3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter PhotosIf there’s one thing that always catches my eye when browsing Pinterest, it’s a bright clean photo. Well that and just about any dessert recipe but that’s a whole other topic of discussion. Whether you’ve been taking pictures for years, or are just starting out, there are some easy tricks you can do right now to start producing brighter photos in post production!

Although there are several ways that you can edit your photos, I prefer Adobe Lightroom (I run version 4, but they’re up to 6 now). Note that these tips refer to their editing tools; if you don’t use Lightroom, I highly recommend it for photography!

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

1. Make the background white. Not the background you shoot on, but the background in either Lightroom or Photoshop (which ever you use to edit your photos). If your background is darker, like grey or black, anything against those colors will automatically appear brighter. A white background will help you gauge how bright your photos are. This also helps you to get a preview of how the images will look on your site if your background is also white.

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

2. Opt for vibrance, not saturation. If you want to ramp up the color in a natural way, increase the vibrance. A saturation adjustment will certainly give you bolder colors, but they start to look unnatural and overdone.

3 Photo Editing Tricks for Brighter Photos

3. Don’t rely on exposure. While adjusting the exposure will brighten your photos, it can also wash them out if you turn it up too high. Instead, brighten the whites, lighten the shadows, and even play with temperature. The photo above is the final edited version along with the exact changes I made. Notice that I barely adjusted the exposure setting (you’ll increase it less when working with colors, whites might require more of an increase).

So that’s it! Completely do-able tricks, don’t you think? And if you’re looking for even more photo editing tips, be sure to check out my Photo Styling 101 e-course! It covers everything from branding and composition to how to take brighter pictures on your camera from the start!

  • Julia Dent

    Totally agree that brighter pictures are more eye catching! Do you prefer Lightroom over Photoshop?


    • Hi Julia! Lightroom is my go-to for editing photos. I’ll use Photoshop to add text, but for the most part, I really only use Lightroom :)

  • Laurel (A Bubbly Life)

    I am obsessed with that photo. Love all these colors and sprinkles and everything.

    • Awww why thank you Laurel! Sprinkles tend to make anything better ;)

  • The white background tip is so true! It also helps you see how it’ll look on your site, if you have a white background like most people do.

    I’d welcome more Lightroom tips–I recently switched to it from Photoshop for editing my photos, and while a lot of things are similar, there are enough differences that I’m still getting the hang of it. How did you learn it?

    • Awesome, that’s so good to know Rachel! Honestly, I taught myself through a lot of trial and error. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really powerful for editing photos! I’ll have to whip up some more tips soon :)

  • Thanks for this! I’m trying to use light room more but have a hard time finding tutorials that translate well into product photography. This is exactly the kind of thing ice been waiting for <3

    • Oh yay! So glad it was helpful Arielle! I did a lot of playing around when I was first teaching myself. You’ll totally get the hang of it!

  • Justine

    I never thought of turning the background white on Lightroom but I will definitely do it! I always edited photos and when I wanted to use them on Photoshop they didn’t look the way I thought they would. Great tips! Thanks!

    • Yes! It makes such a huge difference in the way you’ll edit the photo! So glad you liked the tips Justine :)

  • This is so helpful! I’ve been using photoshop, but I’m going to try out Lightroom. Love the idea of the white background!

    • Oh you are going to love it Alexis! Let me know if you have any questions :)

  • So true about using a white background to get a better idea of how bright something really is – that always helps me!