Does editing photos sound intimidating to you? It sure does to me. I’m not much of an enthusiastic photographer. While I do take a lot of pictures, especially of my little one, I don’t enjoy editing them. For a long time, I didn’t edit photos at all.
I put time and effort into practicing taking photos. (You can download my free checklist for taking better pictures in the free resource library for subscribers. Sign up at the bottom of this post.)
Or maybe you grabbed a gorgeous free stock photo in one of these go-to places with stunning stock images for bloggers.
But photo editing??
If you are anything like me, you have a big bunch of photos sitting on your memory card or computer. Loading them from your camera’s memory card to your computer is the closest you come to editing photos.
I can’t justify an Adobe subscription or purchasing Lightroom that everyone seems to be talking about. And then, I would have no idea what to do in there. I’m not a photo artist. Just a mom with a camera.
But what if you could get a little more beauty into the shots you have made? You could spice up your photographs for sharing them online, putting them into a blog post, or sending a few to Grandma on a special occasion. If you want to go fancy you could add a little decoration or text.
What if there was a free photo editing tool to do so? And a super simple way to make more out of your pictures?
You have taken them. Why not make the most of them? Using free photo editing resources and a super simple process.
Sounds dope? Be sure to download the photo editing cheatsheet for later reference in the freebie library. Sign up at the bottom of this post!
Choosing a software
You have a lot of photo editing options to choose from, free and paid.
Unfortunately, Google has retired Picasa that I liked using. Now, there is Google Photo , a free tool to not only edit but store and manage pictures. You can use it to store the many images you have taken since moving from rookie to enthusiast photographer with these tips.
PicMonkey* (*aff link) is another option but it is a paid one. (At 89 €/yearly subscription) You can store photos in PicMonkey* and edit them (using the steps I will outline in this post). PicMonkey* really is an awesome and versatile platform that I love using.
But as announced, I want to use a free photo editing option. If you are anything like me you might have a tight budget and cannot justify paying for a software you only use occasionally.
Fotojet.com is an online platform that allows basic photo editing in its free plan. To have all editing features you will still need to upgrade to the paid plan which is affordable at 39,99 $/year or 6.99 $/month (as I’m writing this). This will also give you the option to store photos and creative projects. To me, fotojet is super easy to use and the free plan has all I need. As I said, I keep it simple. (Read: I’m the laziest photo editor ever.)
Fotojet is also what I use to create stunning collage images for Pinterest. Learn how in this post!
Here is how to edit a photo the super simple way
Go to fotojet.com, choose “Edit a Photo“, then click on “open” at the top, choose “Computer”, and select the photo you want to edit. For this post, I choose a photo of the super easy to make Caramel Nut Drop Cookies from this post.
Crop the image if necessary using the rule of thirds
First, I crop the picture because I don’t want the black margins to show and less of the tablecloth. I want to bring the focus to the cookies, so I crop the picture a bit. Press apply once you are happy.
The cropping tool will also show you a grid that helps you apply the rule of thirds of image composition. You can still crop the image later after you edited it. Some people prefer to do it after the editing process.
If you want to learn more about the rule of third Photographytalk has you covered with a thorough 1000+ word guide on the rule of thirds and how to make the most of this composition formula for your photos.
Finetune the exposure in your second photo editing step
Open the tab “Exposure”. It will all be set to 0. Play around with brightness, highlights, shadows, and contrast. Once you are happy with the image, press apply.
I wanted the caramel in the cookies to pop out a bit and added more contrast and highlights. The plain cookies now look more lively and colorful.
Editing photos step three: Adjusting the color
Open the tab “Color” and play around with saturation, tint, and temperature. Depending on the colors in the picture and if the image was taken in bright daylight, in the house, or at night, you can adjust the colors. For example, you can take away some warmth/temperature from pictures taken with artificial lights which may add red. When you edit a landscape picture you could lower saturation.
In my cookie photo, I added some temperature to make the brown caramel shine.
Be careful if you have people in your pictures. Adjusting the colors might give skin tones an artificial look! Less is more here!
Sharpen your photo while editing
(This is a premium feature of fotojet). Open the tab “Sharpen” and adjust sharpness and clarity. I usually don’t do much here, just sometimes a little more sharpness or clarity. For the cookies, it is ok to look a little soft and gooey instead of sharp and brittle.
Crop the photo again, if you feel like there is still something to get rid of. I cropped my picture a little more to show off the cookies.
Final result of my super simple photo editing process
Get fancy in photo editing
If you create a photo gift or social media graphic you might want to get fancy and add frames, effects, overlays (like the popular bokeh), or text. Do as you like! Here is a simple example:
Save your piece of photo art
Click the little disk icon, name your photo, choose file type (jpeg for a plain photo, PNG for a photo with graphics on it), and download your edited photo.
Here we are. A photo edited without getting a degree in photo design or spending a dime. I know you can do this. Because I could and I’m still such a rookie!
Download your photo editing cheat sheet from the library. Do you think you could need some tips to take better pictures right now? Then, get the “10 Tips For Taking Better Pictures Instantly“, a one-Page-Checklist for your camera bag.
Happy digital crafting, mom! Let me know if this was helpful! How about pinning this and helping other clueless moms out? Thank you so much!