Workflow for Editing Photos

At the beginning of the year, I always like to organize. Whether it’s organizing a drawer or a digital folder, starting out the year “fresh” feels good! It’s good to have a plan in place, a method to follow.

It’s the same way with editing our photos.  Using a specific workflow every time we edit a picture will help us get the job done well every time.

There is a certain workflow that has been proven to work best for highlighting what is good in a photo and diminishing what might be not so good. Here’s the “secret” formula.

  1. Crop, straighten, and resize.
  2. Correct any lighting issues (shadows, highlights, mid-tones).
  3. Eliminate any possible color casts.
  4. Adjust saturation if necessary.
  5. Apply any special effects (if desired)
  6. Apply sharpening, if needed

I hope you find this helpful as you edit your photos!

Karen Schulz

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Comments (37)

  1. Yes please

    January 12, 2018 at 7:47 am
  2. Jane Maurice

    Yes, especially to get more efficient so I can work it into my organizing times!

    January 12, 2018 at 8:01 am
  3. I wouid *love* a class on items 2,3 & 4. I haven’t a clue how to use those tools effectively. I know there is a “histogram” that (allegedly!) is to help figure out the light and dark extremes … but again, I don’t know how to use it.

    What I would like to see is a photo with a specific lighting problem (or multiple problems because that’s how Real Life is) and what steps are done with what tools to correct that problem.

    Such a class would be worth its weight in gold!

    January 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm
  4. Connie A.

    This is a great idea!! The answer is absolutely YES!

    January 13, 2018 at 9:15 am
  5. Yes for sure! The only step I am able to do reasonably well is #1. Would love further info on the other steps 🙂

    January 13, 2018 at 9:22 am
  6. Winnie

    YES! This is one of the things I need help with the most! Thanks Karen!

    January 13, 2018 at 9:57 am
  7. Helen Maddix

    Yes, anything dealing with processing photos would be helpful….

    January 13, 2018 at 10:05 am
  8. Yes! I’m working on photos from the 70’s & 80’s, for a slide show for a memorial. So many of those photos have faded and lost color – is there any help for them?

    January 13, 2018 at 10:13 am
  9. Millie Rathbun

    Ditto what Shelley just said! Cropping is my only “specialty” on your list and I really want to learn more about the other steps to correct and save special photos. Your tutorials are excellent and I really appreciate you sharing your time and expertise with us.

    January 13, 2018 at 10:41 am
  10. Christine

    Yes, that would be very helpful. Thank you for the tips.

    January 13, 2018 at 10:51 am
  11. Oh my goodness, yes! Please!

    January 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm
  12. Kerry McKinnis

    That would be so appreciated!
    Do you have a tutorial on using masks? I love the way they look on pictures, but since I am relatively new to digital scrap booking, I am having trouble figuring out how to use them. Maybe I am just being dense!

    January 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm
  13. Margaret Crozier

    Would love to have a tutorial showing us how to work through this “flow”.
    Thank you so much Karen.

    January 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm
  14. Ann

    Oh, yes, I quite agree with Shelley Rodgers on the specific lighting problems, what steps and tools to use. So a class on 2, 3 & 4 would be very helpful.

    January 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm
  15. Octavia


    January 13, 2018 at 10:43 pm
  16. Mary

    I agree with Shelley. That would be super,i am always stuck when trying to get the right lighting on my pics

    January 14, 2018 at 6:46 am
    • Karen

      Thanks for your input, Mary.

      January 15, 2018 at 7:27 am
  17. Deb Case

    Yes please. I am always interested in seeing how others get better organized.

    January 14, 2018 at 7:45 am
  18. Sue O

    Like Shelley, I could use more instruction on that historgram tool. I pretty much use those same steps but would love to have your take on them. It’s never too late to learn new things! I think a “class” on all the steps would be great!

    January 14, 2018 at 11:32 am
    • Karen

      Thanks for your feedback, Sue. Yes, the histogram is a great tool also!

      January 15, 2018 at 7:26 am
  19. Steph

    It looks like there are a couple (and more) people that want to improve these skills. I know I struggle with shadows especially on people’s faces (under hats, etc.). what can i do to minimize them?

    January 18, 2018 at 11:48 am
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