Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Editing your photos to look more professional

*While going through my vacation photos I was inspired to write this post---enjoy! :-)

I  love my Nikon DSLR camera. I really do. After I  first  got  it I  remember  Lee  saying "awesome, now we will  never have to pay for professional  photos again!!"  ....and really, that  is a common thought when  you get a "professional" camera.

But  if  there  is  one  thing  I've learned  it's that professional  photographers aren't "professional" simply because they had the money  to buy a big fancy camera. To be a great photographer  you have to have an "eye" for it, you scope out great  locations and props for clients, you spend hours editing the photos etc. Give a novice photographer the most expensive  camera on the market and a professional  photographer a $100 point and shoot, and I bet  the professional photographer  will  still take  better pics.

Out of everything though, I've decided that *editing* is  the key to looking more professional  with your photos. I remember the first time I  took  Raya to our professional  photographer for her newborn photos. I caught sight of the pictures the photographer  was taking in the digital screen of her camera and  almost died---I  couldn't  believe  I was paying  big  bucks for her to take pictures that looked  like snapshots I could do myself. But then the edited photos came back  and they were AMAZING. Clearly she  knows her  way around photoshop well :-)

There is a steep learning curve with DSLR cameras and editing programs. I  still shoot in auto on my camera---which means I still ahve some blurry photos, photos with weird  coloring, etc. A fancy camera  didn't solve that.  But  I am slowly getting better and  also  learning how to every once  in awhile I get  lucky and end up with a pretty "professional" looking  photo :-)

I ordered lightroom the  other  day and  I'm excited to get my hands on it. I  went  with that over photoshop because I  take hundreds of pictures a week...and the benefits of  lightroom with organizing photos etc. sold me. I am anxious to try it out and let you all  know what  I think!

But for now I use a free program called can just download it. I  highly recommend it if you are just starting  out.  It's awesome for editing photos that you just want to use on your blog and such. (If you plan to print the photos, especially large sizes, it decreases the photo quality it's best for using your photos online or making  small  prints.)

Anyways, here are a couple examples of how editing works wonders!

Here  is a snapshot that  Lee  took  of Brielle and  I at City Gardens on vacation. Nothing special  about this  photo.  Could have been done on a point and shoot.  Clearly not a planned  out pose, etc. *But* , once I got my hands on it, cropped  it, brightened  it, softened it, did black  and white, and warmed it up suddenly it w as a photo of Brielle that I  would happily hang on my wall.

Click  photo to enlarge it
Here is one of my favorite  photos from the  trip. Also  one that  Lee  took  at City Gardens.  Once  again the original is  nothing special. Any novice with a basic point  and shoot camera could take this photo.  But then look at how "professional" it looks with some editing...suddenly it appears  that  the  picture taker planned out this perfect shot

Click  photo  to enlarge it
Anyways, just  thought I'd share! I know sometimes  when I look  at other  blogs I  am amazed at the wonderful pictures they take, and then I also know that some of you are impressed  with some of my photos too from time to time.....but  a little  "behind the scenes" look shows that really *anyone* can take great pictures. The  key is to keep your camera shooting and take  TONS of increases your chances of getting some really good ones! ...then of course edit them!  There  are  so many  fun edits you can  do. My current favorite, in case you couldn't tell haha, is black  and white. I love black  and  white because it makes the picture more timeless---you aren't distracted as much by the  clothes, etc....which years down the road will  be outdated. You can also more easily  group black and white photos for wall  displays in your house, without worrying  about the colors of different photos clashing.

*********And don't forgot to read my earlier post today---lots of zoo pictures!***********


  1. You are going to LOVE lightroom! I was scared to death of it at first, but that is all I use now and it's amazing. There is sooo much you can do with it. And there are tons of websites where you can download free "presets". If you have any questions about lightroom let me know! =)

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping it doesn't take me too long to learn :-)

  2. Hmm... definitely interested in what you think about lightroom. I know nothing about these programs, so I love this post.

    Joe said the same thing once we bought our camera, which is why he insists on taking my maternity pictures each week. :)

  3. Love, love, love those pics, I need copies!!!

  4. You are so right on with this post! Once we purchased our Nikkon I thought (and probably said) the same thing about never needing professional photos again... wrong! Anyway, I use Picasa and love it. I have photoshop, but have never spent enough time to really get a good grasp on it so I just stick with Picasa for now. I love your blog and also have 2 sweet girls myself. I will be back to visit again soon. :) Lana


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