Are you making any of these common photo editing mistakes?

Photography, being one of the many art forms, can be seen as highly subjective.

Photo editing can be a creative & fun way to bring your images to life and result in the style you desire.

But, this can quickly lead to over-editing which can result in your photos looking over-processed in a not-so-good way.

Even though we can't determine what is right and wrong in a photograph because of it's subjectivity, there are a few simple "no-nos" when it comes to photo editing to help you avoid editing mistakes.

Let's go over a few of the most common editing mistakes so you can avoid them at all costs!

 photo editing mistakes to avoid and how to fix them in Lightroom

Crushing blacks & whites

If you've been in the photo industry long enough (or even if you're new) you probably are very aware of the trendy 'matte' look.

This is achieved when you lift the black curve point in the tone curve and lower the white curve point, making the photo look more flat with less contrast.

And while matte can be done tastefully, it can also be overdone that destructs the overall image quality (which in turn can lead to bad printing).

Instead, try your hand at a lighter matte look with a bit of contrast to give your photos more dimension that will be easier to print.


Take a look at this tutorial to help you achieve the right level of matte you're looking for in your photo editing.


Overuse of vignettes

I LOVE vignettes and use them all the time.


It adds dimension and contrast and brings the viewer towards the center & main subject of the photo.

Overall, a subtle vignette can greatly improve the look of your image and really bring it to life.

But, just as they can greatly improve the looks of an image, they can also greatly destroy the looks of an image when overused.

Plain and simple, take it easy on the vignette to add just the right amount of editing to your photos.



Over-enhancing eyes

This can be such a temptation in portrait photography and one of the more common editing mistakes I see in beginners (myself included!)

There is a very fine line when it comes to enhancing eyes to make them pop - and it's a line you must pay attention to.

This is easily one of those things that can be overdone with the lightest hand, so it's essential to train your own eyes to be able to discern when too much is too much.


All it really takes is a simple sharpen and dodging to help those peepers stand out, any more retouching can lead to an inhuman look, which if that's what you're going for okay, but it's typically not an everyday look.

Tune in to this tutorial to learn how to enhance eyes without overdoing it in Lightroom.

Oversaturating colors

I LOVE color, and if you stick around here long enough, you'll notice a lot of the photos I create burst with color.

But just with anything else, too much of anything is often a bad thing.

And this rings true for color saturation in portraits. Too much color can quickly lead to your photos looking amateur and tacky really quick.

Instead, try a lighter hand on color, or just apply it in the right places.

Using brushes to colorize certain parts of your photos can help you achieve the look you're going for without editing the entire photo (mainly the skin) and making the colors too intense.


Our Life in Color presets can help you achieve the color look without going crazy. See what it can do for your photos!


Unnatural skintones

It might be trendy right now in the world of digital photography, but say 'NO' to orange and yellow skintones.

Unless you want your subjects to look like oopma loompas, then stay clear of this editing mistake.

This happens a lot because of various filters and presets used to change the colors of the photo. Unfortunately, it also changes the color of a natural looking skintone into something that looks like you overdid it on the sunless tanner.


Using brushes instead of filters to change the colors of your photo is a start when aiming for a more trendy look.

This will help you achieve the style you desire without compromising a flattering complexion.

Our Recollections presets were designed for that popular lifestyle look without losing natural skin colors.

What's even greater about this collection is that it contains presets enhancers to custom build a style to suit your desires - no need for your photos to look like everyone else's!

Lightroom presets for portrait photographers

If you've been struggling with these common photo editing mistakes, then you aren't alone.

Most photographers find their true style and professional editing look over time by making mistakes and learning how to avoid them in the future.

Read next: 4 things that helped me become a better photographer

You can learn to adapt too by being selective of your editing workflow and choosing carefully crafted editing tools that will help polish your photos more efficiently.

Check out our complete collection of Lightroom presets to help assist you in your photo editing & create a unique style of your own today!

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