TikTok photo editing trend: How does it work?
Sign up for Mojo Teams and start creating professional content for all your business needs
It’s amazing how far smartphone photography has come. Instead of professional cameras, most businesses solely rely on smartphones to take pictures of their products and behind the scenes fun.
But, do you need the latest smartphone in order to get the best photos possible? No way!
You may have heard of a hot (and very helpful) TikTok trend called the “TikTok photo editing hack.”
It started when TikTok users were helping other users make their photos even better.
Eventually, the secret got out and behold: the TikTok photo editing formula was born. The original creator of the TikTok photo hack formula came from anaugazz, and millions of people have used it.
In this article, we’ll lay out the formula for the viral TikTok photo editing trend. We’ll also give you photography basics to make great photos from the start.
With a few simple photo editing hacks, your content can transcend into visual stardom and wow your audience!
Photo editing hack on TikTok
The TikTok photo editing trend (see below) is meant to give your photos a sunkissed glow no matter where you are.
And don’t forget: We’ll lay out even more photography basics to help you create even better photos from the start! Great photos for TikTok are just one part “hitting it big” on the platform. Get a deep dive into the most popular TikToks and why they went viral.
TikTok photo editing formula
First, pull up your photo and click into the editing settings. Next, adjust the photo to these photo editing parameters:
Step 1: Crank up your Exposure and Brilliance to the following. It will look extreme, but we’ll readjust these later!
- Exposure 100
- Brilliance 100
Step 2: Go down the settings, and adjust the photo with the following. Your photo may still look pretty crazy, but don’t worry!
- Highlights -35
- Shadows -30
- Contrast -30
- Brightness -15
- Black point 10
- Saturation 10
- Vibrance 10
- Warmth 10
- Tint 40
- Sharpness 15
- Vignette 25
Step 3: Swipe back to Exposure and Brilliance. Reduce both to the following, and watch your photo come to life!
- Exposure 0
- Brilliance 0
Well, how does it look?
You can click on your photo to see the before and after. The “after” should look warm, sunkissed and fabulous. To lessen the effect, readjust the Exposure and Brilliance slightly.
If you love the result, publish it!
Before you snap your next photo…
Make sure your photos are taken in good light. You can adjust images as much as you want later on, but if you start with good lighting, you’re setting yourself up for success!
How do you make good lighting for photos? Here are some simple tips that will make the TikTok photo editing hack even more effective:
- Avoid harsh lighting: This includes direct sunlight or bright artificial light.
- Capitalize on natural light: Some of the best lighting is in a shady spot on a sunny day or anywhere outside on a cloudy day.
- Use a ring light: If you’re going to be taking lots of photos, consider investing in a ring light. Hey, it’s a business expense!
- Face a window: When all else fails, stand a few feet away from a bright window.
Once you've taken your photo and decided that it’s TikTok worthy, follow the steps below to enhance your photo!
3 tips for the best TikTok photos, ever
Like we mentioned before, great photos start with lighting - but that’s not all. Here are some other photo hacks that will add interest, dimension and momentum to getting more engagement on TikTok.
Tip #1 - Use the rule of thirds
Most smartphone cameras can be adjusted to show a 9-square grid on the screen as you take a picture. This helps to center your subject and optimize the scale using the “rule of thirds.”
The rule of thirds is a photography hack. When you take a picture, use the 9-square grid. The subject should be centered on any of the following places on the screen:
- Centered on the center square
- Centered on any intersecting point (where lines cross)
- Centered along any vertical or horizontal line
This makes your photo more artistic and balanced, without having to crop it smaller (and risk making it pixelated).
Tip #2 - Get the right angle
Gone are the days of mirror pics and angling the camera down at yourself. Did you know that Gen Z calls it the “mom angle?” How times have changed…
Getting the perfect camera angle really depends on the subject. Here are some tips based on what subject you’re snapping a photo of:
- Selfie photo hack: Angle the camera about 3 inches higher than eye-level and angle down. Try to get your face and the top of your shoulders.
- Full body photo hack: Rotate the body 45 degrees from the camera. If the subject is standing, shoot at their waist level. If the subject is sitting, shoot at their chest level.
- Product photo hack: So many angles work here! Front angle and the 45-degree tilt are the most common. However, try laying your products on a table and shooting from above. You can also zoom in to a special feature, called a “macro shot.”
- Scenery photo hack: It’s best to shoot scenery in a wide-angle landscape view. To do that, get down low (close to the ground) and fill the entire frame with the main subject.
Tip #3 - Crop like a pro
Sometimes all your photo needs is a good crop. Instead of always making your subject centered, angle them to the right, left, up or down.
Did you already take the photo? Zoom in to draw interest and intrigue, rather than showing the whole subject. If your photo is jarring, the audience will take a second look to understand what it is. That’s how you catch their attention (and hold it).
We think you’re ready to amplify your photos! By using these TikTok photo editing hacks, you can upgrade your photos from amateur to pro.
For even more ways to stand out on TikTok, check out TikTok’s most popular hashtags to gain traction online.
Looking to upgrade your social content? Subscribe to Mojo Pro today and get started!