We emphasized on the need for quality photo editing on your product shots. Images in your e-commerce site will look professional, clean and attractive to the target consumers. Perfect and spot on! By now you might have shopped around for the services of professional image processing companies. Maybe you are shortlisting a few that you can potentially work with. You like their sample works on their sites and might have passed some photos for a free trial editing. Lets take a look at common image editing mistakes … being aware of them can make you screen edited photographs under a new light.
Remember the golden rule here: the subject in an image should not look unnatural, but beautiful rather. Overdoing it can kill it. If your audience feels repulsed by the unnecessary and over the top processing – you basically have lost important points. Apart from looking unnatural, too much editing can cause blurred lines and color contrasts that dull the photos. Less is more! Sharpening out of focus images will be a big danger zone – this does not fix the image, rather makes it worse. Problems as these should be dealt with while shooting in the first place. Settings on the equipment or firm grip on the camera can avoid out of focus pictures.
Cropping too much can be a disaster. Editors should discuss with the client how they want to use the picture, before undertaking the perfect crop. Models looking disproportionate with the outdoors background is an unappealing look.
At times the editing is not using the layer and action techniques correctly. This simply makes the photo look amateurish. You can get top-notch quality from a photo when applying professional layering techniques, but this takes a lot of practice. Rely on experienced editors to make magic with their craft. To adjust colors and shadows, the editor needs need to understand curves and how to layer and create the contrast within the photo without creating a mishmash of overlapped shadows and blurred hues. Learning to control contrast can make the photos pop! With too much contrasts, however – blacks and white seem too extreme. Details get lost either in shadows or the highlights. Curves take a lot of practice. Most editors, when new to photo editing programs, will either ignore or overuse the fascinating feature.
The background has to be kept crisp and sharp. To have the fade in effect with a surreal background and the object, it can be a tricky thing to master in editing. This kind of effect is best tried while taking the shot. Bad background removal can be avoided too. It can be difficult to remove complex background efficiently and replace it with another one. In most cases its obvious light and shadows simply don’t fit. Often, it is tough even for expert editors, to remove the background and make the photo look as it should. It simply requires too much time, effort and skill.
Selective coloring can make the photo look weak. The contrast is blurred, color is overpowering and the outline seems unnaturally sharp. To draw attention to the subject in the image people try selective coloring – but runs the risk of making it look tacky. The emphasis on the item that was desired may fall flat. Also with coloring, it has to be remembered that transferring earthy colors such as brown or beige to black and white makes a muddy grey picture. No amount of editing can derive the enhanced picture in black and white when earthy/muddy colors exist.
Less is more to attain the right amount of sparkle in the eyes. It has to be subtle and overdone eye features can make the model look like a person from the future. In a similar fashion, over whitening the teeth to bring on a winning smile will make the picture look fake. While trying to achieve the perfect skin tone on the models, editors make the error of skin that resembles plastic. The plastic Barbie doll look is something that became unpopular long ago and you do not want to replicate that style.
Once the client gets the photos, he/she will probably upload them on e-commerce website, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter handle. Therefore, it’s important to save the photos in web friendly format after editing. For example, in Photoshop, one can go to File>Save>Web and Devices. After editing and prior to saving, using a web sharpen action can get the glossy look. If the editor misses these points, it can negatively affect the promotional plans with those pictures. Many editors forget to save a backup copy of the originals – when it is very easy to do it. There are two risks here- no original to work with or work differently or performing edits that cannot be undone once saved. Editing the originals prevents going back and revisiting older work and making it better.
A big mistake by editors is when they are over-enthusiastic about new apps and features. Before understanding or practice of full aspects of the features, they try too hard to incorporate them into photos. In other cases, the editors may not know how to fix the simplest issues or utilise the helpful features that are available. When one first starts working in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, wonderful features, buttons and options can be discovered. Even the most skillful editor will always find something cool to learn. The professional editor should not forget that the key is to carry on learning.