TikTok Photo Editing Trends You Need To Know About

Sep 15, 2023

How To Jump on the TikTok Photo Editing Trend Train

After its 2016 launch, TikTok has had continuous, unparalleled growth. It conquered the world with its bite-sized videos and brought fame to content creators like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling. While TikTok represents an unmatched opportunity for all users who want to become famous fast and earn money by making content (for example, via TikTok’s Creator Fund), it didn’t take too long for brands to discover the platform’s potential, too. More and more businesses promote themselves on TikTok, and the platform is not reserved for startups only—big names such as Gucci, GymShark, ASOS, Starbucks, and many others have launched successful TikTok marketing campaigns.Content on this platform is all about videos, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about photos entirely, regardless of the industry your brand is in. Images are used on TikTok all the time, but it takes some editing knowledge to incorporate them into videos properly. If you would like to bring your photos to life, there are many TikTok photo editing trends and hacks for making more engaging content that you can learn about in this article.

Why Should Brands Care About TikTok Editing Trends?

TikTok is a trend-based platform, and if you want to be noticed, you should participate and add your spin on it. This app is also incredibly fast-paced, which means that you need to grab the viewers’ attention within just a few seconds, and it all boils down to the main TikTok imperative—good content.TikTok users expect short videos (even though they can be up to three minutes long now), but it doesn’t mean there’s no room for images on this platform. Many professional photographers share how-to videos with various tips and tricks, which can be a valuable resource for brainstorming future content ideas. Some of those photo shooting and editing hacks become viral trends, inspiring loads of user-generated content. Using those professional tricks, participating in the latest photo editing trends, or even posting some photo hacks of your own can be good recipes for top-performing posts that will make more people interested in your brand.

How To Use Photos on a Video-Sharing Platform

There are numerous ways you can use TikTok and photos to create fun and attractive posts that will bring more visibility and engagement to your brand’s account, and they don’t even have to be complicated. Check out how Chipotle, a brand that keeps doing TikTok right, used an image as a background for their humorous post that raked in more than 2 million likes:https://www.tiktok.com/@chipotle/video/6850594751020944646?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: ChipotleThere are two basic ways to incorporate photos in your TikTok videos. Depending on the content you want to post, you can either make a slideshow or add any image as your video's background using the Effects option.

Making a Slideshow

New TikTok features are not only emerging at a fast pace, but each of them goes through various updates and improvements with time. For instance, the app’s slideshow feature, introduced in 2019, has seen a lot of updates since then, and this tool nowadays allows more than combining photos and videos together—you can also use voice effects and music. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the plus icon to start working on your new post
  2. Hit Upload next to the camera button
  3. Select the Photos tab to see the contents of your gallery
  4. Select the images you want and hit Next to proceed
  5. Add music, filters, voice effects, etc.
  6. Tap Next
  7. Add a caption and hashtags and adjust the sharing settings
  8. Tap on Post

If you want to create your slideshow more easily, TikTok offers a variety of templates that speed up the process. The effects and the number of photos you can select from your camera roll are not the same for each template, and you can use this option by following these steps:

  1. Tap the plus icon to add new content
  2. Switch to the Templates tab at the bottom of the screen
  3. Swipe through the previews and hit Select photos when you find the template you like
  4. Choose the photos and tap OK
  5. Add sounds, text, stickers, or other effects and hit Next when you’re done
  6. Add hashtags and a caption to finish
  7. Tap Post

Adding an Image as Your Video Background

You can also add a background to your TikTok video, whether it’s a still image, a GIF, or another video—just like using a green screen. To use the Green Screen option, follow these instructions:

  1. Launch the app and tap the plus icon to make a new post
  2. Tap on Effects
  3. Swipe to the Green Screen tab
  4. Select the effect type that you find interesting or choose the background photo from your phone library
  5. Start recording
  6. Add additional edits and post your video

TikTok Photo Editing Hacks To Elevate Your Content

While TikTok’s algorithm isn’t simple and there are many factors to take care of if you want to attract followers and promote your brand successfully (such as figuring out the right posting time or using TikTok analytics to your advantage), you should primarily focus on making good TikToks. Apart from sticking to a niche and posting engaging videos, this also means following the latest trends and adapting them to your brand’s message.One of the latest TikTok picture trends involves iPhone users editing their photos before uploading them to TikTok to achieve a sun-kissed look, but TikTok also abounds with content created by professional photographers providing their own photo editing tips that—if used right—could bring you more views. You can use such tricks to improve the quality of your content and present your brand in a more visually appealing way.

iPhone Hacks—How To Edit TikTok Photos on iPhone for a Sun-Kissed Appearance

The quality of your videos has an enormous impact on your engagement rates (viewers tend to stop watching poor-quality videos faster), but that applies to images as well—whether you use them on TikTok or elsewhere. Doing a good job with editing your photos can also bring you more views and followers—especially if you share your approach with your TikTok audience. TikTok creator @anaugazz has received over 18 million views on her video containing an image editing hack for a sun-kissed look that inspired loads of similar content all over this app. The instructions she provided refer to editing images with the help of in-built iPhone photo editing settings that should look like this:

  • Exposure and brilliance—100
  • Highlights—35
  • Shadows—28
  • Brightness—15
  • Black point—10
  • Saturation—10
  • Vibrance—8
  • Warmth—10
  • Tint—34
  • Sharpness—14
  • Vignette—23
  • Contrast—30

For a similar effect on Android devices, you can play with the same settings in your phone’s gallery app or use a 3rd-party image-editing app such as VSCO or Adobe Lightroom and experiment with adjustments.https://www.tiktok.com/@anaugazz/video/6957048238507625734?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: anapaulaugaz

Evan Naka’s Creative Techniques

Evan Naka is a professional photographer occasionally posting how-to videos in which he walks the viewers through the process of taking his photos on topics ranging from food to fashion. If you work in the food industry and hit the creative block with your TikTok content, take a look at his profile. He takes photos of food in a way that looks like pure magic—one of the best examples is the video where he uses fishing wires to have the food sit on different height levels and then removes the wires during photo editing.https://www.tiktok.com/@evan_naka/video/7036079107200945455?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: Evan Naka

Claudia’s Lessons on Lighting, Color, and Composition

Claudia’s TikTok is a great source of creative photography insights. Her TikToks feature behind-the-scenes sneak peeks and editing tips that she used in different campaigns, such as those for cosmetic brands like Nuku Skin and Kind2. Her videos mostly contain composition-related hacks, such as how to arrange multiple beauty products for a shot or what effects you can achieve by smartly combining water and sunlight.https://www.tiktok.com/@thosemomentsofmine/video/6869783624565280006?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: claudia

Daryna Barykina’s Impressive Composition Tips

Daryna Barykina is a talented beauty and fashion photographer with an extraordinary eye for detail. If you are in the beauty or fashion industry trying to build your brand’s presence on TikTok, her unique insights into commercial photography can truly expand your horizons.On her profile, you can find tips on how to make a blue sky effect even though you’re using artificial light, how to shoot so it looks as if you’re using two different sources of light, and much more.You can also find other useful videos with lighting hacks under the #howishootchallenge hashtag. You’ll be able to see how important it is to get creative with lighting or use portable light sources such as light sticks.https://www.tiktok.com/@daryna_barykina/video/7035032438208204038?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: Daryna Barykina

Alisha Cohen’s Engaging DIY Hacks

Alisha Cohen is a photographer whose videos draw the attention of hundreds of thousands of followers thanks to the easily digestible and entertaining photography hacks and how-to guides she posts. Some of her tricks could be useful for a TikTok campaign you’re currently working on—whether it’s using glycerin to add condensation to photos of drinks or making fake ice cream that never melts.Even though her profile centers around preparing food for shooting and can be a valuable resource for food brands in particular, she also shares general tips, such as how to add light to your photography by adjusting shutter speed and aperture on your camera, what equipment you need to record stop-motion videos, and more.https://www.tiktok.com/@lishcreative/video/6909251623848119558?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7056720794054985222Source: Alisha Cohen

Troubles With Photo Upload

If you cannot add photos to your TikTok post and have issues identifying the problem, check out these possible reasons:

  • You have an unstable internet connection—The reason might be that simple. In case you’re getting an error notification that prevents you from uploading a photo or the images fail to upload for an unknown reason, the first fix you should try is switching to another internet connection
  • The app version you’re using isn’t up to date—In case your internet connection is fine, head over to the app store and make sure you’re using the latest version of TikTok since an outdated app is likely to perform with hiccups. If an update is available, download it and try uploading your photos once again
  • You’ve violated the terms and conditions—If you are unable to upload photos, you might have violated TikTok’s terms with some of your previous posts. If you suspect that’s the case, check your email for any alerts from TikTok and learn how to get unbanned
  • The permissions for TikTok on your phone are turned off—You will easily know if this is the case since the error message will direct you towards checking your permissions. Ensuring the app has permission to access your gallery takes different steps for each operating system:

iPhone devicesAndroid devices

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down to find the TikTok app
  3. Set the photo permissions to Read & Write
  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Apps
  3. Find TikTok on the list and hit Permissions
  4. Change permissions for Camera and Storage

Why TikTok Marketing Campaigns Fail?

Despite investing time and resources, many brands still fail to conduct successful marketing campaigns on TikTok. Since following trends is of utmost importance for everyone who wants to succeed on TikTok, disregarding them can be one of the reasons why your videos are not getting views and likes. Other reasons can vary from not targeting your audience properly to not handling cross-promotional activities well.

What Could You Be Doing Wrong?

Applying photo editing tricks in your TikTok posts may seem like a small factor for the success of your campaign, but TikTok users want content that will keep them engaged and make them interested in what your brand has to offer. Providing value and promoting your brand while keeping everything light and TikTok-appropriate is often easier said than done.Issues with creating successful TikTok content are usually caused by:

  • Weak knowledge of social media—If you want to succeed on socials or TikTok in particular, publishing a lot of content isn’t enough. Your goal is to draw in users, which cannot be achieved without in-depth knowledge of the platform you’re promoting your brand on—for instance, how its algorithm impacts the visibility of your posts, what content formats work best, or which tools you have at your disposal when creating posts
  • Poor understanding of your audience’s social media habits—To create content that will bring you views, you need to identify your target audience with great precision, monitor their online activity, and find out what kind of content catches their attention so that you can figure out the way to connect with them in a unique way
  • Dependency on small in-house teams—First-class campaigns require big teams—relying on one person or a couple of social media managers won’t suffice. The results you strive for can be achieved only with the effort of a multi-skilled team, including content creators, photographers, social media strategists, videographers, analysts, web designers, etc.

TikTok Doesn’t Have To Be a Challenge

If you are unable to identify your campaign’s major stumbling block or need better content that goes beyond easily available tips and tricks, we’ll be glad to assist you. Kubbco is a social media agency with a team that always makes sure to understand the needs of our clients, their expectations, and potential strategic problems. Our experts start their work by scrutinizing your brand and its message, your target audience’s demographic structure, and your specific campaign objectives. Based on the analysis, we move on to brainstorming ideas, testing them to find the best approach, and conceptualizing the whole campaign. Being fully aware that the world of social media is ever-evolving, we’re always up to date with the newest trends. Still, we assess them with care and separate useful opportunities from short-term fads no one will remember in a couple of months. We strive to make each client’s TikTok strategy work long-term, which means bringing in views, driving conversions to loyal customers, and, as a consequence, increasing our clients’ revenue.Thanks to our team’s versatility, we’re able to create all-encompassing strategies and campaigns that eliminate the need to engage different teams—we do it all.

Kubbco Can Help You Use Photo Editing Trends to Your Advantage and Much More

The knowledge of what’s hot in content production at the moment is just one part of what Kubbco can offer you. Our services include everything you need to take your brand’s TikTok account to the next level:

  1. Coming up with ideas for your content based on your message and your target audience—Depending on their common interests and opinions, we will deliver the topics you need to cover and suggest different approaches to content
  2. Creating all types of content that will attract more views and more followers—Our team consists of content creators skilled in different niches (writing, photography, video editing, graphic design, animation, and others) who know what type of posts perform well
  3. Handling your social media management tasks—We can get you into important conversations, expand your brand’s reach, and grow your account
  4. Using paid advertising to support your organic efforts—We can test pay-per-click advertising, influencer marketing, and other approaches and adjust your TikTok ad content based on performance analytics

Our Clients’ Success Stories Speak for Us

Essence cosmetics, a well-known makeup brand, contacted us asking for help with enriching their TikTok marketing strategy. Over the course of two years and two months, we created 556 videos together, which attracted 386,000 new followers. The videos pulled in a total of 73 million views, and 12 of them went viral, with each video gaining over 1 million views.

Source: essence cosmeticsWe significantly boosted profile metrics for our other clients as well. Check how our campaigns for OLAPLEX, Matas, and NATURLI’ Foods performed in the table below:ClientCollaboration TimespanVideos PostedFollowers GainedTotal InteractionsTotal ViewsViral VideosOLAPLEX5 weeks2822,000224,0005.1 million2Matas8 weeks2513,500209,0005.6 million8NATURLI’ Foods23 weeks1125,200179,0006.2 million20If you would like us to rethink your TikTok strategy and help you improve your profile’s performance the same way, reach out to Kubbco any time. You can also sign up for our newsletter and use our expert take on TikTok and other platforms to stay on top of your social media game.

Featured image: Jannis Edelmann

Caroline Dan
TikTok Specialist & Content Creator

I create viral TikToks for brands.

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