Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve had to teach myself a lot of skills from website design, to content creation, to photo editing. Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about photo editing (who knew it was more than just Instagram filters?) and I’ve tried out a lot of different photo editing apps. After months of trying to find my signature aesthetic, I’ve narrowed these apps down to two favorites that I now use to edit all my photos. And the best part? They’re both completely free to use! Read on for more about how I edit my photos:
Summary: Lightroom is probably one of the most popular photo editing apps for bloggers. There is a $9.99/month subscription you can buy to get access to all the features Lightroom has to offer, but I have always gotten by just fine using the free version. When I’m editing my pictures, I always start with this app to adjust the overall brightness, saturation, and colors of the photo.
Best Features: Since I want my Instagram feed to have an overall light & bright feel, I use the “light” tab on this app to increase the highlights, shadows, whites, & blacks of the image. Each picture is a little different depending on the time of day it was taken and the natural light (i.e. cloudy or sunny) but no matter how bright the picture is on its own, I always find myself brightening it even more. Everyone has a different aesthetic, so this tab is great as a starting point. The other tab I use the most is the “color” tab. Here I click into the “mix” feature to adjust each individual color of the photo. Are you wearing a red lipstick that you really want to stand out? You can increase the saturation of only the red color without increasing the saturation of the entire photo. In general, I find myself decreasing the saturation of yellow and increasing the luminance. This gives my photos an overall whiter & cleaner feel.
BONUS: Many experienced bloggers have started selling their Lightroom “presets.” The idea is that they always use the same adjustments on their photos, so they can actually save down these adjustments and sell them to you. If you’re completely new at editing and want a starting frame of reference, presets may be a way for you to learn what features other bloggers are using to adjust their photos.
General: Snapseed is another great free app that has a lot of specific features that I use. Some of the tools that Lightroom charges for (like the healing tool) are available for free in Snapseed, which is why I use both apps to edit my photos.
Best Features: Mentioned above, the healing tool is a great way to remove unwanted objects from your photo. If you look closely at my original photo vs. the final one below, you can see I removed some objects from the pavement to look a little cleaner. One of my other favorite tools in this app is the “brush” tool. Here you can use a brush to adjust specific parts of the picture such as exposure & saturation. I typically use this to make accessories I’m wearing pop a little more, and to make the background a little lighter.
These are just a few tips that I’ve learned since I’ve started editing my pictures, but if you have any specific questions for me, feel free to comment below!