the ideal way to use makeup is to enhance the wonderful features God has already given you. you don't have to cake it on, because that doesn't look very flattering, and makeup is intended to flatter. in a reasonable manner. in the same way, photos are ideally edited to enhance the beauty they already possess. sometimes it might take a little work (thanks, weather), but don't give-up just because it doesn't look the way it should without the makeup on. there isn't a law that says your SOOCs have to be national geographic quality--i'm sure they edit too. - when it comes to editing
i figured this should become a semi-regular thing. i'm not some enigma who's going to make you look for your own "style" yourself. if you want to know how i do things, i'll tell you. and i hope that it helps. i primarily edit with vsco and i've used rebelsauce/red leaf studios before (friendly notification that you are allowed to like/use something even if it's popular or consider 'hipster.' if you identify with it, then do it. don't let anyone tell you you're any less human), and the first thing i do when i get new presets is see how every single one of them looks on several photos. usually these vary from portraits to random flowers. i rename the favourites (usually they're pretty versatile and work with my photography as a whole) and lean towards using those as a reference point for my editing. it's not really complicated because after awhile, you stop thinking. you just do.
i edited this beauty's photo with vsco 02's kodak portra 400NC preset. when i added the preset to the otherwise untouched photo it was a little dark/too saturated, so i upped the exposure +55. it kind of brings out the natural highlight's in jacque's hair and enhances the glow in her skin. i just want her to look at the photo and remember how she felt when i took it. i don't want her to say "oh wow, she must've really done some serious photoshop work; i look painted!" i just want her to smile.
and don't you guys think you're exempt from this. i want you to smile, too.
-kiss kiss kiss, house of hope-