take all my photos on my phone. I have the iPhone 8+, and it has a pretty nifty camera that does everything I need it to. I don't yet want to spend out hundreds on a camera I don't know how to use, when I'm not convinced it would up my game much. I need to get better at arranging the things in the photo before I start investing in fancy gadgets.
All this has added up to me needing to take photos, as reluctant as I am. So I try to make the photo taking and editing process as quick, simple, and easy as humanely possible, so I can spend more time on the words. As far as I'm concerned, as long as the picture is clear and bright, and you can see what the products/items are, I've done my job. Which is why I thought I'd throw together this little guide on how to edit photos when you're not a photographer, not a fan of taking photos, or just need to get it done quick.
To make life easy for yourself, you need to start out with a reasonably decent photo. Have plenty of natural light in the room you're shooting in - without being in direct sunlight - if you don't have access to proper lights, and make sure the subjects of the photo aren't in shadow, and the photo is clear and in focus. Trust me on this. It'll make the next stages much easier.
I only do really basic editing. I use the app A Color Story, developed by the incredible team behind the blog A Beautiful Mess. If I need to put any design on the photo, like if I want to have text on it as I do in some of my cover pictures, I'll use their sister app A Design Story, because both editing apps work in tandem with each other. A Color Story is a free app for the basic editing tools, but the filters will cost you some dollar. If you can afford them, they are really lovely, and they have tons of different options for different moods and different feels.
When I've opened up my picture in ACS, the first thing I do is head to the 'Tools' option. Here, I'll use the Curve tool to up the brightness of the photo, because I like the bright and airy feel. In the pictures, you can see how I pull up the middle dot, and the two dots to the right of it to up the highlights, and pull in the shadows with the bottom left two dots. Fiddle around with these to get your desired finish, each photo will need different adjustments made.
Then I use the brightness tool to up the brightness even further. I tend to do this selectively using the selective edit function, and only brighten the aspects of the photo I either want to draw attention to, or are looking slightly duller than the rest of the shadow.
Once I'm happy with the brightness of the picture (it usually looks ten times better by this stage), I will fiddle with the saturation. A lot of the time, I will whack the saturation up all the way, but sometimes it only needs a little bit more. I honestly couldn't tell you what half of these features do, but the saturation tool makes the photo look alive again, after the brightness has been turned up.
When I'm happy with the edits I've made - and it's very rare I will change anything else because I have NO idea what I'm dong -, I will add on the 'everyday' filter. I don't know if it does anything or whether it has a nice placebo effect, but I usually dial it down to around 10% and call it a day. Sometimes I fiddle around with the other filter packs, I own nearly all of them but have no idea what most of them do. It's just a good ol' game of trial and error until I find the one with the 'feel' that I want in the photo. My favourite packs, however, are the Golden pack for that magic hour feel, and Vintage. I tend to stick to the filters in these packs when I'm editing.
Et voila. When you get good at this process, you can edit a whole bunch of photos in ten minutes or less. Trust and believe, I don't ever spend longer than that on my editing stage. To me, it's just not worth the time when I have a hundred other bits and bobs on my to do list. Check out the video below to see the process in action!
Do you like the photo taking and editing process? How do you take and edit your photos?