How I Take & Edit My Photos

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Hey friends! I am so excited to share with you today! I love me a good edit. Before blogging, I never put much thought into how a picture looked or how it was edited. Occasionally, I would slap one of those Insta filters on my pics and call it a day — but for the most part, I didn't care much about it.But now... the game has changed. I love coming up with new poses, making a beautiful edit and I have so much fun playing around with it! Now, I'm not a professional by any means — its just fun. 😉 Today, I am going to be sharing how take pictures and how I edit them!

+ How I Take My Photos +

The first thing you need when it comes to taking pictures is a camera! Now, I don't own a fancy camera. I just use my iPhone 8+ that I've had for almost two years. It has great photo quality for its generation and its super easy to use.The main things that I am aware of when I take a picture are: background,lighting and focal point!

  • Your setting is so important when it comes to taking pictures. If you like brighter and airier photos, find lighter settings with soft tones and backgrounds. If you like darker photos, stick to darker walls and backdrops.

  • Lighting will make or break a picture! When you're taking your picture, make sure that the light is even and that there aren't too many shadows on your face (unless you like that).

  • Lastly, figure out what your focal point is. Are you trying to capture yourself in an outfit or you and some friends? Make sure that the focal point, whatever you're taking a picture of, is centered and in focus.

Also, it's been kind of a struggle to figure out what to photograph and post on my blog/Insta as mainly a faith blogger. I don't want to overwhelm everyone with my outfits because that's not 100% my niche. What I have found works best for me is mixing up cute outfits and self portraits with flat lays and scenery pictures. Personally, I try my hardest not to overwhelm my audience with multiple outfit shots because I'm not a professional fashion blogger!

+ How I Edit My Photos +

My go-to for editing photos is Lightroom Mobile (LR). Lightroom Mobile is completely free — all you have to do is go to the App Store and download it! Editing is completely free -- you can edit your light, coloring, contrast and all that fun jazz for free! But I purchased some presets (filters, basically) to help me achieve a cohesive theme for my pictures! (This isn't necessary for everyone, but if you want a somewhat similar theme to your pictures, I'd recommend finding a preset you love!)

A few months ago, I bought The Kathleen Post Preset Pack. (@KathleenPost is a fashion blogger with the cutest inspo!) This preset pack is $40 -- a tad spendy but it comes with SIX presets — all for different lighting scenarios which is AMAZING. I love Kathleen's pack because there are presets for lighting, but I do change the colors significantly to meet my skin tones and aesthetic (just an FYI). Now, if you are interested in presets, but don't want to pay a ton, I suggest going to Etsy.com and you can find thousands for just a few dollars. Just search "presets"! Now I'm going to show you what the process looks like in Lightroom once I've chosen my preset. 😊

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First, I chose a picture that I want to edit and then I scroll over on the bottom of Lightroom and click the Preset tab (right). You can keep all your presets in this little tab so you can find & apply them with ease! Next, I apply the "Prime Light" preset from Kathleen's pack (left). In this picture, the light was even/"prime" — there wasn't any weird shadows or any direct sun on my face! After that, I click over to the "Detail" tab and turn the Sharpening down all the way (right). Personally, I don't care for a sharp looking picture. I like it a little bit softer. 😉

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And since I have naturally darker skin (thank you Jesus, thank you Asian genes), I go over to Color, then Color Mix and turn down the orange tones! (Tip: If you want to adjust your skin tone in Lightroom, hit Color, then Color Mix and turn down the REDs and ORANGEs.)The preset makes my skin a little oranger than normal (oh well haha) so I adjust it a bit. After adjusting it, I like to bump up the blue tones in the Color tab as well. I love these presets, but I do like a bit of more blue to the photo. Presets are totally customizable which is great! You can definitely tell the difference from start to finish! And depending on how it looks at that point, I will bump up the lighting. Bumping up the lighting helps add a little bit more of an airy look to the photo!

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TA-DA! Finished! Once you know what you want your pictures to look like, it'll be easy to achieve it. My best tip for approaching photo editing is to play around and experiment! 

+ A Few More Tips & Apps +

I forgot to mention — VSCO Cam is another really awesome app — free to download and it comes with a ton of free presets that you can automatically pop on your pictures! Just like Lightroom Mobile, its super easy to use. Lastly, I thought it'd be kinda fun to tell you the apps that I use for Instagram stories! Insta stories are so fun to make and there are some pretty sweet apps to make your stories stand out! A few of my favorites are Unfold and StoryLuxe. Both of these apps offer cute & unique templates for inserting pictures and cute fonts!

+ Let's Sum It Up +

I'm not gonna lie... it was a little tricky starting out and trying to figure out how to navigate all the different settings. But if I can do it, you can too! It can be super fun and enjoyable — but always remember not to stress out about how it looks. 😉 You are beautiful with or without a preset -- please don't ever feel the pressure to photoshop or Facetune! I hope this was a fun post to read and let me know if you have any editing or photography tips! This girl welcomes it all! 💗 love ya!