Humans are visual creatures. We instinctively form first impressions within seconds and since most of the information we consume and interpret online is visual, quality photos of your product can make your site. And vice versa with sub-par images.
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you want your brand to stick in the viewer’s mind as professional and credible, the photos you upload need to convey the same message. What we see is what we get right? Apart from adding in landscaping or interior decor, an effective image will help transcend your written descriptions and allow the viewer to feel the quality of what you have to offer (or better yet, help guide them to taking action!).
Below are a few quick photo fix tips using Photoshop (Creative Cloud 2018) to help you transform the handful of those mediocre images to ones worth sharing. Remember, the last thing you want is to portray a poor representation of your product.
Place a guide:
Adding guides to your Photoshop document are a great way of making sure everything’s aligned nicely – both horizontally or vertically. Using this method, you can easily add a guide to where the house is positioned horizontally to get an idea if it needs realigned.
- If the rulers aren’t visible on your document, choose View > Rulers.
- While holding “Shift” down, drag from the horizontal or vertical ruler to create a guide (the guide will automatically snap to the ruler ticks). The pointer changes to a double-headed arrow when you drag a guide. To reverse the orientation of a guide, hold “Alt” down and move it.
Use the Crop Tool to straight and crop an image:
- From the toolbar, select the Crop Tool (), or press “C” on your keyboard.
- Using the curved double-headed arrow handles around the image, straighten or rotate it. Depending on if you have Content-Aware selected in your Options bar, Photoshop intelligently fills in the white/gap areas of your image, you may have to crop inward as well.
- When you are satisfied with the results, click in the Options bar to commit the crop operation, or press “Enter”.
Adjust the Shadows/Highlights
The Shadows/Highlights adjustment is a great feature that offers a quick and easy method of correcting over- and underexposed areas. This command works well on a subject photographed with in bright, slightly washed out overhead light or in light coming from behind (known as backlighting). The adjustment can also bring out the detail in harsh shadow areas.
- Choose Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight…
When the dialog box appears, the default correction is applied automatically in your preview.
- Adjust the amount of lighting correction by moving the sliders (or enter a value) in the Shadows (dark areas) or Highlights (light areas) percentage box.
- For finer control, select Show More Options to make the additional adjustments.
Your goal is to reveal more detail in the dark and light areas of your image. If, after you do so, your image still looks like it needs more correction, add or delete contrast in your midtone areas. If only part of your image needs correcting, you can select just that portion before applying the adjustment.
- Click OK to apply the adjustment and close the dialog box.
Increase the Vibrancy
The Vibrance adjustment cleverly alters the saturation of more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone. It’s sort of
like fill light, but for colors. When you drag it to the right, this smart-tool only makes dull colors in the image more vibrant and colorful. An overcast sky or dull lawn would be perfect to help fix. Due to its special mathematical algorithm, it avoids skin tones from becoming oversaturated.
- Choose Image > Adjustments > Vibrance…
- Adjust the amount of lighting correction by moving the Amount slider or entering a value in the Vibrance or Saturation percentage box
It’s always worth an extra few minutes to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Look for more helpful design tips in the weeks ahead. Are you struggling with a particular challenge or looking for tips with a different photo editor? Let me know in the comments below.