When it comes to capturing a stunning photo, half the battle is taking the shot and the other half is editing it. Whether you are using a camera or a smartphone, editing applications have become so advanced in recent years that creating a beautiful picture out of an average shot is easy. 

Here are our top 7 useful tips on how to perfectly edit your photos and make them look spectacular. 

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Use A Retouching Tool Kit

Sometimes you can have a perfect portrait but something as simple as the wrong lighting, darkened eyes, pale skin or any other minor detail can ruin the picture. All of these issues can be easily fixed by using a lightroom brush toolkit available at https://weddingrebels.co/products/lightroom-brushes, where you have a selection of simple to use Lightroom Brush presets that can be used for every aspect of portrait photography. For instance, soft skin, catchy eyes, whitening teeth and other contouring needs. By using a retouching tool kit you will never again have to worry about your subjects uncomfortable with their ‘flaws’. 

This is especially important if you are taking photos on big days such as weddings because what most people don’t realise is that the happy couple are actually exhausted and so naturally they have dark circles under their eyes for most of the day. That’s where the tool kit comes in and the rest is history. 

Avoid Over The Top Filters

Whether you are a professional photographer or someone who enjoys capturing shots on their smartphones, this tip goes for either type of person, make sure you do not go over the top with filters. There are plenty of template filters on your phone or Instagram that works well as a basis to work off of, however, using one of these and not altering it will produce a very basic photograph. It will look amateur and if you want your photos to stand out then you should consider using apps like VSCO where you can select from a tonne of more specialized filters or you can work on altering pre-existing ones to your taste.

Understand The Power Of Lighting

Lighting can be both your friend and your foe when it comes to mastering the art of photography. If at the moment you are taking a photo it doesn’t look right, ask yourself whether it is the framing, the subject, the lighting or some other component in the photo. You can edit your photo to improve the lighting but you shouldn’t take a poorly lit photo and hope that the editor can fix it because that won’t always be possible. Also, the fewer changes you have to make to the photo the better as this helps it retain its quality. You can learn more about how to ensure good composition and exposure here

Save Your Edits Separately

One classic mistake people make is to save the edited version over the original file. This is unhelpful to you because when you keep the unedited version you can rework it from the original as many times as you like, however, editing over an already edited version can make your photo lose quality and it makes it more difficult to create natural tones. To save yourself from getting confused, you can create an edited folder on your phone or your computer and save the altered photos there. That way you can keep it separate from the original ones and they are easier to locate with that system in place. 

Experiment With Photo Settings

There are a lot of settings to get to grips with, for instance, contrast, tone, fade, exposure, brightness, saturation, warmth and many more. Part of the fun of creating a beautifully edited photo is playing around and experimenting with the different settings. Take your time to create different edits of the same photo and see what works well and what doesn’t work so well. This will help you learn in future what editing tools you can rely on and how best to use them. However, the saying ‘less is more’ is quite appropriate in this context as you do not want to create a photo that is so overly edited that it loses its quality and ‘realness’. 

Crop Skillfully And Straighten

A tool as simple as the crop tool can make a huge difference to how your photo looks. If something doesn’t add to the story of the photo then crop it. As for straightening your image, thankfully most phones, cameras and editing apps come with a straightener grid. This grid helps you to make sure all the right components of the image are in line. While cropping and straightening are both simple tools to put into place, they can’t fix bad photos. So once again, we remind you to not rely on photo editing tools to fix a photo that has been poorly composed. Keep your phone/camera straight and aim to have your subject in the centre, that way there is room to crop around the centre if needs be.  

Backup Your Photos

Whatever you do, always back up your photos onto another device. This might be one of the most important tips anyone will ever give you when it comes to photos. There is nothing worse than losing thousands of photos both edited and unedited. Whether you opt to use the cloud, Google Drive or use a separate hard drive, all of these are better than the alternative. Too often we get lazy or we presume that something like losing all our photos would never happen, and then low and behold, it does. So take initiative and do not wait for the worst to happen. Regularly back up your photos and you will be covering your own back.

Photography is becoming more accessible than ever, and with advancements in technology, the photos we are taking are becoming more incredible than ever. So if you are a beginner who wants to try your hand at photography or you are a pro looking to improve, then give these seven top tips a go and see how many spectacular photos you can create.