Today I wanted to disclose some Lightroom editing tips and tools that we used in to create our presets and that might help you improve your editing techniques or process.

As photographers the way we edit our photos is a huge part of our branding and can't be overlooked.

It took us a long time to find our "style" and we are now more confident in our editing. Therefore, we want to share some things we wish we knew about or to look at when we first started photography.

I'll stop my "boring" and very scolar introduction now and jump right into the good stuff!

Orange & Red Cursor in Lightroom for skintones

Orange & Red Cursor for Skin Tones

01

Have you ever wondered why your skin tones look so wacky? Like the skin isn’t really even and there is something that just looks off?

You might want to look into our first Lightroom editing tips: the cursor of the Red & Orange hue slider in the hues panel.

We started noticing that these two colours are majorly present in skin tones and work together. So it’s important to not have the saturation and luminance cursors of the two colours to be at the opposite of each other. Try making sure they are close to the same number on the sliders and it will help smooth and even things out on the skin.

Lightroom Tip Using Clarity and Texture

Using Clarity and Texture

Clarity and Texture are such great tools and are often overlooked. Reducing them can give your photos a super smooth, creamy and dreamy aesthetic. They can balance contrasted images really well overall. As well as making a subject pop out more by making its surroundings faded like a dream with a brush.

They are also really practical when you want to smooth out the skin of your subject in a fast and even way.

For example, if our bride is in the process of getting ready. Chances are her make up isn’t done yet and she hasn’t slept well because of the stress the night before. You might want to use to brush and reduce the clarity and go over her face. Be careful though to not blur out the contours and lines of her face; So leave the lines of the nose, eyes, eyebrows, lips etc sharp.

Sometimes with harsh light it can also be unflattering on the skin and this can help making things more smooths and aesthetic without looking too fake or overdone.

02

Camera Calibration

03

Camera Calibration, also known as the thing at the bottom of Lightroom we never bother to look at 😅

Yet it is a great panel to work on the skin tones on a much more precise level. It can work in a very subtle way while making all the difference on the skin tones. I feel like this is the number one thing you need to look at if you aren’t happy with your skin tones. Specially as it's more subtle and easy to work with than the curve tone. So go ahead and play with it a little to test it out and see by yourself why it’s a good idea to give this panel a try.

Lightroom Tip Camera Calibration

The number one thing that can change the entire outlook of your photos without using any presets or editing is the colour profile.

It has such a huge impact on your photos and how the colours play out together. We noticed, for example, that working with Adobe Standard was way more saturated and vibrant than Adobe Color. This is great for certain lighting scenarios, but most of the time we felt it was making the skin tones too saturated with orange. This is why we usually prefer to work with the Adobe Color Profile.

These also tend to both be a little less saturated and contrasted than your camera’s in-built colour profiles. But this is a personal choice and it will impact your photos and presets in a very strong way, so we recommend just going through all of them, trying different colour profiles on one preset and see what it can do.

04

Organizing your presets in Lightroom

Organising Your Presets

There are so many presets out there! Chances are you’ve purchased some of them during your career. You probably have come to create quite a lot of variations of presets yourself and it can be easy to get lost under an avalanche of presets.

What’s great about Lightroom is that you can actually organize them by folder and make certain folders appear or disappear.

For example you could create a “go to” folder, a “night time” folder or a “dance floor” one to help you locate the right presets for different lighting scenarios. That way everything is labeled and organized. I also tend to rename the presets themselves with some descriptor words to help me remember what kind of look it gives like “ Creamy” “Clean” “Vibrant Greens” etc.

You could also create a folder for those you use rarely and make it hidden. It will always be registered in your Lightroom library but will just not appear to clutter up your library until you decide that it should.

I looove to keep it clean and organized in our library and keep it to the bare minimum.

05

Ok so this one might be obvious to you. But here is another important Lightroom editing tips, well worth mentioning in case you it's not so obvious to you. In the hues panel you will find sliders, but what’s so great is in Lightroom you can actually use your mouse to select the colour you want to work on ON the picture and decrease or increase directly from it.

For example there is a part of your photo you feel you want to be darker, well you can use the your mouse to go there and just point and lower the luminance. Careful though, if the same colours are present in other locations on the photo the luminance will also be reduced there.

This is why it’s not a perfect tool. But what I find really interesting about it is that it shows you exactly which colour are present and working together on a certain part of the picture. That way you will know what needs to be worked on. Hope this makes sense 🤔

06

Annnnnd that's a wrap!

I hope you will have found it interesting and at least discovered one thing you didn't know in lightroom or that you never used before and now ready to give it a try!

If you have any specific struggles with your editing please let us know in the comments and we'll try our best to give you an answer or some assistance.

Finding your editing style and refine it takes time. Our best advice if you don't know where to start is investing in some presets that match a style close to your vision or that you can easily tweak. Like a good foundation that s easy to adjust to your own artistic style. don't hesitate to buy several and mix them up, experiment with them, use a setting from one and some other setting from another preset. This is the easiest way to learn what you like, what works for you, what doesn't and so on...

Happy Editing,

Alison & Lance

SHARE THIS STORY