Have you ever taken a photo of your pup and the background was pretty great, but the photo lacked something? Maybe it was a little dull and just didn’t show off the scene as it was in real life. You even compared it to a photo you’ve seen on Instagram and it just didn’t measure up.
So far, we’ve talked about the basics like lighting, background, and getting your pup’s attention in part one and two of this series. Now, it’s time to take those good photos and make them GREAT photos.
To make your photos pop, it all comes down to editing. Editing in itself is a HUGE topic. We’re just going to cover a few key editing tips to get you rolling. Keep reading to learn about some great photo apps that even the pros use, and how to edit your photos in a simple way.
BEST PHOTO APPS
Lightroom is a must-have for professional photographers and even serious hobbyists. I use Lightroom almost exclusively for my professional work. In addition to the desktop version, there is a mobile app version of Lightroom. To learn more about Lightroom, I recommend researching Youtube videos and other photography related blogs and publications.
Snapseed is my FAVORITE editing app. It’s so simple and easy to use! It has so many features built right in that you truly can get away with just using this app alone. I’ll share more on how I use it down below!
Filmborn is another favorite. This app has film-inspired filters you can apply to your photos. Many times I will make basic adjustments in Snapseed and then pull the photo into Filmborn to apply my favorite filter. This keeps your editing style consistent and unique to you!
While I don’t use VSCO myself, this app has some good filters as well.
TouchRetouch is a great app for removing any blemishes or distractions from a photo instantly. You do have to pay for this app, but it is worth the small price tag.
Google Photos is not an editing app, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Google Photos backs up your photos and videos for safe-keeping without you even having to think about it. The storage is unlimited and gives you great peace of mind. It’s not good practice to only keep your photos in one place on your phone. Backing up those precious moments is important and Google Photos is the perfect app for this.
HOW TO EDIT IN A SIMPLE WAY
Most of us are probably using our phones to capture our pets in photos. I use my iPhone many times to take a quick snap of my pup, Paisley, when I don’t have my “big” camera with me (as seen above). Even with your phone’s camera, you can produce some really great photos! Now that you know the best apps to use, let’s touch on some simple editing techniques to make your photos come to life!
Of course, in my professional work, I edit using Lightroom on my desktop computer. However, this post is geared towards everyday, quick editing that everyone can do!
When editing a photo on my phone, I will use Snapseed and start with basic adjustments like brightness, contrast and white balance. Sometimes I will apply a filter from Filmborn if it fits the photo. You can also find a filter in VSCO you like. The important thing to remember is that a filter or preset cannot fix a bad photo, and it also is not a one-click wonder the majority of the time. If you took a photo in bad lighting with a busy and unattractive background, no filter will make it look like those Instagram-worthy photos you’re trying to achieve. For more on photography basics that come before editing, click here!
Lastly, If the photo has something distracting, like a piece of trash on the ground, I will use Snapseed or Retouch to remove it. Your main goal is to keep the focus on your pup by removing any distractions, if possible.
Keep in mind, consistency in editing is key! Once you find your style, stick with it and apply similar edits to every photo. You’ll be producing Instagram-worthy photos in no time!
I’d love to hear from you! What do you want to read about next?
Markie & Paisley
Markie Walden is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in South Carolina. Markie and her husband, Rob, love spending time with their pup, Paisley. She is an energetic and loving yellow Labrador Retriever who brings joy everywhere she goes! When not off photographing her wonderful clients, Markie loves capturing Paisley in photos.
See Markie’s pup, Paisley, also on Instagram!