Creative Direction 101: Editing!

One of my dreams in life is to one day be a creative director on big-name, high fashion, editorial photo shoots. To give direction over everything from styling to set design is so enticing to me and would be nothing short of a dream come true. You know how people say “if you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work”? Well, that’s how creative direction would be for me.

I didn’t fully realize that I was already pursuing this passion until a follower commented on an Instagram post where I talked about my dream to creative direct saying: “You technically are a creative director already.” I read the comment, took a step back, and realized she was right.

When it comes to photo shoots for Absolutely Olivia, I do the planning, the styling, the location choosing, the modeling, and the post-processing. In a nutshell, this is creative direction. With the wonderful revelation that I was my own creative director, came an exciting idea for a new blog series…Creative Direction 101.

Read Creative Direction 101: Planning

Read Creative Direction 101: Styling

Read Creative Direction 101: The Photo Shoot

In this series, I will walk you through the step-by-step process of one of my more “editorial” shoots and give tips on how to do so yourself. For this final installment, I’m going to be sharing the post-processing (aka the editing) for the majority of my bigger, more artistic shoots. Ready to learn how to bring your creative vision to life? Keep reading!

EXPORT PHOTOS

The first step to any post-processing period is to export the photos off of your camera and onto the device that you edit on. After you export photos, go through and narrow down the photos to a manageable amount that you can then edit.

EDITING THE PHOTOS

After exporting the photos and narrowing down the shots to about 50 (depending on the shoot this number could be higher or lower), it’s time to edit! For beginners, I highly recommend starting out with the app VSCO for edits then transitioning onto apps like Snapseed. When starting out, playing around with filters and photo settings is essential and the best way to learn how to get the exact vibe you want to create around the photo through editing. Editing can transform the photo to make it feel a certain way, and that’s why I love it so much!

I have a detailed blog post on the step-by-step of my editing process in the VSCO app, so click HERE to read it. I have also started using the Tezza app filter “Vintage” (set to a low setting) to add a more editorial look to my edits.

Editing is completely up to personal preferences and the finishing touch for creative direction. Through editing, you can bring the photos up to par with your original vision.

ADD YOUR OWN SPIN

My favorite part of the editing process is adding my own unique twist to the images. Editing never has to be solely popping a filter on a photo and adjusting settings like exposure, contrast, etc. Adding doodles, creating collages, doing overlays, and using different editing apps for cool effects can add a wow factor to your photos.

Just like every other aspect of creative direction that I discuss in this series, editing is a time to make the images your own, to show people why you’re unique, and to grab their attentions. Dig deep into your original creative vision one last time and post-process until the final product is something you are proud of and want to share with everyone you know and don’t know.

To add my doodles, I use the markup feature in the iPhone or iPad gallery.

To create collages, I use the app PicCollage.

To create overlays and grids, I use the app StoryLuxe or Pixlr.

To add colored borders to my photos, I use the VscoX features.


All in all, the editing process is fairly simple, but is a big part of bringing your own creative vision to life. It’s important to learn how to use edits to magnify and enhance your end goal for the photo shoot. When it comes to post-processing, the possibilities are endless and there is something for every style. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to read the last installment, Creative Direction 101: The Photoshoot!

💜Love, Olivia

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