HOW TO: Photography & Editing

I get so many questions on how I edit my photos, what camera we use for the images and what filters I use for Instagram. I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while but as we are hoping to upgrade our camera I was thinking I should wait. However I’m still unsure what camera I really want to go for and considering the ones I’m looking at cost more than a Chanel Classic flap, I want to be sure I choose the right one.

I’ve been using a DSLR since I started my blog, as luckily I done a photography class at school, which I loved, so I asked for a Nikon for Christmas one year.  I quickly realised that for the shots I wanted to do, details for example, that I would upgrade to a 50mm 1.8 Nikkor lens. This was great because it gave me that blurred background that I wanted and we were able to play around with the camera and learn.

After a year or so Chris upgraded to a Canon and a 50mm 1.2 lens, and that is still the camera and lens we are currently using, although I think the lens may work slightly different as it’s not a full frame camera. Around two years ago I tried out the Olympus as it was easy to use, compact and so many others in the industry were raving about it. If I’m honest, I don’t use it at all any more. It doesn’t have great depth of field and I felt the images looked flat compared to  the image quality that the DSLR can produce so I prefer using that.

Anyway, on to the good stuff. I shoot all of my images outside in natural day light and have it on a sports mode to catch all of those movements that I love. I’m not too picky about who shoots for me, it’s either Chris, my mum or sometimes my brother – anyone I can find really.

After we shoot I will come home, upload the images to my iMac and start transferring them. I go through and decide what ones I like best and choose a selection to edit on Photoshop. I am definitely not a pro at using Photoshop, but I like the options you have to play around with, especially in terms of lighting. I will always play around with the lighting first, then I use the healing brush to take away any blemishes or most likely the trash that is lying on the ground on a Sunday morning in Glasgow.

A new trick I learned recently from watching the amazing @lucyswhims was playing around the luminance in the photo, this is especially good on those grey days in Glasgow. See below on how to do it or head to Lucy’s instagram as she has some of her editing tips highlighted!

After I’m finished in Photoshop, I transfer the images I like best to my phone for filtering and Instagram edits. The apps I use mostly are facetune & VSCO. Since I edit all of the lighting on Photoshop I don’t need snapseed or apps similar.

I use facetune to grey out the background by using their whitening tool. As the city can sometimes look grungy and I wanted my images to all of a similar feel and work well together, I use this to grey out the brown backgrounds and make them more grey so they fit better together. In terms of their smoothing tool, I don’t use it anymore really because I up the luminance in Photoshop and that gives my skin the glow I want even on a cloudy day. However it is great for smoothing out any unwanted blemishes or creasing in clothes …

Then I take the image and open it in VSCO where I use either 1 or 2 filters layered, depending on the light and background of the image, again with the goal of making it fit best into my feed. I mostly use filter A5, but never the full filter, I bring it down a little and then if I need to I will layer A4 over it to tone down the blue tones that the A5 filter gives off. Again, this is all dependant on the image and I play around with everything because the light and background differs in every image. I also find that having a background that is too grey doesn’t work well and a strong black building or railing is a great contrast to have.

I’m pretty much good to go after this and will upload to Instagram. Also don’t forget that the Instagram app itself has great editing tools, for bringing down highlights, shadows or temperature and also sharpening.

I have included some screenshots below to help but if you have any questions please leave me a comment below or tweet me @lucyflorals. Also if you have any camera recommendations – should I go for a Canon 5D? If anyone has experience please let me know!

Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful week.


L xx


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