Top Social

How I Edit My Photos | For Blogger & Instagram

Wednesday, 12 October 2016
how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Today I thought I'd share with you my super simple photo editing process. I primarily work with PicMonkey and Picasa, and you can read all about them and my other favourite free and useful photo editors here. It took me a while to really get my bearing with editing photos, and I used to flit between so many editors, and sometimes I'd edit blog photos on my phone, whilst sometimes I'd edit on my laptop. I'm a lot more confident with taking photos and editing them nowadays, so I thought I'd show you my process for editing them for my blog. I also added a few extra steps so you can see what else I do to edit Instagram photos and add the branding to my title photos for a post. To be honest, I don't think you need a DSLR, but it's definitely helped me to take better photos with a higher quality, which means adjusting things like the brightness makes the photos less grainy compared to when I used to use my phone.

This might be a bit of a long post - I've screenshot each step as well as showing you some before-and-after examples at the end, so grab a cuppa - and bear with me! I want to make this a really informative and helpful post, and I'm not trying to be patronising when I'm explaining every single thing I do! 

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

The photo I've chosen to work with today is a photo I took when trying to get the thumbnail image for my What's in My Holiday Make-Up Bag? video, but ultimately I didn't use it, so I had a lovely unedited version to use for this post! I'm also showing my teeth and have a few small blemishes, which means I can show you how to sort those out too. Perfect! 



Quick note on some other basic features - use the Rotate function to, obv, rotate your photograph, and you'll also find the Straighten function in that same tab which is perfect if you find your background is looking a little wonky. This happens to me a lot when I use my brick background as my tripod is uneven! 

The first thing we're gonna do is go into PicMonkey and open up our file by clicking on the 'Edit' tab at the very top of the main screen. Next up, once the image loads, the 'Basic Edits' tab will open automatically. If you need to rotate your image so it's the right way up, do this now. If not, go straight onto the 'Exposure' tab.


I usually click on 'Auto Adjust' first, I don't know why, I think it's just out of habit. When I was using my phone, I used to be able to click 'Auto Adjust' and I was always happy with this option. You don't really need to click this button, but I just do it out of habit, like I said. Nowadays my photos are nowhere near finished with just this option. Below is what the 'Auto Adjust' did to this photo:

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Basically, it didn't do much - this certainly isn't enough adjusting for me to deem this photo ready to be put on the blog. 

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

There's no definite number I put the sliders to when it comes to manually adjusting the sliders under the 'Exposure' tab, because I basically just do it by eye. Some photos need more brightening than others. I often find that by using 'Auto Adjust', any highlights are automatically picked up and brightened, and I can find that it can be too much, so I turn it back down. In this case, the 'Auto Adjust' function turned it up much higher than the other settings, so I turned it back down to 3. I much prefer my 'Brightness' to be the highest number, and then I often turn the 'Contrast' setting to about half of the number the 'Brightness' setting is at - this way my photos don't become too bleached out and drained. In the image above, I've obviously set the 'Contrast' to higher than halfway - like I said, I just play around with the settings until I'm happy. I generally turn 'Highlights' down, and I barely ever feel the need to touch 'Shadows'.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

This is what our photo looks like so far - I'm much happier with the exposure now, but there's still a lot of work to be done!

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Next up, I'm going to whiten my teeth. I love this function on PicMonkey, as I love having a white smile in my photos, something I've yet to attain in real life haha. You'll find the 'Teeth Whiten' function under the 'Touch Up' tab, which is two down from the 'Basic Edits' tab that we were just on. To whiten our teeth, we're going to first of all click on the 'Teeth Whiten' option, and then we're going to use the slider on the grey toolbar at the bottom of our image to zoom in. While you're zooming in, a small box will appear in the bottom right corner, which will allow you to move the image up and down, so we can get right in close to our smile. Next up, use the slider under the 'Teeth Whiten' tab to adjust the 'Brush Size' so that it's the right fit for our teeth - don't make it too big or it will start to lighten your lipstick! After that, it's a simple case of clicking and dragging to essentially 'colour' the teeth white - and that's it! It really couldn't be easier. If you find the white too stark or fake, feel free to mess around with the 'Fade' slider that sits under the 'Brush Size' slider. I don't really touch this option, personally.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

I totally meant to do this before editing the teeth, but I didn't, so let's jump back to the Basic Edits tab, and below the 'Exposure' feature, you'll find an editing feature called 'Colors'. Click on it. Now, personally, I find I don't have to adjust this very much - this is essentially where you adjust the 'temperature' of the photo. The temperature of the photo is super helpful if the lighting of your shot is totally off, in that there's a lot of yellow-toned warmth in it, or blue-toned coolness, the latter of which I get quite a lot in my photos in the colder months. Other than adjusting images that are clearly more yellow- or blue-toned, I use this 'Color' feature mostly for the up close lip swatches I take, as I want the colour to look as true to real life as possible. You can see a really good example of a photo I took where the colour needed badly adjust at the very end of this post!

I never use the 'Auto Adjust' feature in this temperature editor, simply because it always slides about halfway down the cold ending, making my photos harbour a strong blue tint. For this reason, I always adjust the sliders myself, and more often than not, I don't touch Saturation because I never feel the need to. That said, it's always worth having a little experimentation with. I personally just don't find Saturation to be an overly helpful feature/something I use on a daily basis.

For the purposes of this post, I decided to warm up my selfy a little by turning the Temperature slider up to '3'. It's not a huge difference, but I feel it does add some warmth to my image. See if you can tell the difference in the photo below compared to the one I shared a few photos up. This image below also has my whitened teeth:

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Save your image so far on PicMonkey - if you're wondering, I always save with the middle size - and then for a second we're going to jump onto Picasa. I absolutely love the blemish fix feature on Picasa, and I find it a lot easier to use, and a lot more effective, than PicMonkey's offering. Once you've chosen your photo in Picasa, you'll be taken to the editing screen. On the side bar you have a range of tabs with loads of different features on them, but in this case, stay on the one that should have already opened. There will be a spanner icon on it's tab, and it will say 'commonly needed fixes' when you hover over it. You want to click on the 'Retouch' option towards the bottom of this panel.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

I always thought this function quite strange to use at first, but you'll get the hang of it with a little practice. I managed once, using a teeny tiny brush size, to remove a hair from my eye by using this tool. It was tedious, but so worth it. So, basically, what you wanna do is zoom in - the zoom in/out feature is exactly the same as it is on PicMonkey - and then adjust your 'Brush Size'. I suggest not making it too large, but instead making it just big enough to fit around the blemish and no more.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Once you've done this, click on your blemish. Then it's just a case of moving your mouse around over other areas of your skin until your blemish looks best concealed. Like I said, it's quite an unusual feature at first, I feel, but you get used to it really quickly. Once you think the blemish looks covered, click your mouse again. Then make sure to click 'Apply' in your sidebar. And that's it - you're officially spot free!

Another tip you might find useful is that if you find after you've covered your blemish, that you still have some surrounding redness (bcos we all know spots love to be red as all hell), then go back in with the same size of brush and cover it - this is definitely a tool to use quite small, and doing a little bit at a time. If you try to use a large brush size and cover a large area, I find it doesn't really work as well, and doesn't look as natural - you start to see more of the pixels of the photo and it stands out and looks wonky!

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

So, we're finally spot free - now what?

Well, for me, that's where editing my face ends. After this, it's prepping my image for the blog/YouTube/Instagram. Let's start with the blog first and YouTube first - as there's only one minor difference between my YouTube thumbnail, and the image I use on the blog for its corresponding post.

First off, let's go back into PicMonkey and load your brightened, blemish-free, teeth-whitened image (or, you know, your flatlay if you didn't edit a selfy).

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

For as long as I've branded my blog, I've been using these lovely little transparent circles from PicMonkey on my YouTube thumbnails and blog title photos. You'll find this shape in the 'Overlays' tab, which is the fifth symbol down. Next, click the 'Geometric' tab, and there you will find some simple geometric shapes (oddly enough). It's worth looking through the overlays if you wanna add some quirkiness to your images - there's a lot of sketched and cartoon-like shapes and images for you to add. They aren't really for me, but it's always worth having a browse.

Once you click on your chosen geometric shape, it will appear on your image with an extra toolbar which we'll approach in a sec. Before that, position and size up your shape - you'll notice a white sqaure frame will be around your shape to allow you to move it and size it. Click in the centre of your shape - a plus-sign-like cursor will appear on your screen as you hover over it, to let you know you can move it as shown in the photo above. To adjust its size, click and drag one of the corners of the square - outwards to make it bigger, inwards to make it smaller. And, to rotate it, use the tiny circle at the end of the white line that stems off the square frame at the top of your shape.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

I'm now happy with my shape's size and placement, so we're going to add the translucent effect and add some colour to it (or, shading is probs more accurate).

As I mentioned earlier, when you add a shape to your image, you'll get a secondary toolbar that will float over your image - you can click and drag it wherever you please, by the way. The 'Eraser' function will literally start removing some of your shape - essentially, if you scribble on your image, that part of your image will disappear, and it will show your own photograph underneath.

Under the 'Basic' function, you'll find a host of helpful things. A 'Delete' button to remove any unwanted shapes, and arrows that will flip your shape either horizontally or vertically. This is also where you colour and add the translucent effect to your shape.

There are two ways to make your shape transparent. The first one is to click on the 'Fade' slider, and adjust it to how transparent you want your shape to be. The second is the one that I use, and it's the drop-down menu beneath the 'Blend Modes' title. Click on the drop-down bar and select 'Multiply'. Of course, you're best mucking around with the blend modes to see which one you like best - some of the other option will makes your shape transparent, but it might skew the colour in some way or another which is why I stick to 'Multiply'.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

Speaking of, 'Color 2' is the colour for your overall shape, and 'Color 1' is the border around it - enable the 'Transparent' option to get rid of this like I always do.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

I added that pink ouline just so could see it, but I made it transparent after taking this screenshot, as I never use a border colour on my shapes!

We're almost at the end! Next up, we're going to be saving our image and switching back to Picasa. I prefer to do all my text on Picasa as it performs faster on my laptop than PicMonkey does, which means I find it easier to move and adjust my text. Not only this but adding text that's more transparent for watermarking is super simple.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

You'll find the text function in the same place as the 'Retouch' function - under the spanner/'Commonly Needed Fixes' panel. Picasa is really fun to mess around with when it comes to text. Choose your font type, size and alignment, and then start typing - after that, that's when I edit boldness, transparency, stuff like that. I don't actually touch any of these features for my blog post's title/YouTube thumbnail except for adding some 'Italic' text on occasion (for example the title photo to this post). The buttons under the alignment allow you to add a 'Fill Colour' and 'Outline Colour' to your text - for example you can have a pink outline with white-filled-in text, and you can adjust the broadness of your outline too - by having it turned right the way down like I have, means that there effectively is no outline. You can also choose to have the inside of your text transparent.

I've shown you examples below:

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

It's a pretty cool feature, but I prefer to just keep my font pretty regular. To add a watermark, I go for a smaller, neater, more narrow font and tend to place it against a straight edge or hide it (sort of) against my hair in my selfys. I only add a watermark in my blog photos, rather than my YouTube thumbnail, so after adding the main title, I save a secondary copy and add a watermark to one of the copies. I usually add my watermark in a black font so that when I turn down the transparency, it's more visible than if I was to use a white font.

To adjust sizing and angling of your font, it's pretty much the same as moving a shape in PicMonkey - use the corners, the centre, and the stem to do all this, like you would the PicMonkey shape.

Here's what my watermark looks like, although obviously I wouldn't just leave it in the top corner!

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

So, that's what our finished blog image/YouTube thumbnail looks like, but like I said before, I wouldn't add the watermark in my YouTube copy.

Last, but not least, I'll quickly show you the edits I make to an image I'm going to use for Instagram. For this, we need to load our picture back into PicMonkey - I know it's a lot of back and forth, but I often bulk do these things, e.g. edit exposure of a bunch of images, then go and fix any touch ups, then add text etc. The process is also much faster when you know it like the back of your hand!

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

You want to go back to the 'Basic Editing' tab on PicMonkey, and at the very top you'll see a 'Crop' option. Click this. Don't do any manual cropping or anything, simply click the drop-down menu and select 'Square'. After this, all you need to do is drag the corners of the square so it covers the main part of your image.

Once you're happy, click 'Apply'.

Then, mosey on down to the 'Frames' tab, which is six tabs down. You'll find plenty of options to frame your image, so pick whatever takes your fancy. I just wanted a thin white border for my Instagram - nothing too massive and chunky as I find they sometimes don't look that great on Instagram.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

I use the 'Simple Edge' option, and I only adjust two things here. The first is the 'Outer Color' which I make white. The second is the 'Thickness' option that's right beneath the 'Outer Color', which I turn down to 12.

Click 'Apply', save your image (remember to use a different file name so you don't save over your original photo) and we're done!

PS: You're welcome to apply a watermark to your Insta images if you wish, I just don't see why anyone would wanna steal my photos hahaha.
how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners
BOOM. You've successfully learned how I do my editing.

It seems like a lot of work, and it's defo tedious, but once you get in the swing of things you can pretty much just go on autopilot. I love Picasa and PicMonkey, they are the best free photo editing apps I've ever used and are mucho helpful, as well as being simple and fun to experiment and play around with. Below I've included some examples of before-and-after-editing, using photos I took for already-posted or still-to-come videos and posts. I've watermarked both sides just in case.

I think editing just makes a massive difference to my photos and my blog overall, and with so many cool and free editors around, it doesn't have to cost you a single penny. Even if you don't want to use all the tedious teeth-whitening and blemish-removal tools, or add a shape to your title image, just adjusting the exposure is enough to make a good photo great.

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners

how to edit photos, how to edit photos with picasa, how to edit photos with picmonkey, easy step-by-step photo editing, free photo editing, photo editing for blogger, photo editing for instagram, how to adjust photo exposure, how to adjust photo temperature, how to edit photos for a blog post, how to whiten teeth in photos, how to remove spots in photos, how to watermark photos, photo editing for beginners



I hope this was helpful to some of you - it's probably more useful to those who have just started out rather than an experienced photo editor as I'm not doing anything new and fancy in this post, but I hope it was an interesting read nonetheless! Feel free to share some tips & tricks you picked up for editing in the comments below!

Post Comment
Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog :) If you have any questions, ask away, or Tweet me @amandajaaayne. Have an awesome day!