Sometimes, people ask me what I do to give my images a finished look. While every image process varies, there are some things I find myself doing to almost every photo which always tend to make the photo better:
1. Sharpen the hair. I like to use an increased Clarity adjustment brush for this in camera raw. Increasing clarity brings contrast and definition to hair which always makes your photos look tac sharp.
2. Don’t overdo the whites of the eyes/teeth: I think we all could do with a little whiter teeth, and less vainy eyes. However, unless you are intentionally looking for the overdone glamour look, this can often make your photos look too overdone. I generally try to only increase these areas slightly, at most 20%.
3. Add a vignette: Your eyes will always be drawn to the brightest point of the photo. If that point is the corner of your picture, your viewer will look there first, and then shoot right out of the frame! You want your subjects to be the focal point, eliminate distractions by darkening areas that are less important to keep your subjects the point of focus.
I am sure there are plenty more tips from much more experienced photographers out there, but these are pretty basic and ones I love to use! Go out, take pictures, and enjoy yourself!
– Paul Chris Luke