Photoshop Actions

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any Photoshop How To’s! I recently shot some engagement photos for the cutest couple and it reminded me I needed to get my Photoshop butt in gear and share some nuggets of knowledge with all of you!

Photoshop can be a foreign land for even the best of us! I am far from a pro but have learned a few tricks along the way that are worth passing on to all of you!

When it comes to getting fun color effects in Photoshop it’s important to know that a great photo to begin with is key! It helps to have good lighting, proper subject placement and a cute people in the photo always seems to help too! I’ll show you a few actions that I applied to the same photo so you can see the difference! By the way…an”Action” is a pre made set of adjustments that have been compiled into one click of a button. You can find a huge collection of Free up-loadable actions on line! I’ll add links at the end of this post! Watch how they can totally change each photo…

Original Photo

Cropped and using the “Boost” and “Quick burn edge” actions.
Notice the richer colors and slight effect on the corners and edges.

And this one I’ve used an action called “Seventies”

And here is an example of how you can play within an action. By simply going backwards a few steps with in the “Seventies’ action, I decided I liked this bluer look. Becasue the actions are a compilation of layers and steps you can go back and take layer by layer off until you see what you like! It’s all a simple click of the mouse. Click your “Edit” tab in the upper left hand corner and click “step back.” Continue clicking until you find a look you like.

And lastly I love Pioneer Womans “PW Black and White” action. It has a built in burnt edge effect!

There are endless possibilities. With in each action you can adjust how much of it is applied! You can easily change the tone, depth, color and effects all by playing with the fill level and opacity!

I’ve up-loaded most of my actions from two sites…

Pioneer Woman and Coffee Shop

Search their sites for free down loads and tips along with great examples! Happy Photo editing!

p.s. I’m always asked what camera I shot with! I shoot with a Sony Alpha 200 and use a 50mm lens. The lens makes all the difference! Not sure how I got along without it!!!!

p.s.s I’d love to hear what other photoshop topics you’d like me to cover! I know what I like to do in PS but I’d love to hear what you guys would like me to cover! Let me know and I’ll try my best to cover it!



  1. 1
    The Hagans says:

    Great Pictures! Thanks for the helpful tips. I'm just starting out in photography and got my first DSLR camera for Christmas — the Nikon D3000. I love it!!!

  2. 2
    The Boob Nazi says:

    Photoshop is scary.

  3. 3

    So great to meet you on Saturday! You are adorable! I am still figuring out our new camera but loving it. I definitely need to invest in Photoshop but until the budget allows for it, I have to use Gimp (an open-source program). It's a pain but it will do for now. Thanks for the helpful tips! Hope to use them in the near future!

  4. 4

    I just bought PSE last week, and there is so much to learn! It is so overwhelming. Thank you for some tips. I really appreciate it. I am going to check out the links. Blessings!

  5. 5
    Pink Martini says:

    I have spent hours online trying to research PS and Elements before purchasing. I have been doing the same between buying a new PC or Mac. So overwhelming. I love coming across posts such as this one (new follower just this weekend) and having it explained to me in easy terms. Now I finally know what an action really is!! Thank you!!! :)

  6. 6
    (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    Beautiful pictures. This couple must be so pleased. Thank you for the tips. I am getting Photoshop soon so will bookmark this post. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  7. 7
    Jenny in Utah says:

    wooo hooo – I just got that very camera this week – I am excited to see the good things I can do with it now! YAY! Time to learn how to use it. And thanks for the leads on photoshop and what lens to get next.

  8. 8
    L.A. Harker says:

    I only just barely learned about actions but I didn't know where to start looking for them. Thanks for providing the links! Consider yourself bookmarked!

  9. 9

    Those are definitely the two best places for free actions. I use them all the time! I love the seventies action on your photo!

  10. 10

    Hi Becca!

    Thanks for the PS tricks! I am still at a very beginner level on it. I really need to find some more time to figure it out.

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


  11. 11

    I am so glad to hear that you use a Sony. I photograph in my spare time, and I too, use a Sony. Most people use Cannon, or Nikon…I almost feel like I should feel guilty, or something, for using a Sony. But, I figure that Sony has been making electronics for ever, and so they should make a good digital camera. Yes, Cannon, and Nikon have been great cameras for years..but they haven't lived in the digital age as long a Sony! That's what I tell myself, while looking into buying a new digital! Sorry to talk your ear off!
    ;0) Hope you have a great Sunday!

  12. 12

    I love your tips. How nice of you to take the time to do so. :) And FAB camera!!

  13. 13
    MaryJanes and Galoshes says:

    I just recently found coffeeshop and have become obsessed with their actions!

  14. 14
    shari berry bo-berry says:

    nice to see another Sony girl out there (I shoot with the a700) and great pics and explanation of what actions are…


  15. 15
    KristinTheLockstar says:

    Awesome tips!

    I thought you might be interested in this
    She did a fabulous tutorial in Photoshop!

  16. 16

    What great examples! And thank you so much for linking my blog. I plan on putting many more free PSE and CS action on there. :-) It is such a fun hobby! Rita

    • 17

      I came across a song about how you need to love yourself before others can love you. I don’t know who it’s by. It might be Sleeping With Sirens or The Used or Asking Al3r2ndxia&#8ae0;I’m not sure, but it goes along with that genre of music.

  17. 18
    JulieChats says:

    Hi there! Thanks for sharing! I'm always looking for little tips to make using photoshop easier! I'm going to post a link to your blog on mine and the one I write for the scrapbook store where I work! Just signed up to follow you! Stop by & visit when you get a chance, I'm always looking for a few more crafty followers!

  18. 19
    JulieChats says:

    OH, ps…I should give credit where credit is due, I found you on Today's Creative! Such a great site! :)

  19. 20

    What program did you use to make the slide show with music?

  20. 21
    Tiff @ Making The World Cuter says:

    Great pic, and great tips on actions!

  21. 22

    This is very inngiestrte! I live in LA, and like several others have mentioned, real butter is much more common here than it seems to be elsewhere. Granted, I almost never eat at big chain restaurants, but the only time I wasn’t served real butter was at a cheap diner where my grandma likes to go–I break down and take her every few months, even though I hate it. I just order scrambled eggs with milk, salt, and pepper, and try not to think about what they were fried in.

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