Over the years, I’ve gotten into a rhythm, specifically with photo editing. When I start editing a photograph, there are three adjustments I make to each one of them. It helps to amplify the look I’m going for, and has ultimately led to a better quality image to send to my clients.

1. Clarity and Dehaze

Because I photograph a lot of events and people, the Clarity slider is something I’ll almost always use (unless I’m going for a certain creative effect). I’ve found this helps to sharpen my subjects and give them a little boost. My default here is +15.

Likewise, I use the Dehaze slider to bring in some contrast. I usually keep this at a low level — rarely do I go above +10 — but just that subtle adjustment seems to really help in terms of adding some contrast where necessary.

2. A subtle Vignette

Scott Kelby taught me this at one of his workshops several years ago, and I continue to do it on my photos. By adding a very subtle negative Vignette, I can help lead the viewer’s eye to the subjects in my photograph. I usually go with -11 for this with the default settings in Lightroom Classic.

3. Boost the Blues

Levi Sim taught me this technique, and it seems to really do the trick. Specifically, with portraits, it helps to just finish off the skin color in a really nice way. But it works on landscapes, street photographs, architecture and more as well. There’s never been a case where I apply this adjustment and then take it off … it helps to add a nice, subtle shift that finishes the photo.

While the Blue saturation slider obviously effects the blues in my image, it also brightens the reds and greens in my images without looking unnatural.