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Oh Sierra


Our Top 5 Secrets to Editing Photos Like a Pro

We help creative leaders harness the potent power of community (online and IRL) with content strategy, education, and events.








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Say so long to the struggling artist stereotype – we are living in the age of the self-made creative, and we are ALL ABOUT supporting you as you explore your artistic side, whatever that looks like. We believe in investing in professionals who give a dang about your success, and in that sense, there are no shortcuts – but if you’re set on DIY-ing content, there are ABSOLUTELY some tips that can make the whole process a lot more pleasant.

Photography is an interesting craft, because it’s both parts technical and innate. You can learn the ins and outs of a camera (Frank’s jam!) or you can be born with “an eye,” and learn enough to make it work (ahem, that would be me, Xanthe). When I first started playing around with a camera a few years ago, I used to feel *so* intimidated at the idea of editing. I would compare my work to “the pros,” in the content creation industry, and found it so difficult to find any resources online that would share (in layman’s terms!) what I had to do to get the look I was going for. 

Empowering entrepreneurs to run their online businesses with more confidence is our thing – and to us, that looks like LESS SECRET-KEEPING. So, we want to share some of the simplest photography editing tips we wished we’d learned sooner.

One // Shoot Darker Images Than You Think You Should 

It feels *very* counter-intuitive, but under-exposing on your camera makes for higher-quality images once you get to the editing stage! This is a trick we learned from wedding photography, as it’s *so* important to preserve the details on a white wedding dress. You can always get detail back in editing when the images is too dark – but if it’s too blown out, those details are gone forever!

Two // Reduce Highlights and Increase Warmth for that “Blogger Glow”

If you’ve ever googled, “how do photographers get that perfect creamy, milky, bright, warm vibe?” well, I’m with you. Reducing highlights and increasing warmth will give your subjects instant matte-skin, and sun-soaked surroundings.

Three // Reverse Engineer Your Favourite Presets

We like to know why things are the way they are, so we spent *a lot* of my early career buying presets and picking them apart to understand what different settings have an effect on. Some photographers may not be keen on this tip, but like we said – enough with the secrets. We encourage you to snag our Signature preset and make it YOUR OWN! Tag us at @ohsierracreative so we can see what you do with them. 

Four // Stick with Natural Light

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s the real deal and will save you A LOT OF STRESS, especially as a beginner. Consistent, natural light is the absolute *best* way to guarantee your photos look PROFESH. And, it’s worth mentioning – being near a window isn’t quite enough. Make sure you also TURN OFF any artificial light in the room to keep colours as true as possible and to avoid any unwanted yellow tones.

Five // Quality Over Quantity

Something we wish we’d been taught on day one… We used to shoot a lot of lifestyle and blogger photography, and would do our best to just get AS MANY images as possible – leaving us with *hours* of culling (AKA, deleting the bad ones), and overall, less ideal framing + lighting situations. Now, we focus on styled product, flat-lay, and food photography – subjects we can get real cozy with, plot our shots, and make sure we only take photos that are going to look stunning once we apply our presets. Don’t be afraid to slow down and GET. THE. SHOT. It will save you so much time in editing later! 

Bonus Tip // Find a time-saving workflow!

We love using our Film presets to batch-edit content. When you’re planning photoshoots in advance, think about your process – if you want to batch-edit with your favourite filter, try consistently shooting in the *same* type of lighting environment so that you don’t have to fuss around with exposure settings after the fact. 

The key to success in all things creative is believing, trying, failing, trying again, and outsourcing when you just don’t feel like trying anymore.

If you have more questions about representing your brand online, or are just feeling over the content-creation hassle, book a discovery call with us here to brainstorm your success with us.

PS. Since we know you’ll ask – we shoot Canon! It’s our personal preference because it’s what we’re used to. Our best advice when seeking out a camera is to find one that feels intuitive… and if that’s your iPhone, we sure as heck won’t judge. 

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About The Appleyards

We Are Passionate Community Cultivators, Partners in Life and Business, And Firm Believers That Work Should Feel Like Play.

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