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Category: Photography
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The Ultimate Guide to Flat Lay Photography

Flat lay photography has become one of the biggest trends of the last 5 years. Even if you haven’t heard of the term “flat lay”, you will have most definitely seen them.

Flat lays are meticulously arranged items photographed from above.

They became popular with food and lifestyle bloggers, but they are perfect for any brand whether you are service or product-based business.

The reason I believe flat lays have been, and still are so popular is that psychologically, we find beauty in simplicity.

When items are in perfect alignment, our brain engages a wide range of cognitive, emotion and memory circuits, which leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction.

Flat lay photography have been very popular for shooting product and lifestyle imagery.

The key factor is that they are extraordinarily simple to work with, and the minimalist staging is well suited to modern web design.

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Why I love flat lay photography

I personally love flat lay photography. They are so much fun to create, style and shoot!

The sheer convenience of creating a flat lay shouldn’t be underestimated.

Anyone with a camera, a flat surface and a few props can make a fantastic looking flat lay.

With the rise of independent online brands, this has given start-up and small businesses a leg up in terms of creating content that looks professional and is visually appealing.

So, where to start and how to create the perfect flat lay. Here, I will be revealing all.

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The Flat Lay Photography Formula

Preparation

Like most things in life, the prep work is always the longest part of the process.

Spend some time getting inspiration for your image and source props that complement your product.

Flat lays are a visual story so think about the objects that relate to your hero product and how they relate.

You want to give yourself a number of different options, so make sure you have lots of different props just in case something doesn’t quite work out when you’re shooting.

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Lighting is key! 

Before you start shooting, first you have to consider the light. How are you photographing your flat lay? Are you using natural light or a flash? 

Living in the UK can be an issue as sunlight is not always guaranteed. However, if you have a flash/strobe lights, you can create beautiful light that can be used at any time of the day.

What I really love about flash is it produces a consistent light. When I need to shoot multiple images for a brand, it’s crucial that my pictures all look cohesive with one another. 

The next question is what kind of light are you looking for?

Are you looking for beautiful soft light, or are you looking to create an image with glossy reflections and hard shadows?

How hard or soft your light depends on two main factors:

  • Distance. The closer the light source, the softer it becomes.
  • Size of the light source. The larger the source, the softer it becomes.

Soft Light

Soft light wraps around objects, creating beautifully diffused shadows with feathered edges.

Think about the sunlight on an overcast day. The clouds act as a giant softbox, bouncing and spreading the light, so there are barely any shadows.

Soft lighting creates a beautiful ethereal look to your images, which is relaxing to the eye.

Hard Light

Hard light cast crisp, well-defined shadows and glossy reflections. If a hard light source hits a textured surface at an angle, it will accentuate all the details in an object, giving a 3D-appearance.

You might want to use hard light if you’re going to cast reflections of liquid in a glass, create crisp leaf shadows or provide a glossy look to your products.

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Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio, otherwise known as crop ratio, is a proportional relationship between an image’s width and height.

In simple terms, it describes an image’s shape. Usually, aspect ratios are written as a formula of width to height, i.e. 3:2, 4:3. For example, a square image has an aspect ratio of 1:1, since the height and width are the same.

Depending on how you want to use the image, i.e. Instagram, web banner, you need to shoot accordingly. It’s essential to know how the image will be cropped before you begin shooting. 

For example, if you’re shooting a square image for Instagram, you know you need to make sure that all your props fit within the square, so nothing important gets cropped out at the end.

You may find that you can take one shot that will work in a variety of different aspect ratios, but it’s always useful to have the back of your mind.

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Composition

The composition is a crucial factor when creating a stunning flat lay.

I always begin by playing the hero product down first and then add in objects one by one to see how each item affects the overall image.

Doing it this way gives you more control over how the picture comes together.

Depending on your objects, you can arrange them in a straight line, grid, follow the rule of thirds.

Unless you are creating symmetry, stick with odd numbers in your composition. Odd numbers of objects create visual interest.

Rather than placing all of your objects in the centre of the shot with a border of negative space surrounding them, I love arranging props so that they overflow out of the frame.

Doing so creates intrigue and encourages you to feel as though you see a snippet of a larger scene, engaging the viewer’s imagination to think beyond the frame.

Remember to allow space between each object to keep, so the image doesn’t look cluttered.

You can create balance by using small objects with larger objects and using similar colours on both sides of the picture.

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Text/Graphics 

If you want to add text or graphics in post-production, remember to leave some space. 

This is especially useful if you are looking to create an ad. You could add your logo or branding. If you’re going for an inspiration look, you could use a quote. 

I always use Canva to add text to my images.

Colour Scheme 

I believe less is always more with colour. By sticking to no more than three colours or using a variety of tones from only one colour, you’ll make images that really catch the eye.

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Layering

Layering is a great way to add depth to your frame if it’s looking flat. You can create depth by stacking different sized objects such as books, plates, trays etc. and placing your main subject on top.

For even more depth, you could add in a piece of material such as cloth, towel or scarf to create added depth and texture.

Props

I always recommend using props to compliment your product, business or brand.

For example, if you are selling a beauty product, you may want to think about the ingredients in the product.

The other option is to use props that you would associate with the product. If you were shooting a body scrub, you might want to include a body brush and a moisturiser, for example.

When I photographed pigments for the cosmetic company, Shades of London, I used makeup brushes around the product.

Whether you are running short on some prop ideas, these 101 flat lay props will seriously help you to up your flat lay photography game in no time. 

  1. Notebook
  2. Pen
  3. Laptop
  4. Keyboard
  5. Mouse
  6. Phone
  7. Books
  8. Quotes
  9. Gift Box
  10. Calendar
  11. Printable Lists
  12. Photo Prints
  13. Scrabble Letters
  14. Clock
  15. Glitter
  16. Paint
  17. Pens/Pencils
  18. String
  19. Frames
  20. Scissors
  21. Planner
  22. Magazines
  23. Candles
  24. Camera
  25. Tray
  26. Confetti
  27. Fold back clips
  28. Newspaper
  29. Ornaments
  30. Ribbon
  31. Paper Clips
  32. Postcards
  33. Magnifying Glass
  34. Map
  35. Passport
  36. Globe
  37. Compass
  38. Sunglasses
  39. Business Cards
  40. Leaflets
  41. Brochures
  42. Fresh flowers
  43. Petals
  44. Greenery
  45. Tea/Coffee
  46. Teapot
  47. Teacups
  48. Coffee Mug
  49. Water Bottle
  50. Soft Drink
  51. Straws
  52. Cakes
  53. Sweets
  54. Coconut
  55. Macrons
  56. Doughnuts
  57. Fruit
  58. Eggs
  59. Coffee Beans
  60. Honey Drizzler
  61. Wooden Tea Spoon
  62. Spices
  63. Vegetables
  64. Chopping Board
  65. Spices
  66. Kitchen Utensils
  67. Chocolate
  68. Hand Bag
  69. Shopping Bag
  70. Hat
  71. Suncream
  72. Moisturiser
  73. Natural Sponge
  74. Flannel
  75. Soap
  76. Body Scrub
  77. Perfume
  78. Nail Varnish
  79. Makeup Brushes
  80. Lipstick
  81. Foundation
  82. Bronzer
  83. Eye Shadow Palette
  84. False Lashes
  85. Eyelash Curlers
  86. Makeup Bag
  87. Hair Brush
  88. Straighteners
  89. Curling Wand
  90. Fake tan
  91. Rings
  92. Bracelets
  93. Earrings
  94. Necklace
  95. Watch
  96. Shoes
  97. Dresses
  98. Tops
  99. Trousers
  100. Jumpers
  101. Knitwear

 

Having a prop box drawer with some of the essential props is a great way to gain inspiration, and you’ll probably find that you already have a good majority of the things on this list too!

For props I don’t already have, I tend to check out Amazon for interesting props and accessories. 

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How to plan months of content for social media

Want to know how to plan months of content for social media that won’t overwhelm you? If so, you’re in the right place.

Not that long ago, I used to create content on the fly.

I’d scroll through my photo albums in the desperation to find a suitable image. If and when I saw something, I would sit on the couch at 8pm frantically wracking my brain for something witty or interesting to say.

I didn’t really have a clear idea of who I was speaking to and who my ideal client was. So as you can imagine, by the time I posted my photo onto Instagram by 9pm, all I heard was crickets.

I was too late posting, the image didn’t look consistent with the rest of my grid, I had no idea who I was talking to, and there was no strategy behind my hashtags.

Who else can relate?

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Taking A Break

When lockdown happened, I took a couple of weeks off. No phone calls, no emails and no social media. Not only did I need to come to terms with everything going on in the world, but I also needed time away from my business. 

I wanted to reassess my workflows, my own branding and my marketing strategy. Lockdown was the best thing that could have happened in my life and business at that time. I was on a hamster wheel, keeping myself busy but not getting anywhere. 

The frustrating thing was, I knew what to do, but I never felt I had the time to implement it into my business. I also didn’t appreciate the power of social media when used strategically. When I actually started doing the work, nothing could have prepared me for the growth I saw in my business.

So I wanted to share my journey, in this blog post I will be covering;

  • the steps I took to create a marketing strategy
  • how I plan and schedule my posts
  • how I use my time effectively to batch my content
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How to create a marketing strategy

While this may seem a daunting task, I promise it’s not. Once you understand how to plan months worth of content for social media, it’s an absolute game changer.

I would highly recommend downloading my free branding workbook to get clarity on who your target market is and how you want your brand to be perceived.

Once you understand your ideal client’s pain or pleasure points, it’s easier to plan your content around this by providing the solution they need.

I created a Google sheet with a breakdown of my yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and marketing strategy so I can focus on each day, knowing I’m always doing something to move the needle and to get me where I need to be.

Content planning can feel overwhelming, but when you break it all down into bite-size pieces, it makes it more manageable and removes all the stress that usually comes with creating content at the last minute.

Yearly Goals

What are your three top goals would like to have achieved in 12 months from now? Do you want to be earning a certain amount? Have a clear number of clients you’d like to have booked or products sold? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to measure and plan for your goal.

Quarterly Goals

Splitting the year into 3 month periods gives you enough time to reach your goals without getting too overwhelmed. You want to map out your goals and the associated actions required in the next 90 days. If you know that you have something launching at the beginning of the next quarter, then you will want to include your action steps in the previous quarter.

Monthly & Weekly Goals

Your monthly content calendar allows you to plan your topics for the month.

I break this into 4 sections with each week splitting up each area I use to market my business; i.e. Instagram, Pinterest, blogging etc. For each week, I write in my area of focus to keep me on track to hit my monthly and quarterly goals.

Don’t let this task overwhelm you. Set aside a whole day to get clear on your goals and spend some time breaking them down. Once this is in place, it makes the rest of your life so much easier.

Book A Content shoot
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Instagram Content Planning

I use Planoly to schedule my Instagram posts and stories. From switching over from another platform, this has been a complete game changer!

I can auto-schedule my posts, and it even includes my hashtags in the first comments. Planoly is so user friendly and you can easily drag and drop images to plan out your grid.

I usually have 60-70 images organised in the app. That’s 10 weeks/3 months of posts planned, ahead of time!

By doing this, you remove the panic of not having anything to post, scrambling through your photo albums with nothing suitable and no strategy behind the post.

Having a library of images gives you lots of variety to plan your grid, so it looks evenly balanced.

You want to make sure your brand colours weave throughout your feed to provide a cohesive look. I also recommend using images with negative space (space around a subject) to break up busier images.

In doing so, your giving your viewer the brain space to take in each picture, without feeling overwhelmed.

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Pinterest Content Planning

For scheduling Pinterest, I use Tailwind, and like Planoly, this has made a big impact on my growth how to plan months of content. I grew my monthly unique visitors from 7k to 450k within just a few months.

It actually didn’t take a whole lot of work, and I’ve seen a significant increase in the click-through rate to my website.

It’s essential to create your own pins as Pinterest now favours fresh/new content. I make pins using Canva and upload these to Tailwind and assign to the appropriate boards.

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Blogging

I never used to like writing. It’s never come naturally to me, and being a perfectionist is not ideal! If I wasn’t happy with what I had written, the post simply wasn’t published.

At the beginning of 2020, I decided I needed to get out of my own way and just write, no matter how terrible I thought it was. Done is better than perfect. I’ll say that again, done is better than perfect!

I use Grammarly when I write my posts to ensure I haven’t made any silly errors. Sure there are probably the odd few, but I feel more confident in publishing what I write.

By writing a blog post, it creates my long-form content which can be broken down into emails, captions and stories.

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Time Management

Marketing can feel like a full-time job but doesn’t have to be. I find batching content the most practical way to save time without losing my mind.

Once a week, usually a Sunday afternoon, I organise my posts, design my pins and schedule them both in Planoly and Tailwind.

I spend the first hour every morning to write a post for my blog. By breaking it up into smaller chunks, it means I have 5 hours of writing time. As writing isn’t my strongest area, I find that this doesn’t overwhelm me and I have time to go back and edit.

Shooting Content

Creating content can be the most time consuming aspect of it all. I highly recommend booking out a day or two every month to focus on shooting or curating content.

You can either go out by yourself, take a friend or book a professional photographer. I highly recommend shooting every month or two so you have enough content.

Doing this will mean you have a library of images to go to when planning and scheduling your content saving you a whole load of stress.

If you plan ahead, it gives you time to think about what kind of images you will need in the upcoming months so all your content will attract your ideal client.

Booking A Content Shoot

Now you know how to plan months worth of content for social media, it’s time to schedule some time to create a marketing strategy and set aside some time to create your content. 

To book your content shoot, check out my personal branding and and product photography packages or send me an email by clicking on the button below.

Book A Content shoot
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Why is personal branding photography important?

Personal branding photography is a collection of professional brand photographs for entrepreneurs and business owners.

They effectively tell your story, reflect your brand and builds trust with your audience.

If you have an online presence, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, YouTubeTwitter or LinkedIn, you have a personal brand, and you must make the right first impression.


Your personal branding photography is your visual voice. It’s how your brand looks, feels, and speaks to people.

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What’s your brand stand?

Once you pinpoint which your ideal client is, you can dig deep into who they are, their pain-points and how you can connect with them. 

I used to be clueless about how to “be seen” and build a strong digital image of my business. When I was starting out, I thought it would be enough to just throw up a website with some details about my services.

Well, I put that website up, and you know what happened? 

Yep, not much! It sat there on the internet for a long, long time without getting me any results. No traffic, no inquiries, no clients, no joy.

This was the problem: My website was very pretty, and it was packed with info about my work, but nowhere was I expressing why it mattered to a potential client.

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Benefits of personal branding photography

  1. First impressions count. Nothing is more important than a first impression. Your sense of competence, professionalism and demeanour is a large part of a potential client’s decision to do business with you. Your branding photos tell your brand story the way you want it to tell it.
  2. Show your personality. Your professional branding images showcase your unique personality. You can use them a variety of ways throughout your website, social media and marketing efforts.
  3. Builds trust and credibility. By showing your potential clients your brand story and what makes you unique, your audience will feel like they know and trust you.
  4. Creates a connection with your clients. It’s a way to connect with your audience, show your personality and stand out from your competition. It allows you to create an experience that encourages your followers to engage with you.
  5. It’s more than just a headshot. Your personal brand images help to visually show your creative process. You could also show your workspace and what it would be like to work with you.
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You are your brand

Whether you have a product or service-based business, you are the brand. You created this business based on what you love doing and what you care about. So if you’re not showing up as the face of your brand, you’re seriously hurting your small business. 

Do you want your professional brand to come across as cold, lifeless with one monotone voice? Of course not! 

By making sure that you’re posting photos and videos of yourself is an important step in solidifying a personality-infused brand.

It may feel strange at first, particularly if you’re not used to jumping in front of the camera, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel.

Your personal branding photographs isn’t about what you look like or what kind of house you live in; it’s about your values and what your brand stands for.

They will help to familiarise yourself with your audience while building trust and credibility into your small business.

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What’s your brand stand?

You’re giving your them the opportunity to get to know you, what you stand for and what it would be like to work with you.

If people feel as though they know like and trust you, they’re 10 times more likely to buy into what you’re offering and choose you over anyone else.

As a branding expert and photographer, I have teamed up with Jessica Munro, to offer you a complete service from brand strategy, design and photography.

Not only can you have a professionally designed logo and website, but you’ll get a library of beautiful branded images too.

To begin creating your compelling brand that really represents you, your personality and your business, download my free branding workbook.

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Triple your Instagram engagement with your brand photos

Trust me; I get the fact you probably don’t like having your photograph taken. If I’m honest, I would rather pull my teeth out!

I used to be painfully shy getting in front of the camera so I would do anything to avoid it. It wasn’t until I start showing my face on my website and social media profiles that I started to get a lot more engagement in my posts. 

As a business owner, I have found that when I post images of myself on social media platforms, I get almost triple, the amount of engagement on my posts.

Once I figured out that my audience just wanted to get to know me more, everything changed, and everything got so much easier. 

It’s all about finding the right photographer, who will guide you through the whole process.

They should help you find the right locations, talk through your outfit choices and guide you through each pose, so you feel more relaxed in front of the camera.

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Share the behind the scenes of your small business

You can use your personal branding photography to reveal the behind the scenes of your business. Show your audience what it would be like for them to work with you. 

If you run a service-based business, you can show each process of your business and walk them through each stage so they would know what to expect if they booked in with you. 

If you have a product-based business, you could show how you make your product and why it is different from other similar products or brands on the market.

People still buy from people, so give your brand a face and connect with your customers. 

You’ll give more credibility to your brand, and your audience will feel like they are buying from a real person rather than a faceless brand.

Find out more ways to use your personal branding photography in your small business.

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Empower your brand with stylish and purposeful branding photos.

If I could only give one tip on how to create a successful small business, it would be to take a few hours to really think about what it is you do, what value you can offer and pinpoint your ideal client. 

My free branding workbook will help you get clear on your brand personality and how you want to visually tell your story. 

I’ve broken each stage into small sections so it should be easy to work through and you can dip in and out depending on what you need for your business. 

Getting crystal clear on what you can offer and who your dream client is will help you to create content that is truly aligned to your brand and attract your ideal clients.

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What does a personal branding photoshoot include?

If you decide to book a personal branding session with me, your branding shoot will include a brand identity consultation, wardrobe styling, location planning, posing and direction.

It also includes a personalised Lightroom preset so you can take and edit your photos that will look consistent with the images I have taken of you. 

I have broken down each part of the branding package, so you know what to expect when you book a brand photoshoot with me.

Brand Photoshoot Packages

  1. Pre-shoot questionnaire. Your personal branding questionnaire will help you get clear on your ideal client, target market, visual identity and branding, so we know what kind of images will attract your dream customers.
  2. Concept & style consultation. Before your branding shoot, together, we’ll create a Pinterest mood board of ideas to help us visualise and plan your photoshoot.
  3. Personal branding style guide. You’ll receive a PDF personal style guide to help you plan and prepare for your shoot. 
  4. Photoshoot. I can photograph you at my photography studio in Bedfordshire or a location of your choice. I’ll guide you throughout the entire shoot along with posing and direction, so you don’t need to worry about anything.
  5. Online gallery. Your images will be uploaded to a private online gallery for you to view your brand photos.
  6. Download your images. Your brand images will be provided in both print and website and social formats, so they are ready to use immediately. I will send you a WeTransfer link so you can download your personal brand photos straight to your phone or computer.
  7. Personalised Lightroom preset. You’ll also receive a personalised preset that will allow you to take your own photos and apply the preset so your images will look consistent throughout your brand.
  8. Optional extras. If you need a hair & makeup artist, location or prop hire, please get in touch. 
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Personal branding pricing and packages

I have created two branding packages to give you flexibility depending on how much time you have and what your budget can allow for. 

My personal brand photography packages start at £650. This includes everything from brand strategy, concept and styling, location planning, a visual mood board, a pdf personal style guide, brand photoshoot.

After your photoshoot, you will receive your online viewing gallery, your fully edited digital images as well as a personalised Lightroom preset so you can take your own photos that will look consistent with your brand photos.

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Ready to book your personal branding photography session?

Curious to find out more about working together, or ready to book in your branding shoot? Apply for your personal branding clarity call, or email me at kate@katesharp.co.uk.

Once you’re booked, I’ll send you my branding questionnaire, and we’ll schedule a visual identity and branding strategy session.

This will help you get clear on your ideal client and what kind of brand statement you want to make.

I’ll bring my branding expertise to the table so we can plan a shoot that will capture your personal style and brand message

Once we have a date in mind, we’ll schedule a personal style and wardrobe consultation, so you have all the information and advice on what you need to bring and how to prepare for your photoshoot. 

You can visit my studio based in Bedfordshire, or we can arrange a Skype/phone call. After your consultation, you will take home a personal style guide that is packed full of information. 

It includes useful advice on how to dress for your body shape, colours that will complement your branding, beauty tips and a checklist, so you don’t forget anything. 

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Make the decision to start today.

By now, whether you’re a start-up or a seasoned entrepreneur, you should understand why personal branding photography is so important for your business.

Your brand is something that creates an emotional connection between you, your business and your ideal client.

Your branding images can be the difference between not only looking professional but feeling professional – the secret remedy for success.

Not only will you have a library of images to pull from at any given moment, but it will also save you time and money in the long run.

Because let’s face it, that LinkedIn headshot your Husband took of you sitting by the pool with the cropped out cocktail; probably isn’t making the kind of statement you want.

VIEW BRANDING PACKAGES
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Troubleshooting tips for Lightroom Presets

Depending on how you have taken your image, you may find that a Lightroom preset isn’t quite right or doesn’t look how it’s intended to.

If one image is cooler (blue-toned) and another is warmer (yellow-toned), then applying one preset will never create the same look on both photos.

The good news, however, is that Lightroom presets, unlike filters, are very easy to tweak.

The beauty of presets is that they allow you to adjust each setting so you can simply warm-up or cool down your image. You can desaturate specific colours or amend how light or dark your picture looks.

This is useful when you are trying to apply the same preset to make two images look similar in style.


I’ve taken your most asked questions
 to walk you through some of the most common issues so you can make your images shine.

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How do I make my image brighter?
Increase the exposure.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Exposure
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Exposure
*You can also use shadow and highlights to lift the dark areas. Try decreasing the highlights and increasing the shadows. 

How do I make my images darker?
Decrease the exposure. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Exposure
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Exposure 
*You can also use shadow and highlights to darken the lighter areas by decreasing both the highlights and shadows. 

My pictures look orange or warm.
Push the temperature slider to the blues. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Temperature
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Temperature


How do I get rid of the blue tinge in my photos?
Push the temperature slider to the yellows. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Temperature
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Temperature
*You can also use shadow and highlights to lift the dark areas. Try decreasing the highlights and increasing the shadows. 

troubleshooting-tips-adjust-lightroom-presets

My pictures are coming out green?
Push the tint slider to the pinks/magentas.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint

Skin tones are pink-tinted in my photos.
Push the tint slider to the greens.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint

Skin tones are green-tinted in my photos.
Push the tint slider to the pinks/magentas. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint


My image is too contrasty or looks too heavily edited.
Reduce the contrast. If that’s not enough, light the shadows and the blacks. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Contrast
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Contrast

troubleshooting-tips-tweak-lightroom-presets

Why does my skin look orange in pictures?
Your white balance is slightly off. Reduce the orange saturation. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Orange > Saturation
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Orange > Saturation 

How can I make my skin looker darker or more tanned in Lightroom?
Decrease the luminance in the oranges. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Orange > Luminance
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Orange > Luminance
*You may also want to decrease the luminance on the reds if the lips/cheeks look too pale. 

How do I reduce the neon green in grass or trees? 
Desaturate the greens and yellows.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Green > Saturation
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Green > Saturation
*If it’s still bright, reduce the saturation of the yellows too, but be careful not to desaturate too much, especially if you have blonde hair! 

My image is too hazy because of sun flare (shooting into the sun).
Increase the dehaze slider.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Dehaze
Lightroom Mobile > Effects > Dehaze

Check out my post on how to edit and adjust your Lightroom presets for more advanced tips.

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I have created my very own library of preset packs to help you build a beautiful and consistent brand. If you would like to try before you buy, feel free to send me 6-9 images to make sure the preset will suit your brand style. 

Lightroom mobile is completely free and is available on both android and Apple phones or if you have an Adobe Lightroom subscription you can install on your desktop. 

SHOP PRESETS
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How to modify or adjust your Lightroom preset

You’ve applied your preset, but it’s not quite perfect. Here is a beginners guide to help you edit and adjust your Lightroom preset like a pro.

The overall look is good, but the skin may be a little too orange, or the tone may be just a tad too green.

Don’t worry, this is entirely normal. Within a few clicks, you can adjust and edit your image like a pro, so it looks consistent with the rest of your pictures.

Depending on how/where you have taken your photo, the light and colour may differ from one to another.

For quick tips, click on the link below to take you to my FAQs and troubleshooting tips.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS FOR LIGHTROOM PRESETS
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How to adjust your Lightroom Preset

Let’s go right back and start from the very beginning. For those already familiar with exposure, temperature and tint then feel free to move onto the next section.

If you’re thinking, what the heck is temperature then stick around, and I will walk you through each setting so you understand what each slider does and how to adjust your Lightroom Preset like a pro.

Light

Exposure

In my workflow, exposure is the first setting I adjust as it has the most significant impact on my images. The exposure determines how light or dark you want your images to look.

I love bright, light and airy photos, so I always boost my exposure by +0.5 to +1.5. I especially need to use this is if I have taken an image on my phone as they quite often come out a little underexposed (darker) for my style. 

If the image is overexposed (too bright) or you prefer a dark, moodier look to your pictures, you may want to pull down the exposure until the image looks right to you.

Remember there is no right or wrong – stylising your images is entirely personal so go with what looks good to you.

Contrast

Contrast defines areas of lightness or darkness. You will notice if you pull it to the left, the darker areas become lighter and the picture looks flatter. Pull the slider to the right, and you’ll see that the shadows become darker and it makes your image pop. 

Shadows and highlight

Highlights will only concentrate on the lighter areas of your image. Push the highlights up, and it will brighten them, push it down, and it will darken them. 

Shadows do the opposite. Push it up, and it will lighten the darker areas of the image and push it down to darken them. 


To make your image stand out, pull down your highlights and lift your shadows. 

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Colour

To white balance your images, you will want to use temperature and tint. This simply means removing an unrealistic colour, for example, if your image looks too green, red, yellow or blue. 

You may notice that when you take a photo indoors, the image may look more yellow than if you had taken it outside.

This happens when your camera can’t differentiate between white light (sunlight), cooler blue light (cloudy day) and warmer yellow light (lightbulb). 

If your taking images in different light conditions, It’s very difficult to use one preset to make every photo look the same.

Therefore, by adjusting your Lightroom presets using the sliders, it can go a long way in helping you create consistency within your images. 

Temperature 

Temperature helps to control how cool (blue) or warm (yellow) your photo is.

If your image is too warm, push the slider towards the blues and if it’s too cool, move it towards the yellows.

You only need to make the slight adjustment to have a significant impact on your image, so use this slider lightly. 

Tint

Tint, on the other hand, regulates how green or magenta (pink) your image is.

If your image looks green, push the slider towards the magenta and conversely, if your photo is too magenta, move the slider towards the greens. 

Vibrance & Saturation

Vibrance and saturation do a very similar job by either increasing and decreasing the intensity of the colours in your image.

There is, however, a very subtle distinction between the two, in that vibrance increases the intensity of muted colours more than the already saturated colours while working to protect skin tones.

As a portrait photographer – this is a really important distinction!

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HSL (desktop) / Colour Mix (mobile)

If you apply a Lightroom preset and everything is perfect except one colour is too intense, for example, the skin tone is too orange; you can use colour mix to control each colour individually. 

Hue 

The hue slider allows you to adjust the shade within the same base range of a colour. For example, you can adjust the oranges to either red or yellow or change blue to either a cyan/turquoise or purple hue. 

Saturation

Similar to the saturation slider in the colour settings, the saturation makes the colour more or less intense.

The beauty of this slider is that it allows you to control one colour so that if the skin looks too orange you can decrease the saturation/intensity of the colour.

Luminance

Luminance adjusts the brightness of the colour. If you wanted to 


Bonus tip: To make skin look more tanned, push the luminance slider on the oranges to the left or to lighten, slide to the right. 

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Lightroom Presets

I have created my very own library of preset packs to help you build a beautiful and consistent brand. If you would like to try before you buy, feel free to send me 6-9 images to make sure the preset will suit your brand style. 

Lightroom mobile is completely free and is available on both android and Apple phones or if you have an Adobe Lightroom subscription you can install on your desktop. 

SHOP PRESETS
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