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  • Writer's pictureKristy Italiano


Clicking the shutter button on your camera (or smartphone) is just the beginning of the creative process when it comes to photography. Let's face it: taking the perfect picture, even if shooting in manual mode, isn't the norm. Even the most skilled photographers will edit their selected photos to give them a boost before sharing them online or sending them to print.

If you're looking for ways to boost your photos during the editing process, here are some tips to help you get started:



This tool is where you can crop out or remove part of your image. When editing, this is my first stop in the creative process. Cropping a photo can drastically change the dynamic of what you captured. Sometimes you'll know exactly what you want to crop out, like removing that random garbage can on the far left. Other times, it may take a few tries before you get it just right.

Even if you think your photo looks perfect as is, I suggest you give cropping a try. Sometimes even the smallest of tweaks can take it to the next level.


These tools will help you adjust different aspects of your photo like exposure, brightness, contrast, temperature, and vibrance. This is the manual way of editing your photo instead of choosing a preset filter depending on which app you are using. Adjusting these settings can have a dramatic impact while adding emphasis to scenic shots like sunsets, sunflower fields, and more.

Using a preset filter is an easy way to enhance your photo and make it even more visually appealing, but I encourage you to start from scratch and create your own filters to give it the ultimate boost.


Even after cropping and adjusting the light and color of your photo, it may seem like it's still missing something. In comes dehaze and clarity. Dehaze is intended to add or remove atmospheric haze from an image while clarity helps to define light and shadow, and general textures within an image, increasing or diminishing the appearance of sharpness.

The dehaze and clarity editing tools can visibly enhance the overall look of your photo. Try one or both to get the desired look and feel you are looking for.

Comparison of original image vs. edited version created in the Polarr app.

There are a variety of different ways and plenty of photo editing apps out there to help you boost your photos. Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop are two of the most popular and tend to go hand in hand depending on the type of creative project you are working on. If you're looking for more budget-friendly photo editing apps to add to your arsenal, here are my top recommended downloads for 2021:

DSLR Camera: This is a complete photo and video editing app that can be used for beginners and experts alike. If you're on the go and like taking photos with your phone, this app gives you the flexibility you need whether you want to shoot in manual mode, set a timer, add a filter, and more.

Darkroom: This is the first photo editing app I started using aside from Adobe Lightroom. It's easy to navigate and has all the editing features you need, like the crop & transform tool, custom filters, selective color, and the new ProRAW feature, to easily adjust your photos right from your smartphone.

Polarr: This has been my go-to photo editing app as of late. You can create, save, and share your styles (i.e. filters) to the Polarr community and explore styles other creators have shared. It has all the same features that other photo editing apps do along with added features like the selection tool where you can select and easily adjust the look and feel of a certain area on your photo.

Prequel: If you're looking for an aesthetic editor to up your photo filter and video effects game, this is the app for you. I just recently started using this app to add a little flare to my Instagram Stories and it hasn't disappointed. The app has more free features then most so check it out for some creative inspiration.

One thing to keep in mind as you begin the photo editing process is to have fun with it! There is no wrong or right way to do it (let the arguments begin!). You're in the driver's seat and have complete creative control when editing your photos. No one will ever edit a photo as you do and that's the beauty of it all. Always remember that.


Do you have a tip to share or a favorite photo editing app you are using right now? Drop a comment in the section below to share your favorite photo boosting tips and apps.

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