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editing tips for making your family photos frameable (part 4 of 4)

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the mommyhood memos: editing tips for making your family photos frameable (part 4 of 4)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

editing tips for making your family photos frameable (part 4 of 4)

{mandy and her family}
Guest post by Mandy Chiappini, author of A Sorta Fairytale

We all have different cameras, editing programs, and skill levels. But there are some simple editing techniques we can do to make a photo just that much better.

Before you start editing photos, make sure you are familiar with your editing program. Whether it be a basic or a little more complex. Once you understand a little bit about the program you are using, the easier it will be edit your photos. Spend time reading about the different functions/tools/features your program has to offer and make sure to play around a lot in your program!

The easiest edits in the world are sometimes the best.

The very first thing you should do, is crop your photo. You are going to want to eliminate all of that extra area of clutter & color that will not be there in the end.

If your looking to create the most visually appealing photograph, most photographers will tell you about the rule of thirds. (it is explained very well in this website)

In addition to this, there are a ton of other cropping "rules" out there. You can throw those out the window, if you'd like. Crop the photo to what is pleasing to your eye. If you are going to be focusing on the scenery, crop it a little less. If someones smile is the focal point for you, crop it in a little tighter. But you can still use the rule of thirds, if you choose.

{here is my example of cropping, i just wanted to eliminate the extra clutter in the background, still sort of using the "rule of thirds"}

A lot of times a photo can either be over-exposed or under-exposed. In the example below, that image is over-exposed. In other words, too bright. So I tweaked the brightness just a little bit to my liking.

Also, if you notice the image on the left is a bit "flat". There is no depth to it. So, by changing the contrast - it will add that depth to the photo and will really make him pop out.

This is the worst. Red-eye is often caused by using flash on your camera. And sometimes that is unavoidable. But the good thing is, most simple editing programs have a tool that can remove the red from your eye. Usually it is as simple as choosing the tool and clicking on the red and Viola! The red is gone.

{here is an example of removing red-eye. much better, right?}

Simple Black & White.
As well as the other tools mentioned above, you will usually find a tool that will convert your color photo to black & white. This give your photo a classic feel to it. If your program does not have a b&w tool, you can also accomplish this look by using your hue/saturation tools. If you completely de-saturate a photo, it will take all of the color out.

Another thing you can do if you change your photo to black and white is adjust the brightness/contrast some more. A lot of time when you take the color out of a photo, you also take the depth out of it. So by brightening a little and turning the contrast up, we can put the depth back in!

{very minimal change, but it definitely helps the subject to pop out, doesn't it?}

If you do not have any editing software and are on a tight budget, there is a free program for download called Picasa. This will give you all the tools you will need for your basic editing.

I hope that you found this helpful and can put it to use next time you are editing your photos!

Happy snapping! :-)

Bio: Mandy Chiappini is wife to a wonderful man, mother to a beautiful 8 month old boy, and a Lifestyle Photographer. She strays from studio photography and focuses on capturing the real person behind the photo in a natural setting. You can find her at A Sorta Fairytale, Mandy Chiappini Photography and as a contributor on Paper Heart Camera.

Dear friends, I still have a lot to learn about editing my own photos to take them from good to great. What about you? Did you find Mandy's editing tips and tricks helpful? Feel free to share a link of your favorite shot below and tell us how you edited your photo to improve it. What are you most excited to try next time?

practicing my editing,

Other posts in this mini-series:
  • Part 1: Lighting - How to use light to take the best photos possible. 
  • Part 2: Composition - How background, framing, and placement of your subject effects your photos.
  • Part 3: Settings - How adjusting your camera settings can create different effects and feelings in your photos.
  • Part 4: Editing - How using simple editing tools can help your photos go from good to great. (A guest post by Mandy from A Sorta Fairytale.)

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adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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At October 10, 2010 at 12:15 AM , Blogger A Little R&R said...

I am really enjoying this. Since blogging I have really gotten into photography - and now even more so. Thanks!!!

At October 10, 2010 at 1:05 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

These tips are wonderful! Since having a baby, I have realized just how important, rewarding, and valuable (monetarily and otherwise) it is to know "a thing or two" about capturing and editing photos. I am going to bookmark this post now so that I have it to refer to in the future. Thanks!

At October 10, 2010 at 6:03 AM , Blogger Jhen.Stark said...

Yay Mandy! She just Rocked this post! Excellent Series Adriel, I saw so many comments of women needing just this to take better photos!

P.S. I'm so glad you came to tea and How I wish it was real ;0)

At October 10, 2010 at 8:40 AM , Blogger Mellisa Rock said...

All of these photo tips and tricks are doing wonders for how I think about the photos I take and how I will edit them in the future. Thanks so much for this post - that contrast thing is amazing - really does add a lot of depth!

At October 10, 2010 at 10:18 AM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

Thanks so much for your guest post Mandy - it is awesome!! And you are an amaaaaazing photographer - I have so much to learn from you!! Thank you! x

At October 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Brittany said...

Great tips!

I love mandy! She's the best! Perfect blogger to guest post on this subject!

At October 10, 2010 at 2:07 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

Great tips! I just downloaded GIMP and I'm going to read the tutorial! ;)

At October 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM , Anonymous Valerie said...

Wow! What an awesome series of posts on photography! I think every parent can admit to "quality through quantity" in a desperate attempt to catch that special moment. I appreciate how the advice you posted was broken into easy-to-understand bits for those of us who might be a little technically-challenged. ;) Thank you!


At October 11, 2010 at 2:38 AM , Blogger Emma said...

Oooooo these tips are awesome and all seem relatively simple too! Will have to try them and hope to get some great results!!

At October 11, 2010 at 5:37 AM , Blogger eof777 said...

Highly informative. I enjoyed the simple steps and though the thirds sounds like a disease, I can understand the value of it :-) Excellent guest post.
Looking forward to more posts...
I'm a Lamby Team member and have subscribed to your blog and more.
Have a Happy week ahead!

At October 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM , Blogger ElissaM said...

these are all such great tips! Thanks so much for sharing, I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing the great things you have to offer! Love your photos too!

At October 12, 2010 at 12:18 PM , Blogger Karli said...

I love Mandy! Such a sweetheart and amazing photographer. That little Bennett, what a cutie, huh? Thanks so much for sharing! Have a wonderful week. :-)


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