The trouble with photo editing is that there are So. Many. Options. Sometimes I don’t want to even spend any time doing it because it feels like such a time suck trying out every filter ever, or playing with every tool. But the truth is, it’s a necessity. It’s rare that an image needs no edits.
So here’s what I do to create a workflow that works for me, so that when I’m photo editing, I go through a series of pre-determined steps, and don’t spend an hour trying on every technique.
Note: I’m not a professional photographer or photo editor. If you are one, you know more than me, and I’m not trying to say that you don’t. I take photos with my smartphone and use mostly free photo editing apps. If you’re like me and just need great photos for various projects (wall art, greeting cards, gifts, blog posts, etch), but aren’t a pro, these ideas might help.
Step 1- Play
When you find out about a new editor or program, just get in there and play with it. Set aside a large chunk of time (1-2 hours) and PLAY! Have fun! Grab some of your favorite photos, make copies, and start trying out all the cool stuff that the app offers. Take note of what filters you like and what features are particularly useful.
Step 2- Identify the most useful and most loved features
If you could only use one filter which one would it be? What is it that makes a photo successful to you, and how will this app get you there? Write these down if you have to.
Step 3- create a process or workflow
Now that you know your favorite tools, create a process (workflow) that implements those. For example, with my phone’s photo editing features my workflow looks something like this:
That’s it. I do it that way every single time. And I don’t have to think about much or make any decisions except what filter I’m choosing. That means I can usually make my edits right away, which is really the only way they’ll get done.
What do you think? Would this work for you? In a future post I’ll share more details about my favorite photo editing apps and the workflows I use on each one.