Thursday, November 7, 2013

How To Edit Your Product Photos With Photoshop

Part 2: How To Edit Your Photos After Using A LightBox

So you have your photos from your light box, but they are still a little dark and dreary. This tutorial will show you how to edit your photos to brighten them up and make them really pop!

To do this you will be using the "levels" tool that is found in almost every photo editing software. I will be using Photoshop for this tutorial.  

To open the levels tool in Photoshop, click the "layer" menu then "new adjustment layer" and select "levels", then click "OK" to open the tool.

The levels tool looks like a graph or histogram. By using the dropper feature and sliding the arrows around you can create different effects, including lightening up your photographs.

Use the dropper feature to select the lightest color in your photograph. 

The dropper is the 3 little icons in the bottom right corner of the levels too. You can use these to select the darkest, lightest and medium tones from your photograph.

For my purposes I only want to use the lightest one (on the far right) but feel free to play around with them to see the affects you can get.

Select the white dropper and then click it on the lightest part of your photograph. You can keep choosing a new part until you are happy with the result. As you can see, I have selected the brightest area of my background. This will automatically readjust the photograph.

Next you can also use the arrows on the slider under your histogram to lighten or darken your photograph further. If you are using picnic then this will be your main way to lighten your photographs. Click the arrow in the middle of your histogram and slide it to the left and right to see the results

Slide it to the left to lighten your photograph.

Or slide it to the right to make it darker

I just want to lighten my photograph slightly so that you can pick out the details in the Cellist Mouse's skirt. When you are happy with your adjustments click "OK"

If you are using Photoshop, you will need to "flatten" your image before you can save your document as a .jpg . 

To do this select the "layer" menu and click "flatten image" you are now free to save your file. Feel free to crop your image if you want to before you save.

Here is what my photograph looks like before and after using Photoshop to brighten it up...

Don't forget to read Part I - How To Take Beautiful Photos Of Your Handmade Items With A Lightbox ! - Photography Tips DIY Tutorial


My name is Anna Gilhespy. I have been a successful seller on Etsy for 6 years. My passion is helping other Etsy sellers achieve success with their shops by sharing my experience and knowledge about what works (and what doesn't) with everything Etsy. I have a particular interest in social media marketing and helping small businesses stand on their own two feet.


  1. Great tips! Etsy is such a visual venue that it is really worth taking a few minutes to edit your photos like this to make them as eye catching as possible.

  2. Thank you Anna!!! I think your Photoshop tutorial with photos is gorgeous!!!!

  3. Hi Ann,
    I am so, so happy to read Part 2. I’ve only used PSE for sizing photos. All the rest is just too confusing. Thank you, thank you for demystifying an important element in the process of getting those products out there!

    I was just using the photo editor on my pc. This is much more sophisticated, which equals better results. So far I’ve only had time to play around with a couple junk photos, but I look forward to working with new product (jewelry) photos soon. I actually have a number of questions. May I email or convo you?

    One of the biggest problems with technology is always terminology. I need a manual guide to the manual! I’d never have figured this process out because I didn’t know that layering and levels were what I need. Still don’t really know what they are, but I can make ‘em work for me!

    Your generosity in sharing is very much appreciated.

  4. Thank you for your tutorials that you share to your post. I learn new things while reading your thoughts in this blog jut like online software video tutorials.