Fridays and Photos: apps and programs that I use daily

 
 

It's Friday! Lets talk about Photography!

Before we start, I want to let you know that it brings me so much joy to share what I have learned, in hopes that it helps YOU if you have even the slightest interest in shooting better photos. You may be a mom who wants to take better pictures of your family, a blogger who wants to shoot captivating content that sets you apart from others, or maybe theres no other reason to learn other than you have a budding interest! I am not professionally trained... everything I have learned, has been through my husband sharing what HE knows, and through experimentation. I fell in love with the creative process, and I get inspired when scrolling through my favorite accounts on instagram, or by reading some of my favorite blogs. I am not here to tell you the technical nitty gritty details on being a photographer, but rather tips and tricks you can use to create photos that you love, and want to share!

meg cusick photography

For this first post, I thought it would be good to just share some of my favorite applications I use daily. These are some of my favorite tools that are super user friendly and are definitely worth learning!

Lightroom (paid subscription on my laptop) & Lightroom Mobile (free to download):

All the edits I make are with either Lightroom on my desktop, or Lightroom mobile on my phone if I am out and about and don’t have my computer with me. I started using Lightroom Mobile (free to download in the App Store) about 9 months ago and it has made my blogging and instagramming life so much easier. You can do everything that you can do on the Desktop version of Lightroom on the Mobile version. Now - I must say that the desktop version is a bit easier to use if I am doing some extensive adits -just because you have a mouse and a bigger screen to work with, but I have found that the Mobile version gives me the power to do pretty much anything I need to when I need to do them. I also have saved my presets (you can purchase them here, if you haven't yet done so!) to my Lightroom mobile app so that I can use them on the go - which makes the editing process just several minutes even with a few minor adjustments if any are needed!

OI Share ( or whatever brand digital camera you use - if you have one!)

We have two Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras that have a WiFi connection function that allows them to connect directly with a downloadable Olympus app on our phones. This allows me to transfer photos taken on the camera right to my phones photo album with just a few clicks of a button! I do this when I need to make quick edits immediately after taking the photos. Our recent trip to New York, I used this function of my camera to transfer photos off it to my phone multiple times a day so that I could post to Instagram (sometimes within minutes!) of taking the photo. If you haven't yet purchased a digital camera, and are considering it somewhere down the line - this wifi function is SO WORTH IT. I use it ALL THE TIME. This function also allows me to use my phone as a remote control to take photos when someone isn't available to take them for me - or if we want a family photo of all three of us. If you are interested in how I do this - check out my Instagram highlight titled "photo tips"

Timeout to try and convince you to invest in a digital camera if you haven't so already..

Mobile phones these days undoubtedly take great photos. I DO use mine for blogging and Instagram purposes, but I really do prefer my camera. It has been the best investment for us, and just owning them and making the effort to bring them with us to everything we do has helped us create and cherish memories now more than ever before. (thats me telling you BUY one!! Capture your memories! Create captivating photos!) I have a whole post on a beginners guide to cameras HERE, check it out if you are looking at making the investment!

Snapseed (free to download)

Snapseed has a few useful tools that I really like that are possible within Lightroom - but just not as user friendly in the Lightroom Mobile Version.

The features I use the most within Snapseed are:

Healing:

when you have that pesky awkward item you want to remove.

Left: before applying filter - Right: after applying filter, and wanted to remove the little bird to make the street appear clean!

Before and After sign removal!

 

Expand

I like to use this when Instagram crops my image and I need to give my photo a little more "space" to display in the square the way I want it to!

 

This is suttle - but by "expanding" your borders, you can avoid getting your head cut off on Instagram when its cropped to a square on your grid. This works best when you have a plain background like this blank wall. If you expand borders on something that has a lot of "things going on" it will look strange, so keep that in mind!

Filterloop (free to download, filters must be purchased)

Filterloop is yet another editing app - there is a ton of stuff you can do with it, but I only use it for its Texture: applying dust feature. Have you ever noticed someone posting a photo to Instagram that looks like it has little specks of dust on it making it appear like an old photo? I sometimes will apply a dust filter if I want to add a moody - old vintage photo - feel to my photos.

Before and after applying a "dust" filter on Filterloop. On the right you can see the distressed look the filter gives the photo.

 

UNUM (Free to download)

UNUM is an Instagram grid planning app. If you want to create a more cohesive Instagram feed - this app has been huge for me to test out what photos look like in my grid before I post them to make sure they fit with the “feel” of my feed. I use this app daily - sometimes I have one or two photos that I am considering posting, and this app I can test out the order. Also, if my post contains multiple photos, this helps me decide the cover photo! I used to use Planoly, but Planoly limits the amount of times you can upload a test photo. I was constantly running out of uploads and it wanted me to upgrade to a paid version. After trying a few completely free options, UNUM is my favorite!

IMG_7489.PNG

Here is the interface of UNUM. Here you can see it connects to my current feed, and I have two "drafts" of photos that I will be uploading later. I can rearrange them easily to see what order I want them in before posting. I tend to get really picky about my "grid" and like to put it in an order that is visually pleasing.

 

And there you have it!! My favorite apps that I use on the daily!