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How Photoshop Actions and Overlays can take your Photography Business to the Next Level

Photoshop actions and overlays are used widely in the photographic industry, but not everyone is on the bandwagon yet. If you are one of the few professionals – or hobbyists – left who don’t use these amazing tools, you are definitely missing out.

There are a lot of benefits to having them in your editing arsenal, and when we explain more you’ll see that you want to add it to your photography tools to help take your photography business to the next level.

Let’s run through the big reasons why Photoshop tools like these are all-important in the photographic industry.


Image is courtesy of Shannon Squires Photography – edited using bubble overlays and Photoshop tools from the Summerana Photoshop Membership

Photoshop actions and overlays speed up your workflow

This has to be one of the biggest points we’re going to look at: Photoshop actions and overlays can both help you to speed up your workflow, thus saving you time.

When all you have to do is click a few buttons to make all of the edits you need, you can chop your editing process down to a matter of minutes. Once you have your routine down, you could even automate the actions and get it done in seconds. If you could free up all of those hours that you spend editing, and still remain in creative control, why wouldn’t you?

Time is money, as the saying goes, and it’s true. Taking time out of your editing process means gaining it elsewhere. For many people, it can represent a chance to spend more time with your family and looking after your own needs.

But even if you want to keep that time in your business, there are so many ways that you can use it. You can spend the extra hours on marketing and building your business, ensuring that your studio is always booked. You could spend more time on shooting clients, allowing you to book more sessions per week and hugely increasing your profits.

Taking on more clients means more money, more shares, more learning opportunities, more referrals. In short, it means your business growing quicker than you could have believed was possible. All of that, simply because you cut down the time you spent on editing? Isn’t that magic?

Image is courtesy of Shannon Squires Photography – edited using giraffe overlays, a painted desert digital background, and Photoshop tools from the Summerana Photoshop Membership

Photoshop tools allow you to edit professionally, instantly

Maybe you’re new at this whole photography thing. Maybe you aren’t – but you still struggle with how to edit your photos best. Maybe you struggle to keep up with all of the latest trends that come to editing, and end up lagging behind.

If that’s the case, then Photoshop actions and overlays have to be the best possible way to solve your problem. These tools have been developed by professional photographers and Photoshop experts who run thriving businesses and knows exactly how to make photos sell. With years and years of experience in learning the best techniques to create each effect, each action is perfectly suited to the job.

You don’t have to spend those years learning how each function of Photoshop works. You don’t have to use trial and error. You don’t have to study everything from scratch. You can simply download these actions to do the job right, the first time, in a matter of minutes.

Going from an amateur, or a professional photographer who has been left behind the times, to a professional with the latest techniques takes just one click. How much easier could it be?

Image is courtesy of Oh So Savvy Photography – edited using the Skin Essentials Workflow Photoshop actions from the Summerana Photoshop Membership

Creative actions allow you to upsell

Your first new option for upselling is to offer a fast turnaround time on edits. If your clients want their finished files delivered sooner than usual, just ask for an additional rush fee. Hey, presto – you’re making more money, and it won’t even mess up your schedule or leave you sweating at your computer all night long. With new actions in your Photoshop tool trays, you’ll be done early.

But when it comes to Summerana’s creative actions, there are a lot more options. These actions can add weather effects like snow and rain, change the season of your background with digital backgrounds, add in animal overlays and other effects to create composites, and more. Now you can use them to upsell your clients a range of items.

First off, you sell them the photo that they loved from the day, a shot with great editing but which retains the original look of the shoot. Then you resell them the same image with snow when it comes to Christmas. You can even cross-sell by printing and selling Christmas cards for each client with their snowy photos on the front. You can change their shot to fall scenery, make it a springtime look, and so on.

That’s one photo sold multiple times – for only a few minutes of work.

Image is courtesy of Shannon Squires Photography – edited using winter editing Photoshop tools from the Summerana Photoshop Membership

You don’t have to do it in-camera

What do you normally do when your clients want a romantic snowy winter scene? First, you have to wait for the weather forecasts to plan a day. Then, you have to wait and see if it actually will snow, and be ready to deploy as soon as the weather is right. Finally, you and your clients sit out in the freezing snow for an hour trying to get great shots.

Then, you get home and spend hours editing out their red cheeks, wondering why on earth you thought this was a good idea.

But, guess what? With Photoshop snow overlays you can add in snow without it really being on the ground. You can use actions to change the temperature and scenery to a more wintry scene, even if you shoot in the fall. Your clients get what they want without all the hassle, and everyone wins.

It’s not just the weather that you can avoid doing in-camera from now on. You can use animal overlays to ensure that you don’t need to deal with real animals on the set – as you’ll know, the old adage about not working with children or animals gets a lot more complicated when you have electrical equipment in use!

You can also use sparkler actions and overlays to create fireworks without having to light everything up, which is great for eliminating problems like smoke, burnt hands, time limits, and things catching on fire.

You don’t have to clean up anything after the shoot. You don’t have to get extra permits or permission from your location. You don’t have to track down an animal owner who will hire it out, or travel around with explosive fireworks in your car. You don’t have to worry about client safety and whether your insurance covers everything. You don’t have to live in the specific areas of the world where certain weathers can occur. How much easier would your life be if you could just add it all with one click in post-production?

Image is courtesy of Danica B. Photography – edited using the Colorscape Smoke Bomb overlays and Photoshop tools from the Summerana Photoshop Membership

You keep creative control

Many professional photographers who don’t have time to do their own edits will outsource the post-production to a professional retoucher. They send the photos out, wait a few days, and get everything done without further effort.

But here’s the thing: retouchers cost money. A lot of money, if you want a good one. And even though they might be great at their job, they’re still an artist, with opinions and styles. Just like you.

So, what happens when your styles clash?

Editing is a process which involves a lot of creative decision. From whether to change colors, to how the skin is smoothed, to how much is edited and how much left natural – it’s all a choice. When someone else is making those choices for you, you are no longer in control. For a lot of creative people, that’s hard to bear.

Using Photoshop actions ensures that you cut out the time and hassle of normal editing, but allows you to remain in control. You choose which actions and overlays to apply, and where, and to what degree. You can make tweaks and check everything as you go. When it’s done, the finished image will be something solely created by you and your own two hands. Isn’t that something to be proud of?


Set styles build your brand

When you always use the same kind of Photoshop actions and color toning to create your finished photos, you’re building up a style that people can recognize.

The most successful photographers often have a recognizable brand. When you look at the image, you can tell it was that person who took it. This often involves heavy emphasis on the editing phase, when you add character, change colors, and create the mood of your image. Another key to success and which sets photographers apart are those who really grow to specialize, such as mastering compositing and adding magic to your photos with creative overlays and digital backgrounds. Something clients can’t normally find in the sea of photographers.

When you have a stock of Photoshop actions and overlays in your arsenal, you can easily use them to build images that resonate with your brand and that your followers will recognize.

Not only that, but when it is time for your brand to evolve, all you have to do is change a couple of the actions that you use and you’ll be ready to move forward. Just like that, you can grow your business with the times as well as remaining a consistent brand that clients will buy into.


Jolene Haas Photography

Image is courtesy of Jolene Haas Photography – edited using a painted desert digital background and Photoshop tools from the Summerana Photoshop Membership


With all of these benefits waiting for you, you’d have to be crazy not to go for Photoshop actions and overlays, right? We’d say you’re well overdue!

Check out Summerana’s Entire Shop Access $19 Photography Membership below:


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