5 Tips on Learning the Basics of Photoshop

Nearly every article explaining how to use social media for your business mentions the importance of using graphics. There are still are a few debates on what your images should look like – from text to angle to color scheme – but the verdict has been decided on whether or not photos increase social media engagement – they do.

Through managing several social media accounts for clients, I have learned to embrace this fact. Even though some clients have professionally edited photos available, I often take additional photos to use on social media in order to fit the specific message I am trying to relay. Until about a month ago, I was using various photo-editing programs to enhance my photos. Now, I use Adobe Photoshop, and it has made this task much easier!

In college, I took a graphic design class where I learned to use the program, but over the years I have forgotten a lot. At first, I dreaded spending time to relearn the program, but then I found an easy method for managing my time by relearning only the basics that I use most often. Whether you have never used Photoshop or are vaguely familiar, here are five tips I’d recommend when trying to master the art of learning basic photo editing.

  1. Make a list of what you use photo editing for the most. Is it blurring the background of an image? Cropping photos? Adjusting light? Determining the skills you wish to master first will help you prioritize your time.
  2. Skim through the list of tutorials available before choosing one to watch so you can decide which are most specific to the skill(s) you want to learn. There’s no reason you should waste your time on a 19-minute video titled, “How to edit a photo in Photoshop” when you only need to watch a couple of two-minute videos on how to crop a photo and blur the background.
  3. Bookmark helpful videos and label them appropriately in your bookmarks tab on your browser. This will save time later when you forget one simple step. The jargon used in Photoshop can be different making it that much harder to search for a specific video.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts are your best friend and enemy. Shortcuts in Photoshop can function differently than your normal shortcuts. For example, pressing “control + Z” once will still undo your latest action, but in Photoshop you have to use the “step backward” function to undo more than one action in a row (as opposed to pressing “control + Z” again).
  5. Google your frustrations away! Chances are that someone else experienced the same frustration that you are having, and they have posted about it in a message board. Typing your issue into the search bar before trying to find the right tutorial can often be more efficient in solving your problem.

I hope these tips not only help you from throwing your laptop across the room, but also save you time. Photoshop can be intimidating to use, but is a great resource for enhancing your company’s social media strategy once you learn the basics. Good luck!