Featured: Danielle Mejia

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by! My name is Dani and I am the owner of Danielle Mejia Photography. That’s right, I am the woman behind the camera. I am a wedding, engagement and boudoir photographer based out of Southern California. I have had the pleasure of capturing the best moments in other’s lives for over 10 years now! I know, that’s a long time right! In all honesty, it has been one of the greatest journeys of my life. As my following grows on social media, I get asked more and more about sharing the tips and tricks of growing one’s photography. There are so many great tips I could give! Since I can’t cram them all into one blog post, I thought I would start out with my editing process. I figure it’s a great place to start since one of the most common questions I get asked is, “What preset do you use?” So guess what, today is your lucky day! Today is the day that I finally spill my editing secrets!

It’s no secret that every photographer has their own unique editing style. From “light & airy” to “dark & moody,” photographers use their editing style as a way to stand out in a community that is growing fast. If you have seen my work, then you know my editing style tends to be on the warm and often moody side. It’s definitely a preference of mine, and a style that I have been working to perfect for quite some time now. If it is something that you aspire to create throughout your own work, then you have come across the right blog post! Today, I am going to walk you through how I use my favorite preset to help keep my editing consistent throughout my work. So, how do I achieve the dark and moody tones in my images? For starters, I found a preset that works well with my images. With the Woodlands preset from Lou & Marks I am able to keep the contrast in my images while also being able to add the warmer tones that make my images unique. 

Below I will take you step by step through my editing process. By the time you are done reading this post, you will be ready to achieve the same look in your photos! Let’s start off with the RAW image, straight off the back of my Canon R. This will help give you an idea of my starting point. We are going to take this image from a gloomy day and add some life and warmth to it. (sidenote: how adorable are these two together!)


Step 1. Adding the Woodlands preset.

I tend to choose “Woodlands 7” as my go to in this set of presets. As you can see from the screenshot above, it’s on the darker side. I choose this preset specifically because I am able to bring up the exposure while still keeping that beautiful contrast I love in my photos. Selecting the preset is simple, so let's head right into step 2 and learn how to adjust each image to our liking.

Step 2. Light Adjustments

Lighting adjustments are key in editing! The first thing I always do in this step is adjust my exposure. Typically, I tend to shoot a bit underexposed. I do this to save the highlights in my background, which definitely comes in handy when shooting a sunset or landscape (something to keep in mind.) I will bring up my exposure anywhere from +0.30 to +0.50. Obviously, this is something you will have to play with to find your own personal exposure “sweet spot.” Each image will be slightly different, but it’s an easy adjustment to make. After bringing up my exposure, I will add a bit of contrast and drop down my highlights. Then, I move right into step 3.

Step 3. Color Adjustments

This step in the editing process is where you get the chance to really make an image your own. It’s my favorite part! The best thing about the Woodlands preset is that it doesn’t take much to get the final tones that I love. It’s as simple as warming up the temp of the image. I mean look at that, a little warmth and I am already in LOVE with this edit! Again, the warmth is just a preference of mine. If you tend to keep your images on the cooler side, you may be able to skip color adjustments all together! With that being said, let’s move on to step 4.

Step 4.  Masking

In this image I am loving the trees and dry brush around my couple. However, I feel like they are a bit lacking in color. In this next step, I use masking to adjust only the selected portion of my image. I am inverting the subject mask to select all but my couple. This way, I am able to lighten, warm and add more saturation to my background without messing up the perfect tones I already have on my couple. Just like that, in 4 simple steps, I am done with editing this image. I’ll leave a side by side preview of the before and after below for you guys. Let me know what you think! I hope this was helpful to those of you who have asked about my style and editing process.

RAW vs. Edited Image

If you’d like to follow me on social media to see more of my work, I will leave my Instagram and Facebook below. You know I would love to see you guys take a crack at this editing style, be sure to tag me so I can show your work some love! You can find the link to download The Woodlands preset below. Make sure you take the time to check out all of their amazing presets, you can find one for every style, location type and season. 

- Take care, Dani Mejia

Preset used in this editing process: Woodlands Presets Purchase Below:


Follow Danielle Mejia Photography on  Instagram and Facebook.

To inquire about booking a session, check out her website www.daniellemejiaphotography.com or send her an email mejiaphotodesigns@gmail.com

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