Journal

  • Editing Process

    A friend recently asked me what my normal editing process is like for a portrait. Decided to just make a .gif of the entire process. All of my editing takes place in Lightroom. If I have to open a photo in Photoshop, chances are I probably screwed up pretty badly.

    I use and lightly (and sometimes rather heavily) tweak VSCO filters for my photos. For the past year, I've exclusively edited with just one filter as it's become part of my style, but that evolves along with my style. The year before that, I used a different filter exclusively. Personal styles are weird, right?

    One — What came from the camera
    Two — Lightroom Auto Tune (Adobe analyzed millions of photos for their Auto Tune. Not using it is stupid and probably rooted in elitism. Just use the best tools for your work.)
    Three — VSCO Film Filter (I believe it was from VSCO Film 4: Kodak E200.)
    Four — VSCO Editing Tool Save Highlights++
    Five — VSCO Editing Tool Save Shadows++
    Six — VSCO Editing Tool No Grain (Certain filters of VSCO’s add grain to look like their film counterparts. That’s great, but I hate artificial grain in digital photos, so I always remove the added grain.)
    Seven — VSCO Editing Tool Sharpen++
    Eight — Tone adjust to cool down the photo a little bit to be more like how we actually felt.
    Nine — Local adjustment brushes to lighten up the left side of your face a bit to even out the lighting, and then a second to lighten up your eyes just a bit. (Too many photographers over do that and everyone has super white bright eyes and it makes me want to stab the internet.)
    Ten — Crop. (Ideally, I would’ve done this at the start, not the end. But didn’t think I’d want to change it. I was wrong. You usually want to do Crop at the start because it allows for Lightroom to edit the photo that you’ll use, not all of it. May effect how certain filters work, etc.)
    Eleven — Removed one unruly hair that was popping up.

    That's it. That's how I edit a photo.