photo editing: everyday images (taken by you!)

This year I’ve been devoting one week a month to a themed blog series, with daily blog posts.  I’ve talked all about project life, shared some ‘wish someone told me sooner’ parenting advice, written about ways to preserve your memories/photos, revealed our favorite things in West Seattle, and this week is ALL ABOUT PHOTO EDITING!


I’ve already covered my tips for editing on your phone, three super simple photoshop tricks to improve your blog photos, how I edit skin to keep it looking natural, my top secret steps for swapping heads in Photoshop, and today I’m putting it all into action with edits of everyday photos that were submitted by YOU!

I put a request out on my facebook page earlier this month for you to submit everyday photos taken with ANY camera for me to edit.  These were the submissions I received (I believe they were all phone photos).  I’ll walk you through the steps I took for each edit!

 

Photo #1:  Reckless Driver

Oh, come on… how cute is this face?!  This photo was already pretty great so I didn’t do a lot to it.

  1. Cropped the image slightly to make sure his face was the primary focus.
  2. Used the clone stamp to remove the rest of the background biker.
  3. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #2:  You Are My Sunshine

Ok, the edits on this one are pretty subtle because the original photo was pretty awesome too.

  1. Used a curves layer to adjust the shadows/highlights and even out the light.
  2. Increased brightness & masked it only onto his face.
  3. Did a little skin smoothing (using the process I shared in this post).

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #3:  Girl Talk

This is a pretty common issue when taking photos in front of a window- the phone sees that brightness and creates a photo with dark subjects.  Here’s how I fixed it:

  1. Created a curves layer to bring up the general exposure, especially bumping the shadows.
  2. Added a brightness layer for extra pop.
  3. Cropped & rotated to straighten the window ledge line (I shared that tip in this post).

3edit

 

Photo #4:  Beach Babies

When I got this image I knew there wasn’t going to be a ton I could do to fix the harsh shadows (unfortunately).  I know it’s a miracle to get three babies focused on the camera at once though so I’m sure there wasn’t time to scoot them around into better lighting.  Here’s how I tried to fix that:

  1. Used a curves layer to lighten the shadows pretty dramatically (brightening the left two kiddos)
  2. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.
  3. Used the paintbrush to softly paint over some of the shadows on the boy’s face on the right.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #5:  Floral Frolic

Again, some pretty subtle edits here.  Great colors & fun image.

  1. Cropped this image to make the children a more central focus.
  2. Used the burn tool to darken the foreground.  Your eye is naturally drawn to the brightest spots in the photo and the light grass was detracting from the children’s faces.
  3. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

There you have it!  Each edit only took 1-2 minutes to complete.  I don’t typically do very dramatic edits because my style is to keep things simple & clean & timeless.  I want the first thing you notice in the photo to be the subjects and their expressions and not the editing.  

If you have any questions about the steps I outlined above (or my editing style in general), please leave a comment below!


I hope you enjoyed this week’s photo editing tips!  Don’t worry, there will be more fun coming later this year… I have a ‘themed’ blog series planned for every month.  Make sure you’re on the list so that you receive all the fun in your inbox!

photo editing: everyday images (taken by you!)

This year I’ve been devoting one week a month to a themed blog series, with daily blog posts.  I’ve talked all about project life, shared some ‘wish someone told me sooner’ parenting advice, written about ways to preserve your memories/photos, revealed our favorite things in West Seattle, and this week is ALL ABOUT PHOTO EDITING!


I’ve already covered my tips for editing on your phone, three super simple photoshop tricks to improve your blog photos, how I edit skin to keep it looking natural, my top secret steps for swapping heads in Photoshop, and today I’m putting it all into action with edits of everyday photos that were submitted by YOU!

I put a request out on my facebook page earlier this month for you to submit everyday photos taken with ANY camera for me to edit.  These were the submissions I received (I believe they were all phone photos).  I’ll walk you through the steps I took for each edit!

 

Photo #1:  Reckless Driver

Oh, come on… how cute is this face?!  This photo was already pretty great so I didn’t do a lot to it.

  1. Cropped the image slightly to make sure his face was the primary focus.
  2. Used the clone stamp to remove the rest of the background biker.
  3. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #2:  You Are My Sunshine

Ok, the edits on this one are pretty subtle because the original photo was pretty awesome too.

  1. Used a curves layer to adjust the shadows/highlights and even out the light.
  2. Increased brightness & masked it only onto his face.
  3. Did a little skin smoothing (using the process I shared in this post).

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #3:  Girl Talk

This is a pretty common issue when taking photos in front of a window- the phone sees that brightness and creates a photo with dark subjects.  Here’s how I fixed it:

  1. Created a curves layer to bring up the general exposure, especially bumping the shadows.
  2. Added a brightness layer for extra pop.
  3. Cropped & rotated to straighten the window ledge line (I shared that tip in this post).

3edit

 

Photo #4:  Beach Babies

When I got this image I knew there wasn’t going to be a ton I could do to fix the harsh shadows (unfortunately).  I know it’s a miracle to get three babies focused on the camera at once though so I’m sure there wasn’t time to scoot them around into better lighting.  Here’s how I tried to fix that:

  1. Used a curves layer to lighten the shadows pretty dramatically (brightening the left two kiddos)
  2. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.
  3. Used the paintbrush to softly paint over some of the shadows on the boy’s face on the right.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

Photo #5:  Floral Frolic

Again, some pretty subtle edits here.  Great colors & fun image.

  1. Cropped this image to make the children a more central focus.
  2. Used the burn tool to darken the foreground.  Your eye is naturally drawn to the brightest spots in the photo and the light grass was detracting from the children’s faces.
  3. Ran a quick action that I created & use on every professional photo I take.  It basically bumps contrast & color a little, plus applies a slight skin softening.

Basic Photoshop editing tips with before/after photos.

 

There you have it!  Each edit only took 1-2 minutes to complete.  I don’t typically do very dramatic edits because my style is to keep things simple & clean & timeless.  I want the first thing you notice in the photo to be the subjects and their expressions and not the editing.  

If you have any questions about the steps I outlined above (or my editing style in general), please leave a comment below!


I hope you enjoyed this week’s photo editing tips!  Don’t worry, there will be more fun coming later this year… I have a ‘themed’ blog series planned for every month.  Make sure you’re on the list so that you receive all the fun in your inbox!

HI, I’M MISS FREDDY.

 

Actually, my name is Casey. As a newborn I resembled Fred Flintstone so my parents nicknamed me Freddy and it stuck. I am a professional photo organizer (yes, that's a thing!) who helps people all over the world make sense of their photo mess through organizing services and self-paced online courses.

 

I want to help you ENJOY your photos again!

 

[read more about me ]