January 8, 2018

A GUIDE TO HOW I EDIT MY PHOTOS + VSCO C8 MINI SERIES

(feat.) Tatiana Aragon

Lately I've been asked: "How in the world do you edit your photos?"  Well first, let me give a disclaimer - although I am not the ultimate PRO at photography [in general] I must admit... as I am constantly learning everyday, I have definitely improved my editing skills since the first day I started taking pictures a couple years ago. 

That's pretty much how it is with anything though. The harder you work towards something, the better you get at achieving what you want to accomplish, right? You only learn from the best, and that's how I get most of my inspiration and ideas... only from the best. Whether I'm working on taking photos for my bakery, or capturing those special moments during photoshoots in my free time, I'm constantly practicing and that's all it takes! So, without further ado, let's take a look at how I've gone from beginner to intermediate.




First things first, I use one of the best rated photography apps called FACETUNEIt does cost $5.99, but don't worry... once you download it you'll want to thank me later. As you can see in the first photo in comparison to the next, I softened the facial lines and any blemishes with the smooth tool. 

Then, I enhance certain facial features like the freckles on this model and always the eyes with the details tool. After, I can patch any areas if I need to, then I usually blur the background depending on the scenery and the type of mood I want to achieve. With this series, I blurred out the background on all of the photos because I want my model to be the main focus.





My next step is transferring the photo from Facetune to VSCO and finish all of the editing from there. They have a yearly plan that costs $19.99 which includes all of the filters which I would highly recommend purchasing, so you can choose which ones are your favorite, and just for the extra practice with different looks & feels. 

I don't use all of the presets, as it's best to keep your pictures looking clean and matching closely with the others, so I have a select few that I use. It's also important to know that using just one filter doesn't always look good on all photos. 

The theme I like to achieve is very moody, so my favorite filters are 10 (legacy), J3 (minimalist), and of course the C8 (chromatic) filter that I used for this series.







*** This step and each of the subsequent steps in the post require VSCO. I would recommend downloading it before proceeding so you may be able to follow along easily.

As everyone knows when you upload a photo to VSCO, a set of options come up including brightness, shadows, highlights, and more. This list is to help you understand what each adjustment does and how each one affects how a photo looks. Since VSCO has many options, here are the major ones you need to know (in my personal opinion).


    Brightness

This is pretty self explanatory, but if you would like to make a photo brighter or with less shadowing, you can either increase the brightness OR decrease the shadow setting. However when decreasing shadows, it is important to increase the contrast to balance out the composition of the photo.

    Contrast

Contrast increases or decreases the contrast between the photo highlights (the light parts of the photo) vs the shadows (the dark parts). Usually when you increase the brightness, you should also increase the contrast.

    Rotation

This tool is helpful for either rotating a photo 90 degrees or straightening a slightly lopsided or tilted photo. For architectural or landscape shots, the straighten feature is a must!

    Saturation

Simple tip: increasing saturation increases the pigment in colors, decreasing saturation gives photos more of that pale look that is popular on beauty, lifestyle, and style Instagrams. If you want to achieve a more pale composition, decrease the saturation.

    Temperature

An increase in temperature increases the warmth (or the yellowness) of photos, and decreasing it increases the coolness of a photo (adding a blue tint). As a rule of thumb, if you’re looking to make a photo more pure white, decrease the temperature + saturation, and increase the contrast. 

    Highlights

Increasing the highlight slider is useful for making bright-white sections of photos look matte, and for matte-fying skin tones.

    Grain

Grain gives photos that film-y, nostalgic, vintage look that many film photographers covet. Increasing the grain increases the noise in a photo, making it look more filmy and weathered.

    Fade

Fade gives that vintage look minus the grain, but subdues colors by making the photo more opaque. To give a photo ultimate film-vibes, increase both the fade and the grain. If you’re looking to achieve a more subtle vintage feel, I would suggest only increasing the fade.




As you can see in the picture above, I always lower the exposure depending on the lighting, and increase the contrast to help the picture get darker and more moody. The exposure, contrast, and sharpening tool are the only three main adjustments I usually ever use. 

Hint: Always keep an important rule of thumb when sharpening and never go beyond 4.5.  I increase mine to 2.5 to keep the quality of the photo at its best. Any higher, you risk the picture looking like you took it with your 2008 flip-phone you had during High School.





B O N U S   T I P 

UNUM is a free app that I use to help plan out my instagram feed with a grid. It also shows me the statistics with my Top Post and the # Best Hashtags to use which is key to getting the most exposure for your hard work! 



Well there you have it. If you enjoyed this post and learned anything from my tips and tricks on how I edit my pictures, then come show some love over on my Insta page @hafsah_designs

What did you like most about this blog? Do you have any favorite apps that you enjoy using when editing your photos? I'd love to know!


H A F S A H ♡

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29 comments

  1. These are some really great editing tips. It is so amazing how far our cellphone cameras have come. I am definitely going to have to check out some of these apps. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I totally agree... I don't ever use my phone camera though. I probably would if I had an iPhone 10! 😉 But I always use my Canon which I'm slowly progressing towards getting a better one too. Definitely try out these apps tho, you'll love em'!

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  2. Dang I've been sleeping on some cool photo editing apps! I usually don't post phone photos to my instagram page, but I may need to start with all these tools :) Thanks for sharing your secrets!

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    1. Omg, that's too funny 😄 I always use my Canon for my photography, then I just transfer the photos onto my phone to do all of the editing because it's sooo much easier (in my opinion). I only use Photoshop if I absolutely have to. But yeah girl, you should try them! Thanks for stopping by ♡

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  3. These are such great editing tips for your cell phone! I'll have to go check out the vsco app! Thank you for sharing!

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  4. this is a great tutorial! so many handy hints!! I love to edit with VSCO form my phone! perfect for on the go!

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    1. Thank you! I couldn't agree more... it's been my favorite since day 1!

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  5. I LOVE VSCO and I love this post. Your phone editing flow is really similar to mine! This will be a really helpful editing guide to all the new photographers out there.

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  6. VSCO is such an amazing tool! And you seem to have mastered it. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips and your process. I am sure many people will find it helpful!

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    1. I hope so too, thanks for the positive feedback Aida

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  7. So many great tips and advice, I have been considering getting the face tune app for a long time though now you have convinced me its a must have! I cant wait to try all this advice out!

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  8. SO fun to get to see how you edit step-by-step like this! It's amazing how much just a few adjustments can make a picture go from being okay to being amazing! Love these fun pictures that you showed it on too!

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    1. Right!? Technology is so incredible these days that it's almost impossible not to imagine anything creative. Thank you so much for your positive feedback ♡

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  9. 1) I love those freckles!!!! So unique and gorgeous!! 2) This is an amazing guide!! 3) FaceTune is my fave!!!

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    1. Same here! When I heard about it, I was like "I gotta have this" 😍

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  10. Thanks for these easy to understand and step by step instructions. I hope you do more tutorials like this!

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  11. I love these editing tips! Thank you for going step by step. We just got the inside scoop on VSCO editing!

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  12. Wow that's so cool you can do all this editing on your phone! Thanks for the tips and the specific app names!

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  13. Wow! Who would have thought we would be able to edit cell phone images this way! So awesome!

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  14. I love seeing how others edit photos. There are so many options and looks now, especially with amazing cell phone technology, let alone with computers. I've never used VSCO (I feel like I'm the only one sometimes) and this makes me want to try. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I totally agree... you should really give VSCO a try! I'm sure you'll love it

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  15. Geez I wish my cellphone camera took great photos like this, it turns out so blurry! Can I also say I love love love her hair?

    -kym

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    1. I wish mine did too... good thing a didn't use my cell phone to take the pictures! Haha 😄

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  16. I don't know what I would do with lightroom and photoshop. Kudos that you found some awesome apps to make editing your photos simple and easy. I love the rich tones.

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