Monday, 10 March 2014

Photo Editing 101 : How I Edit my Makeup Photos

Hey everyone! Today I have a bit of a different post to share with you all. In the last year, I have started familiarizing myself more with photo editing. The reason for that is because I was never completely satisfied with how my makeup pictures turned out. Mostly, it was the lighting that was never right, but as I started knowing more and more about it, I started realizing that some other aspects of my pictures needed a bit of polishing. It took a lot of time, trial and error to get to the point that I am now and it's been a learning experience for me since I taught myself how to do it. Anway, I'm quite pleased with the quality of the pictures that I'm able to produce now so I thought I would share my process in case any of you is interested or trying to get into photo editing.

*Disclaimer* I photoshop my pictures, but I rarely ever touch the makeup itself. I only polish the raw edges, meaning any imperfection or lighting issues. If you're looking for a tutorial on how to photoshop lashes or colors or anything like that, this post won't help you very much, sorry!

First, like I mentionned, I use photoshop CS6 for my photo editing. It's kind of complicated to learn at first, but it's really the best editing tool for me. I'll take you step by step with me while I edit this photo to achieve the after picture that you see below.
1) Cropping the picture
The key to a nice makeup picture is cropping out anything that isn't necessary so to keep the focus on the makeup look. Of course if you're doing a full face makeup look than you won't crop as much as I do.
This is the raw picture, cropped. It's not horrible, but it could use some polishing. Notice that the only thing in the picture is my eye and brow so not to distract from the focus of the picture. (not showing the uncropped picture because you can basically see up my nose and I'm so not sharing that!).

2) Fixing the lighting and coloring of the picture
I use a few of Photoshop's features for this. First I use the Auto Tone option. Then, I always fade that to about 50% because the toning is a little harsh with the kind of lighting that I'm using to shoot my pictures. Then, I use the Auto Contrast option. This is the result.

Next I use the Exposure feature and crank up the exposure of the picture a little. I also increase the gamma slightly and then I increase the offset a tiny bit so not to lose the intensity of my liner and lashes. Bascially I'm brightening the overall picture, but keeping the darker colors intense so that I get a good contrast.

As you can see, the difference so far is slight, but it's nicer to look at already. Lastly for the coloring, I use the Vibrance option and crank it up a little bit. I also increase the saturation slightly. This makes my colors pop more.

3) Erasing Imperfections
Now we're getting to the fun part (at least in my opinion), perfecting the skin, eyes and brows. First I like to remove the veins and lashes that are in my eyes using the Patch Tool (some of my lashes have a tendency to grow downwards which looks super ugly in photo).

We're looking much better already! Now it's time to tidy up those eyebrows! I use the same Patch Tool to remove any unwanted hairs. I tweeze my brows every time I do a makeup look like this. Howeverm since I use the flash to take pictures and since it's such a close shot, you can see every single little hair I missed and all the blonde ones. I feel like it looks untidy so I like to remove them.

Next, I give the whole picture a little once-over and still with the Patch Tool, I fix any other little imperfections that I might see. The difference is subtle in this one. Can you spot the differences with the last picture?

After that, I like to perfect my skin. I don't always do this, especially if my skin is looking relatively good that day, but lately I've been doing it, so I'll show you how. I use the Eyedropper Tool to select a shade of skin that is near my eye. Then, with the Brush Tool (Opacity : 25%, Flow : 25%) I simply go over my skin once all around the eye to soften the look of the skin. It retains part of the texture of the skin because of the opacity, but it still covers up and evens out the skin a little.

Last, you can brighten up your eye color using the Dodge Tool (Exposure : 40%). This is totally optional, but I like to do it every once in a while!

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That's it! That's all I do to edit my makeup pictures! As you can see I haven't touched the makeup itself, but it still looks 100 times better! Hope you enjoyed this and that it was helpful! Does any of you guys edit your photos? If so, do you have any other tips and tricks for me? Let me know!

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