It’s a shame we can’t all have professional photographers follow us around on our honeymoons. When you’re somewhere scenic, the pressure is on to make that moment look as beautiful on social media as it did in real life. Odds are, though, the most “professional” camera you own lives in your iPhone.
For all you honeymooners, bachelorette-partiers and general jet-setters, here’s how to edit professional-looking photos on-the-fly.
Frame the Shot
Keep it simple. Focus on one thing, and try to keep the background as clean as possible. Get creative with the crop tool to show people what you want them to see. iPhone cameras are surprisingly great for uncomplicated shots – and much more convenient to carry.
Even pros like Julie Paisley, who owns Julie Paisley Photography, occasionally go for the easier option. “I’m a professional photographer, but sometimes I just want to be in the moment and not have to worry about a big camera. I use my cell phone for family vacation pictures and even sneak peeks while I’m on my professional shoots. My couples love the little instant love.”
Edit in Apps
This step is key for a professional-looking photo. Whether you’re looking to lighten and brighten, pop the colors, or whiten your teeth, there’s a myriad of photography apps to choose from. And you’ll probably want to use more than one to achieve the full effect of a beautiful, professional picture.
Start with Facetune. This popular app is ideal for fixing unwanted blemishes. You can smooth, whiten, and reshape your way to a retouched look. The patch tool is also great for removing anything distracting in the background (like a photobombing tourist).
Layer filters. After you’ve set your photo foundation, use filters to correct colors and set the mood you want. VSCO is most recommended by the pros – and it’s super easy to use. You can pick from dozens of preset filters or create your own. Whether you’re capturing a sunset at sea, a meal on a patio, or wildlife in their element, there’s a filter to give your image the quality you’re looking for. (Start with A6, C3, or C8 if you’re lost.) From there, you can tweak the filter and increase the exposure within the app. Increasing the exposure is a cheat to brighten your image, without professional lighting.
Julie uses Filmborn and PicTapGo. “These are both so easy to use. I usually don’t take my picture inside the app, I use the camera and then bring it into the app to edit.”
Post and Print
After editing, save your image to your phone and share away! Easy, right?
No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to snap, edit, and post beautiful photos in the palm of your hand. With so many frame-worthy options, you could even collect your travel pictures into a book (Julie recommends Chatbooks) to relive those moments when you’re back home on the couch. And just like that, you’re a published photographer.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Madeline Littrell is a Dallas-based writer and PR strategist. Born and raised in Tennessee, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers.
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