DIY Lifestyle

Tutorial: Editing Your Photos

1-before-and-after
Bar none, the number one question I get asked around here is “why are you so pretty?” No. Terrible joke (I know). It’s “how do you edit your photos?” This question pops up in my inbox, on Facebook and even, on occasion, over Twitter almost every other day. I’ve always been slightly reluctant to share my steps because it’s honestly so ridiculously easy, and I’m a part-photo editing thief (I’ll get to that part later!) I’ve come a long way since my last photo tutorial (I cringe at the yellow undertones of those photos) and thought it was high time for an update. It should be noted that I am definitely (emphasis on definitely) no expert, and I’ll claim to be one as such. BUT I am quite happy with how my photos have been turning out as of late, so here goes!

2-before
So I use Photoshop CS5 for all of my photo editing. If you don’t have Photoshop, I highly recommend you get it. It’s well worth the investment if you’re hoping to get serious about blogging (that isn’t to say that there aren’t other fab programs out there, I just don’t really have a ton of knowledge on them at this point!) So here’s a solid before picture from my recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. Pretty (I mean, it always helps to have a good subject matter), but kind of flat and sad.

2---tone
::STEP No. 1::

With your image open in Photoshop, click image > auto-tone. The results should look something like the above. It doesn’t ALWAYS work – sometimes it makes the colours look all wonky, but for the most part this is my first step. If auto-tone doesn’t look right, I usually head into image > adjustments > brightness/contrast and play around until the photo gets a little more, um, “poppy” (for lack of a better word – it should be noted that I am sick to death of such a word).

3-wish-wish-wish::STEP No. 2::

This is the step in which I become a photo-editing thief. I downloaded Wish Wish Wish’s photoshop actions (right here) some time ago and have used it a million and a half times since. I’m totally obsessed.

Once you’ve downloaded it, click window > actions > wishwishone (the only one out of the three that I use) > and then push the little play (triangle) at the bottom right of the actions pop-up. The results should look like they do above – crazy vivid, saturated and vibrant.

4-pink::STEP No. 3::

I’m really into “soft and pretty” type photos these days (I happily blame my exposure to them at SMP Living). So I like to take it up a notch and add a pretty pink filter. To do that:

:: Create a new layer (make sure the layer is at the very top of your layer palette like so)
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the entirety of your photo in solid pink (I use #fee5f3)
:: Change the opacity of the pink layer to 50%
:: In the drop-down menu in your layers palette, click on the “soft light” overlay

grey
::STEP No. 4::

Lastly, I add a soft grey layer to tone everything down just a touch. To do so:

:: Add another layer on top of your pink layer
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the layer entirely in the light grey of your choice (I use #e4e4e4)
:: Change the opacity of the layer to 35%
:: Using the drop down menu in your layers palette, select the “soft light” overlay

TA-DA!
isn't-she-lovely
Let me know if you have any questions at all in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them! And if I don’t know, I’ll try my darndest to figure it out for you ;)
line
All images original to lark & linen

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

59 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria | Haute
    July 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

    hahaha she’s VERY lovely!! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  • Reply
    casie
    July 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Love love! This will definitely come in handy. So downloading the Wish Wish Wish’s actions.

  • Reply
    victoria | vmac+cheese
    July 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Great tutorial, J!!!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Thanks lady!

  • Reply
    allison
    July 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    this post is amazing and SO helpful! bookmarked for sure, thanks!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      My pleasure!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Just tried this on a couple Paris photos and they look amazing! They you for sharing. Seriously, this post was completely life changing! It made mine much prettier :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      I’m SO glad to hear that!

  • Reply
    Kate @ The Kate Keeper
    July 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! Your photos are gorgeous (and so is writing your style), so I keep coming back for more. This has definitely made me consider investing in Photoshop.

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      aw, thanks Kate! It’s definitely a worthwhile investment

  • Reply
    Nnenna
    July 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial! Do you know if this will work in photoshop elements as well?

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 26, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Hey Nnenna! No problem :) You know what, I’m not 100% sure. I’ve never used photoshop elements but I THINK you can use actions, the steps to use them just might be slightly different. I wish I was more help! If I can find someone who has it and I can play around I’ll come back and give you better info haha

      • Reply
        Nnenna
        July 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        Thanks Jacquelyn! I’m going to test it out sometime this week and see how it goes :)

  • Reply
    Tiffany @ Savor Home
    July 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I heart you for sharing this!! I’ve had Photoshop Elements for almost two years and have not edited one single photo with it! This inspires me to learn. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

      So glad I could help give you a kick in the pants ;)

  • Reply
    Nina: Anything et Everything
    July 25, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! It’s amazingly helpful! x

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

      I’m so glad to hear that – it’s my pleasure!

  • Reply
    jamie @ green beans & grapefruit
    July 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thank you so much for this- I’m such a fan of your photography. It looks like wish wish wish doesn’t work with Lightroom 4 :(

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Oh no :( I’ve never used lightroom so I’m literally no help there – I’m sorry!

  • Reply
    Jess
    July 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This was so helpful! Thanks for making this tutorial :)

  • Reply
    Clara
    July 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    OMG you are brilliant. OMG OMG OMG I love this.

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

      hahaha you’re the best. I’m glad!

  • Reply
    Claire
    July 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’m always so disappointed at the way my blog photos look and think it ruins my blog a bit so I’m excited to get Photoshop and try out your tips. Thanks!
    Claire.x

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

      you’re so welcome!

  • Reply
    LeahS.
    July 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your editing secrets :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

      anytime!

  • Reply
    Rose
    July 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

    What a great little tutorial!! You can also use Curves (command + M) to adjust tone, if the auto-tone turns your color a little funky. It’s meant to fix improper white balance, and playing with curves can get you some really fun results. I’ve never put a light gray filter over, but I have played with hot pink at various levels of opacity to get a vintage-filter effect (after adjusting curves & adding a slight vignette)! Bookmarking your tips to play with this weekend, too :)

    Rose
    Blonde in this City

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

      awesome! Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely try that when auto-tone doesn’t work for me

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I will definitely use these steps, seeing as how gorgeous your photos always are. Xx

    K a t e C r o s s | Modette
    modetteblog.com

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Aww, thanks Kate!

  • Reply
    Heidi | The Rustic Modernist
    July 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    This is awesome. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    This is amazing and so well laid out! Thank you so much for sharing!
    I used to have Photoshop and after a move and computer crash I somehow lost it. I only really used it for minor photo editing so I found a program for MAC called Pixelmator – it’s perfect! It’s only $20 and does pretty much everything Photoshop does (well maybe not everything but for photo editing it does the job like all the steps you mentioned above). If anyone isn’t ready to commit to Photoshop it’s a good alternative.

    Thanks again for sharing – bookmarking this now :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Awesome!! Thanks Laura – that’s super helpful

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    July 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

    This is so helpful. I do edit my photos, but I rarely use layers in photoshop, mostly because it’s a little daunting. Thanks so much for the very easy to follow instructions!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Any time! Once you start using layers you won’t be able to stop

  • Reply
    Lexi @ Glitter, Inc.
    August 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

    This is awesome! (Bookmarking now!)

  • Reply
    Gigi
    June 8, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    This is wonderful, thank you! I have been trying to start taking photos but my outdoor pics do look flat and don’t have that pop and shine to them. I will try this although I’ll have to tinker in Gimp because PS is out of my budget right now.

    Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    MARIA
    July 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you for your lovely tutorial !!! Greetings from Spain !!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      July 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Reply
    Farah
    April 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Jacqueline,

    What kind of camera do you use?

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Farah!
      I use a Nikon D90

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Great tutorial! I have a few other actions that I use regularly, but the pink and grey overlay tips were new to me and really help to elevate the pics. Thank you!

  • Reply
    anna
    December 7, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    this is really helpful- thank you! i have lots of travel photos that desperately need editing and have no idea where to start. i will definitly take your advice x
    anna // messystreet.com

  • Reply
    Clayton Waters
    January 14, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Interesting, although it seems like a bit of a production. The after photo looks nice though. :)

  • Leave a Reply

    Subscribe

    Sign up to receive new posts & subscriber-only design advice straight to your inbox.