When I designed Larissa's banner, it looked like this...
Then I was introduced to Mandi's Actions and it became this (click images to enlarge)...
And I've been hooked on Actions ever since!
Since I'm self taught at photoshop, there's certain things I've missed that I'm still discovering and they're extra exciting... like a present under the Christmas tree that you find on Boxing Day and it's even better! Actions are one of those treats for me and if they're new to you, here comes Christmas!
What are Actions? Actions are a 1 step editing system in Photoshop that accomplishes a ton of editing steps with just one click! There are thousands of different actions styles that produce different edits and techniques and they can be used individually for a great product or combined to create a more dynamic photo.
My Story: I used to take approximately 5-6 minutes editing each & every photo I post... now, (once I choose which Action I want) it takes literally 15 seconds! When I do posts or tutorials with lots of photos, it sometimes took me 5 hours to edit photos with my original step by step method in photoshop! Gack, that's too long... so when I used my Actions from Mandi for the first time, I was SO shocked and happy with how much time they saved me and how pretty they made my photos, I actually had tears in my eyes! Like she'd saved my life a little!
A Few Examples...
(this is Lola the day after I got her... sucha muffin!)
Here's some secret writing for you LDR :) I was supposed to go to bed at midnight and it's almost 9am... opps ;)
How to Load & Use Actions:
1. Find some free actions (google "Photoshop Actions") or purchase a set, I recommend Mandi's Pretty Actions (only $30).
2. Download the file and double click the actions icon. This automatically loads it into your photoshop and they're ready to use.
3. Open one of your photos with photoshop and select an action in your actions drop-down (right beside the history tab).
4. Click the play button and your action will automatically go through the steps and edit your photo to completion! You can also combine actions to create different effects or layers; play around and see what you like :)
5. Save your image as a jpg or png and it's ready to use or print!
Button Mode Tip: Set your Actions feature to 'button mode' in the arrow drop-down and the options list becomes color coded and does not require you to click the play button... one step less :)
Snapshot Tip: As you go between actions finding the one that suits your image and style best, you can click a 'snapshot' (with the camera icon at the bottom of your history toolbar) and it will capture your current edits so that you can go back, compare between or work from a certain stage instead of finding your place in the history list. This feature is awesome!!
In a few weeks, I'll show you how to create your own actions! This can be incredibly handy if you always resize your photos, round corners, watermark or have a certain editing technique that you're doing step-by-step! It's sooo easy to create your own actions and you'll likely cry happy tears too ;)
Tonight I'll begin a 7-day photo series. I'm excited to share my families collection of vintage chairs at the cabin. We love finding pretty vintage furniture; it's a fun family project that we do together year round :)
This is tonight's chair, un-edited and I can't wait to show you how beautiful it becomes with quick edits using Actions! I'll be using actions on all of the Vintage Chair Series photos + linking to the original so you can see the difference. See you tonight! xo, LA
*ps. I might do a 1-week photo series every month (probably of my collections or obsessions)... let's see how we like this week and make a decision together :)