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How I Edit My Photos

March 11, 2020

Editing photos has become the norm; thanks Instagram! With filters galore, it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose one, or 10, that fit your personal style. I am not a fan of the over edited look. I prefer natural looking photos, but sometimes pictures straight out of the camera need a little help to look their best.

My favorite photo editing app is VSCO. I prefer this one over Lightroom and I use it on almost every single photo I post. I have purchased several different Lightroom presets, but I am always disappointed in them…so I keep coming back to my default, which is VSCO. This app is free, and all of the edits I do to my photos are free! You can download it from the App Store and do all of your editing on your phone.

I’m going to walk you through how I edit my photos and also a time saving tip if you have several photos to edit at once.

This image above is straight out of the camera. It’s not bad. The lighting is decent, but it’s just a little dark for my liking. The image doesn’t pop and probably wouldn’t stop you in your scroll.

After opening the VSCO app and importing the photo(s) I want to edit, the first thing I do is click the preset A6. This one is my favorite, but it’s a little to dramatic as is. If you click on it once, it will apply the preset at 100%.

Click on A6 a second time and you will see the option to lessen the opacity of the filter. I default to 6. Click the check mark to save your changes. This will take you back to the main screen, where you can select the icon with two lines and two circles to access the remaining editing tools.

The second thing I do on every single photo is adjust the exposure. This will vary quite a bit depending on the lighting when the photo was taken. I almost always bump up the exposure at least +1.0, but in this case, I went to +2.0. Always click the check mark to save your changes.

The beauty of this app is that it changes the image in real time, so as you adjust the slider bar to show more or less exposure, you can instantly see how it changes the image.

I like to add a little contrast, so I default to +1.0 on every picture.

I usually add a little bit of saturation to help the colors pop. I keep it between 0-1.0, depending on the original photo.

If the photo has some shady spots, I will adjust the highlights and/or shadows. In this photo, adjusting the shadows helped the colors pop a little bit more.

Another edit I make sometimes is warmth. If the photo appears too cool, I’ll adjust the temperature by sliding the bar slightly towards the yellow end. In contrast, if the photo is too warm for my liking, I will slide the bar towards the blue end. I rarely use the green/red slider, but every now and then I’ll bump it towards the red. 

And there you have it! Like I said earlier, I prefer natural looking photos, so this edited photo (on the right) still looks very similar to the original, but just a little brighter and more colorful!

Now, a huge timesaver, that I use frequently is to batch edit several photos at once.

After you have a photo edited to your preference, click the photo you want to copy and a black frame will appear around it. Then, click the three dots in the bottom right corner where it says “More”.

Select “Copy Edits”. This will copy ALL of the edits you have made to that photo EXCEPT cropping or resizing.

Now, you will want to click on each photo you wish to apply these edits to. You can select multiple photos at once. Click the three dots again, then select paste edits. And that’s it! The edits will be applied to every single photo. You may need to click on one of the photos to make minor adjustments, but this is a HUGE timesaver that I use daily! It’s basically like having your own preset!

I hope this tutorial was helpful! What’s your favorite photo editing app?

Niki French

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About Me

Hey there!

I'm Niki, founder of Midwestern Mama. This lifestyle blog is a place where I get to share things I am passionate about with people like you! I love fashion, home decor, DIY's and easy meals, among other things. I'm so glad you're here! Read More


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