A visually appealing photo is a MUST when selling hats. Your photo needs to be clear, bright, vibrant and detailed. 

Often when you take a photo (unless you are using a proper photography set up) it can appear dull and a bit dark. A brighter photo can help to show details on the hat that may otherwise be missed. Luckily there’s a quick and easy way to brighten your photos.

before and after brightening photo tutorial

Image: Katherine Cherry Millinery, before and after brightening photo

Before we start, it’s important to note that when brightening photos of products you are selling, the end result should still give a true representation of what the product looks like. Don’t saturate your colours too much so that they look unrealistic or even completely different. This is so important when selling hats, as customers are relying on the photos shown to see what the product will look like and will often match specific colours in their outfits. 

Below are seven easy steps to enhance your photos.

1.Download Adobe Lightroom App

I use an App called ‘Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor’ which is free to download from the App store. 

brighten photo image editing

Once you have downloaded this app, here’s how to quickly and easily brighten up your photos.

2. Select Your Photos

Open the App, tap on ‘Photos’.

adobe lightroom app

Then tap on ‘Add’.

how to use adobe lightroom app to brighten photos

Tap on ‘From Camera Roll’. This will open your photo albums from your phone. Select the photo you wish to edit. It will open up your photo, ready for you to edit. 

3. Make Your Photo Brighter

The first thing I do is tap on ‘Auto’. This is an automatic setting that edits the photo for you, but I often find even then, this can make the photo too dark still. It is good however to use as a base, which you can edit on top of. 

gold claire hahn halo headband hat

Next tap on ‘Light’. The top line is ‘Exposure’, this is what will make your photo brighter. 

Slide the bar to the right to make the photo brighter.

Sliding the bar to the right just a small amount will make it just a little bit brighter, and sliding it further across will make it much brighter. Having a brighter photo is great, but making it too bright can also change the colour of your hat. This hat above is a vintage gold, but upon brightening it (to +1.50 exposure), it can make the hat appear more of a yellow gold, which is not true to colour and will confuse customers who are trying to colour match. 

I like to keep my exposure anywhere up to +0.44. 

4. Enhance Your Colours

When taking a photo, sometimes a hat’s colours can get lost and dulled down. Enhancing your colours is a great way to edit the photo so it looks more true to colour with your actual hat.

The next edit I will do, is to the colour. Tap on ‘Color’. This makes your photos more vibrant.

I like to move the ‘Saturation’ bar to the right until I am happy with how vibrant it looks. Usually I will move it up to around +10. You can play around with the ‘vibrance’ too. 

Saturation is used to adjust the colour intensity of all the colours in the photos. ‘Vibrance’ is used to focus on enhancing duller colours. 

5. Make Your Image Sharper

The last step is to ‘detail’ your images. This makes the image sharper and therefore easier to see the details on the hat.

Tap on ‘Detail’ and move the top line ‘Sharpening’ to the right to around 34. 

The sharpening tool sharpens your image which is great if you have intricate detail on your hat as it will show these more clearly. 

You can have a play around with the other settings to see what they do, and to see if there are any you’d also like to use. Try and make the photo as close to what your hat colour looks like in natural sunlight. 

6. Create a Preset

Once you are happy with your photo, there is a little hack to use here. Making a ‘Preset’ will save all the edits you have just made to your photo and make it into a ‘preset filter’ so next time you want to edit a photo, you can use that and it will automatically edit your photo. 

To do this, tap the three dots in the top right hand corner.

Tap on ‘Create Preset’. 

Name your filter whatever you like- something like ‘Hat Filter’ will do.

Tap the top right tick and it will be saved.

The next time you want to edit a photo using your preset filter, on the bottom of the screen, scroll to the right till you get to ‘Presets’. 

Tap on it and your saved filters will be shown. Tap on the filter you want to use and it will automatically edit your photo accordingly.

7. Save Your Photo 

Lastly, to save your new edited photo, tap on the top button that looks like a square with an arrow, then tap on ‘Export to Camera Roll’.

This will have your photo saved to your camera roll in your phone ready to use. 

And there you have it, a quick and easy guide to brightening up your photos. This isn’t just useful for hats but for all photos! 

Do you have any tips for editing your millinery photos? What software or apps do you use? Share them in the comments below!


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