Photo Editing Tips for Beginners

New to image editing and need some photo editing tips to learn how to make photos properly edited and look good? Here’s a quick look at what is photo editing and how to edit photos like a pro without watching thousands of Photoshop photo editing tutorials.

When it comes to editing photography, Photoshop and Lightroom are top photo editing software for PC for professional photographers.

1. Crop for Better Composition

photo editing tips cropping

By cropping an image, you can remove unwanted elements from the edges of the picture or re-position the objects to improve the composition. Sometimes, cutting off only a small part of the picture, you will get an incredible transformation.

Photoshop offers a crop tool with a wide variety of control options, such as straightening, setting the aspect ratio, correcting distorted perspective, filling in areas using AI. All of them are available in the Lightroom Develop Module. To use them, open the Crop and Straighten menu and press the R key on your keyboard for photo editing. If the provided tools for adjusting the dimensions of a picture are too confusing for you, have a look at Calculate Aspect Ratio service.

2. Adjust Brightness and Contrast

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Among the easiest actions of photo editing for beginners are changing the level of light and shadow, reducing or increasing the contrast. Quite often, it will be enough for you to make small changes in the contrast and brightness settings and your dull and inexpressive photos will turn into breathtaking images.

3. Outsource Your Photo Editing to Experts

fixthephoto portrait retouching before after fixthephoto portrait retouching before after

If you do not have time to study the basics of photo editing, you can address online portrait photo retouching services like FixThePhoto. For only $5 per photo, you will receive a professional level of photo editing with color correction, skin retouching and getting rid of all imperfections. This is the fastest way to edit photos like a pro.

4. Recover Details from Shadows and Highlights

shadows and highlights before after photo editing tips

The lightest areas in the photo are called highlights, while the darkest are called shadows. In some photographs, certain areas might seem too light or dark, which means they are overexposed. To fix this, try using these photo editing tips to apply the Highlights and Shadows tools.

A source format plays an important role in photo editing. For instance, the RAW format allows you to choose a lot of editing options.

5. Adjust the White Balance

adjusting white balance before after photo editing tips

You can use basic photo editing tips for temperature correction. Have you noticed that sunsets or sunrises show warm light, while cloudy shots are cold? The same goes for lamps, fluorescent ones deliver cold light, while incandescent lamps are warmer. To change the temperature, use the white balance tool.

When the white balance is off, the tones in the image will not look right. With these Lightroom tips for beginners, you’ll solve this problem easily. Just grab a dropper and hover it over any area of the photo to solve temperature problems. Photoshop also has this tool. To find it, you need to choose an image, go to the settings and adjust the color balance.

6. Start with Using Presets and Actions

  • photo editing tips preset before after

    I don’t recommend editing a photo from scratch, especially when it comes to batch-processing images.

    To save your time, use Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions. They will help you professionally process your photos in just a couple of clicks.

    7. Use Shortcuts

    photoshop keyboard shortcuts photo editing tips

    Knowledge of Lightroom and Photoshop keyboard shortcuts will help you save time on editing, as well as improve your skills. For better convenience, I recommend buying a Photoshop keyboard cover or a Lightroom keyboard cover.

    8. Work with HSL Tools to Adjust Color

    hsl photo editing tips

    Using HSL tools can be found in all tips for editing photos. With its help, you can adjust the brightness and saturation of any color in the photo. By choosing one of eight shades, you can separately adjust its intensity and luminance.

    Use the color picker to choose the desired tone. By testing HSL tools, you will see which colors and shades suit your style best.

    9. Retouch Skin with Frequency Separation

    • frequency separation before after photo editing tips

      Frequency separation is one of the most widely mentioned photo editing techniques that you can find in tutorials on how to smooth skin in Photoshop. Frequency separation is a complex process of separating colors and textures of a photo into various layers. You can customize them separately after. High-frequency is helpful when you need to retouch hair, texture, pores and skin imperfections.

      Low frequencies are perfect when you need to adjust shadows, tone and color. By dividing an image into layers, users can edit one layer without changing the rest. You can, for example, change the skin tone while maintaining its natural texture.

      10. Use Dodge and Burn

      • dodge and burn before after photo editing tips

        Dodge and burn techniques are often mentioned in skin retouching tips. Thanks to these tools, you can lighten or darken specific areas of the photo. You can find both options in the Photoshop toolbox.

        With their help, you can adjust shadows, midtones and highlights. The main advantage of these features is that you can carefully select the areas you want to work on. If you want to apply these Photoshop photo editing effects, try using a special brush for painting over the selected areas.

        11. Remove Distractions

        • removing distractions before after photo editing tips

          Sometimes it’s important to delete unnecessary elements from a picture. To do it, you will need to learn how to remove stray hairs in Photoshop and how to remove clothing wrinkles in Photoshop. It’s also possible to edit out bystanders, spots and light flares.

          Many professionals edit images in Photoshop by using stamp, clone and healing brushes. The Healing Brush is great for retouching elements surrounded by identical pixels. The Clone tool is used for more complex tasks and larger areas. While Lightroom doesn’t provide a lot of advanced options, it has tools that are perfect for removing small imperfections. Such services as Watermarkly Photo Cropper also allow you to crop your pictures and save them with a predefined aspect ratio. If you don’t want to edit photos on your own, you can make it online with the help of Spyne AI.

          12. Use Adjustment Layers and Brushes

          • adjustment layers before after photo editing tips

            If you need better control and flexibility in editing, try using adjustment layers. With them, you can adjust colors and edit layers without permanently changing the pixels in the image. To add them in Photoshop, find the Layer menu, click on the New Adjustment Layer feature and choose one of the options available. If you want to learn how to mask in Photoshop, this tutorial will teach you how to apply these effects to a specific area in a photo. While Lightroom offers fewer advanced tools, it has a handy adjustment brush. You can use it to whiten teeth in Lightroom or blur background in Lightroom.


            As a rule, presets, actions and overlays developed by pro photographers are costly. However, you can use professional photo editing tips and apply presets for free. With these 10 free effects, you can make your photos look stunning in just a few clicks. These services are a must for anyone serious about photography and social networks.

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