Images are crucial to your brand because impressions are made in milliseconds, according to a recent study. One of the myths about online reputation management is that your customers don’t care about HD images. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, the quality of your images will reflect on the overall quality of your business.

What you need to remember about social media brand building is that it’s a visual arena, and so the way you edit your images will impact everything. This guide is going to show you how you can go about achieving a quick clean edit in Adobe Lightroom.

Gather Your Photos

To begin with, you should make this easy by importing all the photos you want to edit into the Quick Collection folder. This is as simple as pressing the ‘Import’ button that comes available every time you fire up Lightroom. This will avoid confusion later on, especially if you happen to be one of those people who possess thousands of photos.

Step 1 – Fixing the Exposure

Correcting exposure can be a real hassle. To start with, open up the Develop module to the right of your screen.  The first basic edit you are going to carry out is on the exposure.

Click ‘Auto’ first on the right. It should be next to the ‘Tone’ switch. This will automatically fix the exposure of your image. To do this, it uses the Histogram at the top of this right-hand panel. It’s one of the easiest ways to perform a simple edit because Lightroom is effective at determining what the correct exposure settings should be.

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Step 2 – Adjusting the Color Cast

Once you have fixed the exposure, it’s time to deal with the colors. You need to find the eyedropper tool. The white balance selector can be accessed by clicking ‘W’ on your keyboard. Your goal is to find a neutral gray area on your photo. Click down on this area and it will automatically change the colors to something that pops.

To make sure you don’t come up with any weird results, you should look to the top left of Lightroom, in the navigator section. As you move your cursor across the screen, it will give you an example of what the image will look like if you select that specific area.

You only get one shot at this, so make sure you get it right. If you try to select a neutral color once and then try to do it again, you will get entirely different results because the second eyedropper attempt will be working from the results of the first one.

Should you get it wrong, undo the first one and try again. For beginners, this can get quite tricky.

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Step 3 – Use Presets for More Advanced Edits

It should be mentioned that if you have a good camera and you are not working under any adverse conditions, the first two steps should be enough to finish off your photos. But if you need something extra it’s worth purchasing a preset collection. There are so many preset collections on the market today, so you have to experiment to get something that you like.

Preset collections are great if you want to give an entire collection of photos the same tones. It’s perfect for creating a themed album.

You should be aware that some presets will actually take away from any adjustments you have already made, so you have to take care with what adjustments you make both before and after applying presets.

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Presets can do everything from recovering skies that have been overexposed to bringing back whites when you’ve lost them through incorrect exposure. The value of presets is largely in the type of photos you take and the camera you have.

Conclusion – Edits are for Everyone

It’s easy to look at Lightroom and believe that you are somehow an inferior photographer because you have to make so many edits to your photos. This is not the case at all. Photos are rarely designed to capture the world exactly how it’s seen through the eyes.

Take travel photos as an example of this. The colors are made to pop. They are designed to look overly saturated so as to catch your attention and to promote their services online. These paradise locations are still paradise locations, but they are never exactly how you saw them in your travel photos.

Edits are required to embellish the pictures of both professional and amateur photographers.

What are the most common edits you make to your photos?

 

AJ Agrawal
I cover the art of using smart, simple shortcuts that lead to growth. I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @
AJ Agrawal

@ajalumnify

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