Content creators need great visuals that stand out, tell a story, and represent their brand. Photos have to be high quality and pleasing to the eye. You might be great at taking photos, as we've already talked about, but the next step is editing!
I always recommend Lightroom to small businesses who want their photos to look amazing on social media. It's far easier to use than Photoshop, but has all the tools you need to make a photo look great. The Adobe software starts at around $15 per month, but many of the tools available on the phone app are free!
1. Keep it simple with Presets
Presets are a similar concept to filters, but their advantage is that they're easily adjustable. There are many available, some free and others at a low cost. You can even create your own, which I love to do! A few are available on my Etsy shop.
It's always easiest to start with a preset and work from there. They provide you with a base that ensures your photos all have a similar look. For example, the presets I use for All Write's images provide pink/purple hues and a warm, bright overall look.
Once you have selected your preset, you may notice some aspects of the photo look wrong. A preset that brightens and warms some photos may oversaturate others. So, now we have to edit to get the perfect image!
2. Adjusting Light using Curves
Curves are one of my favourite tools for lighting. Depending on the look of your brand, you can use curves to lighten or darken certain aspects of the photo and give it a specific mood.
If your preset has made specific parts of your photo too light or dark, you can use curves to fix this. Every photo is different and you'll have to experiment with curves yourself to find the look you want.
Good lighting is vital for your photos to stand out online.
3. Branding with Colour
You can also use Curves to adjust colour. Sometimes an image will look great with blue highlights, or maybe you want to give the shadows a purple tinge. Incorporate your brand colours and see how it looks!
You might also try adding saturation to increase the intensity of colours, or adjust temperature to make the photo appear warmer or cooler. It's worth playing with your colours to see what happens.
A succinct, branded Instagram feed with inviting and exciting colours is sure to attract followers.
4. Adding quality with Contrast and Sharpening
These tools can help you take a blurry, plain photo and turn it into an image that passes for HD.
I'm always careful with adding contrast, because too much can quickly make a photo look over-edited and dark. However, it can be helpful in adding depth to photos that are over-exposed.
Sharpening adjusts the texture of your photo by increasing the definition of textures. Like contrast, it can also be overused. But it can definitely help slightly-blurred images look far better.
You can also use Texture, Clarity or Dehazing to adjust any blur or intensify sections of the photo. Try out the different tools and see if they work for you!
5. Cropping for the perfectly framed fit
Changing the shape of your image is important to ensure it looks perfect on all platforms.
Using the cropping tool, you can straighten your image and alter the dimensions to follow the Rule of Thirds. This will make it more pleasing to the eye and draw in viewers.
You can also look at the social media platforms you use to find out the best dimensions to use for them. Remember the days when Instagram only let us post in squares? Rules like this still make a difference, and your images need to look right.
What are your favourite editing tools? Let me know on via the AW Facebook page.
For help with content creation, get in touch!