When it comes to blogging, followers often question transparency and how ‘real’ the life that social media influencers choose to share with them actually is, in particular with photos shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. How far is too edited? Is there a different between editing a photo and photoshopping it? Is photo editing deceitful or just another way of making our content that bit easier on the eye? In this post, I’m going to run through the methods in which I edit my photos, the apps/tools I use and how basic, non-digital adjustments can make all the difference when capturing that perfect shot!
Know Your Lighting
It may sound like an obvious one but setting up in the best possible lighting when shooting for your social media is a crucial step in creating quality content. The above images are identical, bar the fact the the first one was taken with my Ventian blinds pulled down, the second one shot a few moments later when I pulled the blind up, allowing the morning sunlight in. No filters and no photoshop here, just the Sun doing its job right.
Set The Scene
When shooting flatlays or product images, the most important factor for me is a clean, white background.This ensures that your products bounce out at the camera and catch the viewer’s eye instantly. I always aid to photograph new beauty buys or press releases when the natural light is at its best. The photo on the left here shows how unflattering unnatural light from a desk lamp can be. If your bedroom or office has shite lighting all day long, it may be a good idea to invest in a high quality ring light but apart from that, natural is always the way to go.
Basic Instagram Tools
When you see high quality images with amazing contrast and definition on a blogger or photographer’s Instagram, you’re probably imagining hours of work going into perfecting each shot. In reality, the Instagram ‘Edit’ section itself has a vast array of tools to help you maximise your image quality, many of which I use daily. Here are a few of my favourites..
Facetune is an app, available to download in the iTunes store for €4.49. I’m not really a fan of full-on editing apps but I must admit I love Facetune’s ‘Whiten’ tool when adding the finishing touches to a selfie or outfit post. I’ll show you what I mean..
As you can see, the photo on the left is unedited while the one on the right has had the ‘Whiten’ tool applied to the background, along with a little bit of Structure/Contrast to emphasise the facial features and makeup. Amazing what a difference a few adjustments can make, right?
I find my OCD comes out to the greatest effect when I’m trying to build a theme within my Instagram posts. Nothing irritates me more than one oddly contrasted photo messing up the previous 5 or 6 that gelled together perfectly. VSCO is basically an app with a collection of professional style filters, all of which come with named so you can use the same one repeatedly, in order to create an aesthetically pleasing, OCD-friendly feed.
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