The trucker hat. Could it be any more iconic? From 1960s…
Once you’ve followed all the other steps and captured some gorgeous product shots, it’s time to do final tweaking and editing before you use the photos.
This is a common step–even the best photographers will often make final adjustments to photographs. So don’t feel bad about
Just keep in mind that your goal is to make the product look as great as possible and also as close to real-life as possible.
For this article, we’ll be assuming that you have access to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, or some other piece of software that will help you edit your photos. If you don’t have access, you should definitely look into it. These final edits can make a huge difference in the final product from your DIY photography.
With that in mind, let’s jump into some of the steps you’ll want to take.
Touch ups and minor corrections
In almost every photograph, you’ll find small imperfections and blemishes that are captured by the camera. Things like dust and hairs can catch the light and appear in your photograph in unflattering ways.
Luckily, you can take care of these small dots, speckles, and lines with just a few clicks.
Photoshop’s “Spot Healing” tool was built exactly for this reason, and it works pretty well for removing small blemishes on a relatively uniform surface. If you can use this tool to make the touch ups, it will save you a lot of time and effort of having to do it manually.
As a back up, you can use a clone stamp tool to cover over blemishes. The tool works pretty simply. Basically, you can copy a small section off the photograph and then paste it over another area. This is helpful if you have a pattern or uniform surface, or if you just want to smooth out a color and make it more consistent.
Lastly, you can zoom in closely and do manual touch ups using a superfine brush tool. But that’s not recommended unless you have no other options.
Note: Be sure to create a copy of your original image in a new layer before making changes. That way you can compare the final result with the original and easily revert back if you need to.
Another change that you may want to make during the editing process is to continue to correct the colors in the photograph.
Even if you had the right settings on your camera or things looked right at the time, sometimes the colors can still turn out to be a bit off. Even if they don’t appear to be wrong, necessarily, it might be a good idea to try tweaking the colors using the Levels tool in Photoshop. Often times a photo can look right at first glance, but after some adjustments, it becomes clear that there was room for improvement.
These adjustments will help you achieve “true” colors, particularly with your blacks and whites, which can often appear correct at first, but turn out to be faded or off-colored when compared to a pure white or black.
Shadows and highlights
Another set of adjustments you’ll probably want to make will be to fix any overblown highlights or shadows.
These will mute the details of your photograph and can be corrected to help give the photo more depth.
Using the Highlights and Shadows functionality, you can adjust these settings to brighten up dark spots and tone down glare and highlights. This will give your photograph a more even appearance and make it look more realistic.
Be sure to use adjustment layers when editing your photographs. This will allow you to toggle them on and off, add masks, or turn the effect up and down. Plus it preserves all of the original photograph data and doesn’t destroy it, which happens when you make edits directly to the original photo.