How to beautify a photo in Photoshop.

Focus on these Photoshop editing features and turn your photo from average to stunning.

Your photos come alive in the editing stage. And you don’t have to be a professional — or have expensive editing software — to make stunning edits. Follow these basic tips for getting started, and you’re well on the way to beautifying your photos.

How to beautify photos

Any editing software you use should have these basic adjustment features. Learn how they work to easily beautify photos.

  1. Crop and straighten. Start by making sure your photo is framed properly. Narrow in on the composition you want, straighten out your horizon, and get all the best parts into the photo. This is especially important for landscape photos with a clear horizon and different angles of focus. Locate the striking section and crop around it.
  2. Adjust white balance. White balance corrects your photo’s overall color tone. You can pick from preset modes like Daylight or Cloudy to auto-calibrate the colors, or you can do it manually by adjusting temperature and tint.
  3. Experiment with contrast. Contrast is the range of dark and light tones in your photo. In a high-contrast photo, all tones are either very dark or very light. In a low-contrast photo, all tones have a similar brightness for a flatter, less detailed effect. Typically, you want your contrast somewhere in between the two extremes.
  4. Work with color vibrancy and saturation. Now it’s time to make your colors pop. Increasing vibrancy makes the image’s neutral tones more intense. Increasing saturation makes all of the tones more intense. Play with both to achieve your desired effect.
  5. Sharpen. Sharpening means increasing contrast around the edges, making your photo look crisp and highly defined. Photoshop has clarity and structure tools to help you get different types of sharpness, so experiment to see what works for you.

Learn more about Adobe Photoshop.

Once you’ve mastered these editing basics, explore what more you can do in Adobe Photoshop. And get more pro tips for staging and shooting as you continue to refine your craft.