How I edit my Photos

Hello! I’m sharing a quick snapshot of how I take and edit my photos. I get asked a lot about it on Instagram, so I thought having a quick resource post would be nice for those who are interested!

So, let’s get started!

What equipment do I use?

I use both my iPhone and my DSLR. You can use whatever you have, but if you have a DSLR camera, you will find much more layering to a photo. The iPhones are coming around and improving, though!

  • Camera– I use this exact camera. I saved up for a loooong time and it was worth every penny. This camera takes amazing images. I use it for my videos on youtube, also. The depth and interest the camera adds to my images and videos is the cherry on top!
  • Lens– This lens was a major splurge. I asked around to a lot of hobby photographers and they ALL recommended this lens. It is perfect for both indoor and outdoor. It also allows you to get a lot of the image in the frame so you don’t have to back into a corner to capture the entire room, if that makes sense. The bokeh (background blur) is beautiful through this lens and the sharpness of the image makes the best pictures. I have recommended it to other photographer friends and they have raved about it.
  • IPhone 10- If I don’t shoot with my camera, then I shoot with my iphone. It isn’t the newest model and I don’t plan on getting a newer one. It, certainly, does the job.

What do I use to Edit?

I have three main apps that I use to edit. I’m not fancy enough to have an actual computer program, so I move all of my camera images to my phone (if I shot with my phone they are already on my phone… no need to move them anywhere) and begin to edit.

I use three apps to work on my images. Sometimes, I don’t need to use them all. It all depends on the purpose of my images and how good they are.

  • A Colorstory App- This app has a lot of benefits and there is a free or paid version. You can brighten, color correct, sharpen and it lets you do this to only certain areas of the image. So, if I have an image with me in it and my face has a shadow on it, I can brighten my face without blowing out the entire image. This app also has AMAZING filters for photos. I used to exclusively use the “Fawn” filters for my images.
  • Snapseed- This is a great correction app. You can take things out of the image, such as the can lights that are on my kitchen ceiling that I don’t like to show in my images, simple by using the “healing” tool. There are tools you can use to smooth skin and take away blemishes. This app is free and a great one to use for editing.
  • Lightroom- I have only recently begun using this app. I know you can get a paid version on your computer, but I just wanted something simple. I try to make my photos look as good as possible out of camera, so I don’t usually need a whole lot of fancy edits. One thing I love about this app is that you can use special presets (basically the same thing as a “filter”) that you can’t use on the other apps. You can buy from a preset shop (kind of like etsy where you can buy photo presets that lots of sellers create) and use those on your images. It allows your images to look more custom and unique to you.

Where do I get my filters and presets?

If you know what look you’re going for, you can buy filters or presets to help create that look. Filters can be purchased from A Color Story app for mere dollars. There are around 10 filters in each filter pack. Depending on your image, you might want to use different filters on different photos.

Another website that I love for presets (to use in Lightroom) is Luxe Lens. They run amazing sales and their packs are cheap, too… typically $13 or so.

What is my Editing Work Flow?

  • Try to get image to be really good “out of camera” so the edits are limited. This means I work on the lighting while I take the image.
  • Import images to my phone from my camera
  • Move the image I like into lightroom. Add a filter that I think would fit the image.
  • After the filter is added, I adjust and tweak things…. lighting, contrast, cropping, etc.- then, save to camera roll
  • If any fine tuning needs to be done, I move the image into A Color Story app where I can adjust things more carefully.
  • That’s it! I don’t change much. I try to get the image to be what I want it to be out of camera which makes editing a cinch!
How do you take pictures with you in them?

I always use my timer setting when I take pics with myself in it. If I use my camera, I can also use the “remote” on my phone (it’s a special/free app that connects your phone with your camera) and take a picture that way. That’s what I did to get all of the images in my Capsule Wardrobe posts:
Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Do you shoot your camera in Manual?

Yes! I always shoot in manual. I bought a $5 ebook ( I cannot remember what it was) YEARS ago when I purchased my first Canon Rebel so I could learn how to shoot in Manual. It is the only way to go. I promise it is worth learning. Once you do, it’s like riding a bike. You just DO IT and you don’t even have to think about what you’re doing. Your brain and hands just adjust the settings out of habit. You can also watch youtube videos. Just make sure you keep it simple. Some people try to make it confusing. It isn’t. If I can learn it, I promise so can you!

Do you have a most cost effective camera and lens you recommend?

Sure! This set up that I shared above is what I have now that I’ve been shooting with a DSLR for years and years. I started out with a Canon Rebel and a Nifty Fifty lens. 🙂 I will link them below. In my honest opinion, the lens is what makes all of the difference. If you want that creamy background with a sharp image in the forefront, then you have to pay attention to a good lens.