Do you find yourself repeating certain steps for every photo you edit? If so, you can save yourself time and tedious steps by creating your own Photoshop Action. As a portrait photographer, I use actions constantly while editing!
Don’t know what an action is? Basically, an action is a recording of a series of specific Photoshop steps. So, if you are editing a group of photos from one photo shoot, you can save yourself tons of times by simply creating an action. Therefore, instead of having to manually go through all of the steps, you can just click the action you created and it will follow all of the steps for you in just a second or two. This can shave so much time off of your editing!
You may have certain actions that you use on every single photo, such as resizing an image or flattening an image, or you may have actions that you use only on certain images, such as brightening or a special haze effect. You can create endless amounts of actions and pick and choose which you want for a specific image.
Typically, a series of images from one photo shoot will have the same lighting and need similar editing. When this is the case, I like to create a “recipe” of Photoshop Actions, or a series of actions I use to get a desired look.
So, now that you know what a Photoshop action is and how useful it can be for editing your photos you want to know how to create one, right? Well, let’s get started!
First, open up your image and under the Menu Tab select Window>Actions to make sure your actions box pops up.
Name: Select a name for your action. If the action will be used to resize images, you may want to name it “Resize Image,” this way you can easily identify it. This is especially helpful when you have many actions. I have tons and tons of actions so the more specific the name, the better.
Set: You can specify where you want the action to be located within your actions. If you do not have a folder created, I would just recommend leaving it in the Default category.
Function Key: This allows you to set a shortcut for the action. (Another time saver!)
Color: If you want your action to show up as a specific color go ahead and select which one you want. This is helpful when you want to identify this specific action quickly when you have several actions. I only have my most used actions in color to help save me time.
Once you have specified all of the details for your new action, hit the Record button. When you click on the Record button, the red record button on the bottom of your Action window will become red, like this:
When this button is red, anything you do in Photoshop is recorded. So, only do what you want recorded for this specific action. You can record one simple step or you can record several steps at once. I find it easier to keep actions short so that they just cover specific tasks, such as brightening an image, resizing, etc. The more complex your action, the less it may apply to a multitude of images.
When you are ready to stop recording, simply click the stop button (square), directly to the left of the red record button (red circle).
Your actions should look similar to this:
Congratulations! You have now completed the steps to creating your own Photoshop Action. Now, to test your action, open up a new image and try using the action by selecting it and either hitting the shortcut you created for the action or by hitting the play button at the bottom of the screen, like shown below.
Dallas Baby Photographer | Dallas Maternity Photographer | Lovely Fitzgerald Photography | Contact Jessica | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lovelyfitzgerald.com |