Photography 101 | How I Edit My Photos

After receiving so much positive feedback on my first photography post – getting the basics down – I thought I would do another one, this time on how I edit my photos. Whilst I do have Photoshop, I realise that not everyone has access to the programme, so I will go over a couple of apps that are easy to use and still very effective. The apps below are the ones I use to edit the blog photos. I tend to only use Photoshop for creating our graphics, mainly because it’s only installed on my old Mac which is very slow and makes it a bit unreliable for everyday editing.

My favourite photography apps


Free to download, this one is my absolute favourite! If you haven’t heard of it I highly recommend downloading it immediately. It comes with a bunch of filters and you can download more from their shop, some of which are free. The app also allows you to alter the brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows, highlights and so on, much like Instagram but in my opinion it is so much better. I tend to stick a filter on in VSCO and make my alterations in there before uploading to Insta.


I only recently purchased Facetune and it can come in really useful although I do not use it for every image. I’ve seen a lot of people post their selfies who have clearly gotten a bit over excited about some of Facetune’s options. Please keep in mind that this app should be used to enhance your images and not to completely transform your face so that you look totally unrecognizable. Yes, it allows you to reshape parts of your face/body but is that really necessary? I mostly use this when I want to make certain details on the image a little clearer or to smooth over the odd spot on a beauty editorial. With this app I find less is usually more.

How I edit my photos using vsco

How I edit my photos – Step by step

First off you will need to take your photos: it’s always best to think about the composition, lighting and angles at this stage. The editing will be used to enhance your image but the apps do have their limitations so it’s best to make the images as good as possible at this point. You may want to think about what you want the finished photo to look like as this will help you get a clearer idea of how you want to shoot.

Once I have taken my photos I upload them to my laptop so that I can see the image details more clearly, from there I go through and narrow them down to my favourites. My laptop and phone are synced so I then go through and upload my favourite photos to VSCO.

photo pre editing, beauty editorial

The image above is completely unedited, once I uploaded it to VSCO I chose the following settings:

  • J3/minimalist filter +12
  • Contrast +1
  • Shadows +4
  • Temperature +1
  • Skin tone -3
  • Blue shadows tint +7
  • Magenta highlights tint +5

I then saved my image and uploaded it to Facetune. I kept editing to a minimum choosing to smooth the skin slightly around the under eyes and cheeks, I also used the detail tool on the eyelashes to make the eyes stand out more. Below is my finished image.

Photo filters VSCO with j3 preset

As I mentioned, it can be easy to get a little carried away using Facetune, below I created an example of the kind of images I see on Instagram all the time. I get it, who wouldn’t want Jolie lips? But once you start altering features it can be quite addictive; as you can see the final image resembles a Barbie more than Lily.


edited with Facetune

Photo editing apps can be great, especially when creating beauty editorials for the blog but I am still a big believer in finding beauty in the imperfections. I do love a filter if it adds to the creative effect of an image, but I never resize or reshape body parts in any of our photos (other than the exception above).

Rae x

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