How I Edit an Image

Hey! Welcome to my first Tutorial Tuesday post! I am excited to share with everyone how I edit my images. To me editing is a major part of getting my final artistic vision for my images. Creating an image doesn't stop when I click the shutter on my camera, that is where it starts for me. I put a lot of effort into post processing in order to give my clients my best images.

Recently I managed to get my sister and her husband to model for me. I am so thrilled with the images we got from this session! So I will use one of them for this tutorial. So here is the image straight off of camera (SOOC).

Cookeville Tn Photography - Shauna Hargis - Engagement Photo

For best results you want to start with an image that is properly exposed (not too bright and not too dark), you want the light to be nice and even on the subjects, and for the white balance to be good (not too yellow or too blue). So this image is a great start. The color looks nice, exposure looks good, and the light was flat but I got some dimension by shooting through the tree branches.

I always start in Lightroom with my images. Usually I adjust exposure, white balance, and stuff in lightroom. For this image I first cropped it using the grid overlay so that it would follow the rule of thirds more.

Cookeville TN photography - Shauna Hargis - editing tutorial

Then I applied a VSCO present (Afga RSX 200 II) and adjusted the highlights to 0, shadows to +3, blacks to -6.

Cookeville TN photography - Shauna Hargis - editing tutorial

After that I took the image to photoshop to give it a bit more pop. In photoshop I applied my favorite Jessica Drossin actions Ivory and Moonshine from the Earthy set and brought the opacity of those down to 20%. Then I added the Anne texture from Jessica Drossin's Wuthering Heights set, set the opacity of that to 41%, changed the blend mode to soft light, and blurred the texture. A levels layer set to Multiply blend mode and lowered to 26% helped darken the edges (I masked it off of them). Last I removed the pine cone blob because it was distracting me. And here's what I ended up with.

Cookeville TN Photography - Shauna Hargis - editing tutorial

And this what my levels palette looked like.

Cookeville TN photography - Shauna Hargis - editing tutorial

I wanted it to have more of a film feel so I decided to run this through Alien Skin Exposure X really quick. I used one of the Fuji presets in Exposure but I can't remember now which one. I did bring the overall opacity of the present down to about 60% and reduced the grain. I love how this added a pop to the green and really made the colors have more of a film feel. I then added a slight vignette in Exposure. So here's the final edit.

Cookeville TN photography - Shauna Hargis - Engagement photos

Shauna Hargis Photography is a portrait photographer serving the Livingston, Cookeville, and Middle TN area. Shauna is devoted to capturing authentic moments in a simple and timeless way.