10 Simple Wedding Photo Editing Tips

Just making your first steps in wedding photo editing? Don’t know what to start with? What tools to use?

These 10 easy but useful wedding photo editing tips will help you begin image retouching as a professional photo retoucher.

Use Lightroom for color correction and Photoshop for a deep wedding photo retouching.

10 Simple Tips to Retouch Wedding Photos

Use Lightroom Shortcuts

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The LR shortcuts speed up the process of editing wedding images. There are about 300 shortcuts you can use in your work.

Here are the most used while editing wedding photos:

  • Add a Flag (for photo culling)   - “P”

  • Full-Screen Mode – “F”

  • Crop Tool – “R”

  • Before & After – “Backslash”

  • Rotate photo clockwise - “Ctrl (Cmd) + ]”

  • Activate the Spot Removal Tool - “Q”

Eliminate Distracting Haze

In Lightroom go to the Effects section, drag the Dehaze slider to the right to reduce haze in your photo. Then open Photoshop and add an overlay in the form of blick instead of the sun. These actions will help you adjust the lighting of hazy photographs.

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This easy-to-use tool can quickly and accurately change your photo, accentuate the lines and the objects, and make colors less/more saturated. As a result, you get a clear shot.

Convert Your Photos into Black and White

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You may just pull the saturation slider all the way to the left to -100. Moreover, the second way to do it is to do similar with the Vibrance slider, but it may not show you a 100% B&W photo, depending on the photograph.

You’d better use the third variant and click on the B&W mix, located on the third panel down on the right in Develop. It is one of the most common ways to improve a picture with poor lighting or add a romantic touch to the composition. 

Correct Noise

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Digital noise is quite a common flaw that happens while shooting close portraits on a not good camera body, especially when lighting is poor. Since the process of wedding photography takes mostly the whole day and you have to shoot in the dark part of the day too, you will definitely have pixelated pictures.

There are two types of noise:

  • Color noise

  • Luminance noise

Wedding photo edit includes reduction of both types. To remove it from a bridal picture, open the Detail Panel in the Develop module to display the noise reduction sliders. Here are the sliders for Luminance noise and for Color noise. Adjust the slider for the type of noise you are seeing in the image, either color or luminance.

The best format for creating high-quality photos (mainly RAW). If you want a proper image retouching, zoom the picture to 100. You need to correct the color noise before proceed to the editing of the luminance noise. For the outdoor wedding images, use the Detail button to adjust the sharpness of the picture.

Use Blurring and the Bokeh Effect

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In the Develop Module click on the Adjustment brush - Lightroom’s Custom Effect settings will appear. The one you want to find is Sharpness and set it to -100.

Professional photographers apply blurring effect to highlight some elements of the photo. In this way, you can shift the focus and concentrate the viewer's attention on a particular part of the picture, and in some cases, hide unnecessary items.

To add a so-called Lens Flare or Bokeh enter the Develop Module, choose the Pen Tool from the top right (under the Histogram), set the exposure to around +3.0, and Flow to around 80. Pick a large brush to add the lens flares to the wedding photo. Choose the strength of the flare by clicking multiple times.

You can also change the color of the flare by selecting different colors in the side panel. Add multiple flares of different color and sizes to create Bokeh.

Use Spot Removal

Spot Removal is the best way to improve some parts of a photo and delete distracting objects and spots. To do this, select the area, clone it, and replicate on the part that you want to clear.

You should use this tool when you need to delete:

  • hair that covers part of the face

  • stains from clothes

  • dust from the lens

  • skin defects.

Make Teeth White

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Bad lighting and various shadows can spoil the color of the teeth. There is no need to make the teeth too white. It should look natural – choose an ivory color.

Watch this tutorial for a fast teeth whitening in Lightroom:

Make Skin Smoothing

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Always remember about skin. Nobody likes unhealthy skin tones that make a bride, groom,  and guests look like they are either very cold or like they just ate something disgusting. Fix skin tones, adjust the Temperature and then fix the skin tone using the HSL section.

Skin smoothing is very difficult to make in Lightroom. Only using a Spot Removal tool, you can remove some small skin blemishes. Therefore, you’d better go to Photoshop and follow this video tutorial about how to make skin smooth in Adobe Photoshop.

Adjust the proper pen size and its density. Before smoothing the skin, you need to remove the hair from your model’s face and regulate the contrast, brightness and color saturation.

Make Earthy Tones

Yellows and greens tend to be oversaturated during a bright sunny wedding day and bringing the saturation down a little bit will change the mood. If you prefer rich or muted tones, try to be as reliable as possible with other images too. You can find the slider in HSL section in Adobe Lightroom.

Create and Use Lightroom Presets

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Lightroom presets are saved settings that are applied to specific groups of photos. It gives you the opportunity to shorten the time for wedding photo edit in Lightroom, as well as to create a specific photo editing style.

Moving highlights up and shadows down can create a nice soft look but it doesn't work for all types of wedding images so experiment.