There are a lot of super awesome photo editing apps + software out there for sure, BUT using Adobe’s Lightroom really takes the beauty factor to the next level!
With endless visual stimulation online, having beautiful photos will absolutely help your blog/website/social media stand out over the crowds. Your photos get more likes, more re-pins and more genuine impressions + interaction in general, when you take the time to make them a lil’ prettier.
Let me show you how to edit photos in Lightroom with these easy editing basics…let’s make those pics extra G O R G E O U S !
If you are a travel blogger/influencer, or you take a lot of landscape shots, it is crazy how much Lightroom can change your photos. Of course, it definitely helps to start with a DSLR camera [mine is named Nik], but you can even edit your phone shots with Lightroom for an awesome result.
If you use a lot of portraits for your biz, you can dive deep into the Lightroom world and edit specific areas using more advanced settings. The photo above is only using the basics I show you below and it is still a vast improvement!
Ready to do this?! HECK YAH, MAN! Let’s start editing! 😉
Step 1: Get Lightroom
First, you need to get Lightroom. I recommend setting up an Adobe Creative Cloud account. It is a reasonable cost and you get access to multiple kick-butt programs.
Step 2: Upload Your Photos
Now, upload your photos to Lightroom, select the ones you want to use and click on ‘import.’ You can organize your pics in collections for quicker editing in the future. Double click on your imported photo and go to the ‘develop’ tab to begin editing.I'm learning how to make my photos gorgeous with this quick + easy Lightroom tutorial. Click To Tweet
Step 3: Begin Editing
Here are some of my favorite adjustments to make [use the toolbar on the right to make these edits], but play with everything – get comfy with what your favs are and develop the style and look you want to go for.
Side note: for blogging and social media photos, you definitely want to develop your look and stay consistent in order for your photos to be recognizable. How you edit becomes the look of your brand.
For example, I tint my Instagram photos with a lil’ hink of pink [you know, like rosy colored glasses? :)], I use the same main 3 colors and fonts for all my Pinterest pins and on both platforms my followers can recognize that they are mine, before even looking at who posted it. Those design elements, combined with my editing style, make up the look for Amy Hates Carrots.
Okay, back to editing…[sorry, squirrel moments happen often in this mind of mine]…start making adjustments to all the levels on the toolbar on the right:
- Dehaze – might be one of my favorites…dang, I never realized how hazey photos could be – almost like fog being cleared with this fabulous editing function. I usually adjust this one quite a bit [scroll to the bottom of the toolbar to find this function].
- Sharpen – if I used my DSLR to take the photo it doesn’t require a lot of sharpening, but I bump this level up when it is a phone photo for sure.
- Presence – I love love love rich color so this section is important to my look. I take ‘saturation’ to at least a 5 and ‘vibrance’ to at least a 25-35. I do also adjust the clarity a little bit, but it can be a pretty bold feature so a little goes a long way.
- Tone – this is a great section to brighten up photos without great lighting or nighttime/sunset landscape photos. I usually brighten shadows, add a little highlight action [you won’t want this too much for landscape shots as it really whitens the color], and play with the black + white levels. Every photo is going to be very different in how you edit this section.
- Exposure – I usually do this part last because I want to get all the colors where I like them first, adjust exposure to get the perfect light level and then I go back through the above steps one more time with exposure adjusted.
On the left tool bar there is a history section that notes every edit you make, as well as a ‘previous’ and ‘reset’ option if you need to undo your last edits or start over completely.
Step 4: Export Your Photo
Once you are done editing, export your photo. I create new files on my desktop and export straight there by clicking ‘file’ – ‘export’ – ‘export to hard drive’ and then selecting my folder. You will also have the option to adjust sizing to make each pic blog/social media ready, rename for SEO functionality and even add a watermark if you wish.
Voilà! You totally did it! Quick and simple, right?!
Please remember that Lightroom can do soooo much more that the edits I have suggested. But, the goal is to get you comfy with these basics and learn more as you go.
If you feel stuck, look online for photo style inspiration. Which social media/blog photos are the most beautiful to you? Edit your photo until it looks similar and then make it your own with a couple more tweaks. The clean white style is going to involve upping your whites, highlights, exposure + decreasing dehaze. The vintage look will play with contrast and tint.
How did the editing go for you? Was this guide helpful? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and even see your new purrrrrdy edited pics!
*Happy editing m’dear!!* -Amy