Camera…lights….Actions….

No, I didn’t have a little too much wine with dinner and accidentally scramble up my post title. This blog is going to talk about what happens after you get your camera and lights and take the image….and editing with actions.

If you don’t know what actions for Photoshop are, I am going to tell you…and show you.

Actions are actually designed to speed up a photographer’s work flow. Instead of manually going through a series of steps, actions are able to make the steps shorter and save a photographer time. Some actions can be used in any version of Photoshop and some can only be used in Elements. (Lightroom has presets which are the same thing, but actions are presets are not interchangeable.). If you are purchasing actions make sure they are compatible with your editing software!

Most actions are grouped so that you can tweak each little piece of it in order to achieve the look you are trying to achieve. Let’s say the photo you are editing needs a little work and there might be about 10 steps you need to do to get it to where you want it and you have about 40 of these images and will have to do it to each of them for a “consistent” look. Can you imagine the time it would take to do that by hand for each one? That time could be better spent doing other business related things!

Now I have heard people grumble that actions are “cheating” and the photographer isn’t really doing their own editing….and I don’t agree with that. I think there is a difference between using them to help your workflow and using them to try to salvage bad work. If the shot is just bad, don’t try to use actions (or even black and white) to try to fix it. Trash it and move on to the good ones.

Here is a photo I edited using actions from Hidden Beauty Photography. See how that really brought out the greens and just made this image POP?

Here is another example of an edit where I used actions. (I also did a little hand editing to tweak the photo just right too….but that’s another blog post!).
The actions I used on this photo are from Wish Photography and My Four Hens Photography. Wish Photography’s Makeup Counter 2 is probably the best actions for skin and portraits that I have ever seen or used. It’s a way to get flawless skin without going overboard!
(The Portrait Pop action is in the Color Pop Pretties from My Four Hens set, FYI.)
There you go, two examples of what actions can do to transform a photo from a good image to a spectacular image! If you want to learn to make your own actions there are several sites that have all the steps. If you edit by hand, just hit the little record button in the Actions menu and you can create your own action in no time. But if you want to try using actions, I have made it easy for you to find some great places for them……..
Some amazing places to find actions are:
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or message me at lori@loripetersonphotography.com.
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