Sunday, 8 January 2017

How I Edit My Flat Lay/ Makeup Photos!

This is a post I have been wanting to do for so long now and I am finally doing it. I get a lot of questions asking how I edit my blog and instagram photos so I thought I would let you know today. Let me know if you want me to do anymore blog related posts and if so which ones.

In this post I am not going to include how I take the photos, but if that is something you want to see then let me know. I am going to start from the point were I have imported all of the photos from my camera onto my laptop, and gotten rid of any I don't want. Just something to say, every photo I take is different but this is just a general routine I follow mainly for makeup photos. When it comes to doing more fashion/ nature photos, I do edit them slightly differently so I can always mention that in another post.

The software I use to edit my photos is PicMonkey, I find that it is super easy to use and I think it is very easy to manipulate each photo. I would definitely recommend this website, especially if you are like me and get a bit overwhelmed with most editing apps or websites. 

I tend to start off with exposure because I find that it really sets the base of a photo, like I said before, every photo is different so a lot of things depend on how I edit it. To begin with I will up the contrast just to make it look a little more realistic but I have learnt that less is more with contrast so I will only bring it up to 5 and I find the impacts the photo enough.
I will then adjust the shadows and brightness to complement the contrast, again, less is more, I don't really over-do anything because I find that if I do that, it can look a little fake. Normally the shadows will be more than brightness just because when I take the photo it already has additional brightness but in this example they are actually the same. The shadows will usually be around -15 but it depends on how much black is in the photos. The brightness will then go up to around 10 just to enhance any white or lighter colours in the photo.
Finally I will slightly adjust the highlights just to really accentuate the white in the photo. In this particular photo I took it up to 16 because there was not that but light in the photo so I really wanted to exaggerate what was there.

Next, and usually the last, step I tend to do is the colour. I did say that my way of editing is very basic, but it works for me. All of this does depend but I always play with the saturation. After adjusting the exposure the colour tends to be a little muted but when it comes to showing beauty products in a photo, I want them to look as real as possible. I try to never over-saturate a photo, I try to keep it looking true to colour and realistic. Usually the saturation will go anywhere between 1 to 20, but this also depends on the temperature.
I don't always use the temperature but if I find that the photo is looking a little too warm or cool in tone I will switch it, this usually happens because of the natural light I use, or the colour of the products. Most of the time, the photo is too warm and I will try to make it more neutral but nothing too dramatic. The temperature never goes past -5 to 5. I find that by adjusting the temperature I won't have to saturate the photo as much, so it is a game of trial and error until I am happy with the way it looks.

I just thought that I would add this in even though I only do this for up-close photos, like swatches or a single product photo. 
There is a setting on PicMonkey where you can focus a circle on a certain part of the photo and it will blur it and I am so glad I discovered it. It looks super natural but I think it really helps to emphasis the photo. I try not to over do it so it looks very natural, my camera does have a natural focus to it but this just enhances that. Depending on the thing I am trying to focus it on will depend on the focal size but I always make sure that it is a really high blur but also a really high fade to make it look natural and not super over-edited.
Like I said before, I do only use this occasionally as not all of my posts include close ups of products, but when they do, this is a life saver.

Did you find this useful?
Grace xx


  1. Thanks for this Grace! It was super handy and useful. I'd love a how I take my flat lays post as I desperately need help with that and you seem really good at it!

    1. Thank you, I definitely want to do that post in the next few weeks!xx

  2. I really like these posts! I never usually adjust the brightness but I will try to in the future after seeing the results on your photos xx

  3. Great post! I'm really rubbish at flatlays so I usually just avoid them but these were really good tips.