4 Essential Photo Editing Tips for Beginners

So you’ve decided to start playing around with photography. You have a good camera (or your trusty camera phone), some great subjects, and creativity. You’re ready to shoot!

But what happens when you’re done taking photos? Are your editing skills up to par, or do you need some photo editing tips?

We’re here with a few basic design tips for how to edit your photos as a beginner. Read on to learn more.

1. Crop First

Before you start making any changes to your photos, we recommend cropping and straightening your photos first. You may find that your lighting and colors no longer look right after you crop later on.

When you’re cropping, you have the opportunity to alter the composition that you used when you took the photo in the first place. Consider different photo compositions that you can adjust with the crop and straighten tools alone.

2. Adjust Your Lighting Carefully

When beginners start to edit photos, they often go overboard with the lighting tools. Be careful to avoid this mistake!

Your photo editor is going to allow you to play with your contrast, your brightness, your exposure, your highlights, and more. To the novice photographer, this might indicate that your original lighting isn’t going to be a problem.

Don’t be fooled! While small tweaks to exposure, brightness, and contrast can make a nice difference, if you try to make a dark photo into a bright one, it will end up grainy. Too much contrast will remove details. 

Move the sliders incrementally. 

3. Adjusting Colors: What to Do

The same goes for adjusting colors. Too many new photographers think that amping up saturation and vibrance right away is the best move for colors that pop, but resist this urge. 

Consider starting with pre-made filters or presets. You can find plenty of them on various photo editing apps and you’ll start to understand how they work based on what they’re doing to your editing tools. 

Learn to adjust colors gently to fit your desired aesthetic. Matching a group of photos in a photoset makes it easier to combine pictures in a collage or in an album later on.

4. Don’t Over-Edit 

Are you taking portraits? Be careful to avoid this problem. It’s more common than ever for people to over-edit photos of themselves and others, and believe it or not, the results are always more obvious than you think that they are.

Popular free editing apps have made it easy to remove blemishes and smooth skin. While small edits like this are acceptable, you should stray away from anything that will drastically change the appearance of the subject.

You’ll end up with strange lines and shapes and an overall unrealistic appearance. It’s a sign of a novice editor. 

Keep These Photo Editing Tips in Mind

Next time you’re editing your photos, remember these photo editing tips. 

Be careful with your lighting, learn how to use color effectively, don’t overdo appearance-changing edits, and change your composition before you change your other photo features. 

Have fun with your next editing project!

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