Most Common Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid


Editing photos is a great way to improve how it looks. Not everyone is a world class photographer capable of capturing the most brilliant shots, but editing can shorten the gap and help your photos look incredible.

However, whether you are a professional when it comes to editing or just someone who does it before posting a selfie to Instagram, there are some mistakes to look out for. These can ruin an otherwise great photo or make it overly obvious that a photo is edited when it should generally be subtle.
Without any further ado, let’s go over some common photo editing mistakes to avoid to ensure your photos look as high-quality as possible.

Going Overboard With the Smoothing

One of the most-used tools when editing photos (especially of people) is smoothing. While using a blemish removal app like this is wonderful for editing your photos to look incredible, you want to be careful with how much you smooth the skin. Everyone wants smooth skin, but if you go too far, it can look like your subject is made of plastic. It becomes very obvious that the photo has been heavily edited at this point.

To ensure you aren’t taking things too far, be sure to frequently compare the edited photo to the original. While you can certainly smooth out and cover up some blemishes, you still want the skin to be textured and still have some depth. You should aim to keep the colors and textures true, but simply add a little smoothing here and there, not completely change the photo with it.

Cropping Too Much of the Photo Out

Cropping is another tool commonly used by photo editors. It is great for removing unneeded parts of a photo and ensuring your subject can be the center of attention. Unfortunately, many editors will go too far and crop too much of the photo out. While you want your main subject to be in the spotlight, you normally don’t want them to be the only thing in the photo.

If there is a lack of negative space around the subject, the photo itself can feel a little too up close and personal, almost claustrophobic in a sense. A great way to avoid cropping too much is to crop according to the golden ratio. This will help ensure you don’t get rid of important subjects or negative space in the photo.

There is a fine line here, however, as you also don’t want too much negative space that it takes away from the subject. Try to crop out different amounts and eventually you will find the right balance.

Editing the Original

When some people edit a photo, they might simply go to work on the original without a second thought. However, if you eventually realize a mistake has been made, you may have gone too far and be unable to get the photo back to how it originally looked.

Instead, use a tactic called non-destructive editing. This is essentially either working with different layers or making copies of the photo to edit. This leaves the original intact. Having the original can help you compare to your edited photos, and ensure you can always go back to square one if need be.

Saving a single file over and over can also hurt the quality of the photo, so keep that in mind, as well.

In conclusion, we hope that this blog post has been able to help you learn some of the most common photo editing mistakes that you should look to avoid at all costs.