Tutorial: Photo Editing for Beginners
Hey you! Don’t just lean against the wall with that “I’m fine…really!” look on your face. Come join the party! We are editing our crumbuns off: experimenting, playing, and punching out some hecka beautiful images. Here’s the skinny on how to dive into PicMonkey while holding your drink level and looking kewl.
GET YOUR PHOTO INTO THE EDITOR
You can open your photo two ways. Click “Edit a Photo” and then select it from your computer files. Alternatively, some browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) will allow you to dra-a-a-g your photo from your file directory to the “Edit a Photo” button to open it.
If you’re not quite sure what you want to do, you can start with one of the effects you see promoted on the home page. Click on the square that describes it and PicMonkey will take you to that effect or tool, with a sample photo to work with.
From this point the world’s your oyster—explore, you Magellan! Or you can keep following our docent tour, here…
KICK OFF WITH THE BASICS
If you opened your own photo to edit, PicMonkey launches the Editor with the Basic Edits tab open. If you launched the Editor by clicking somewhere else on the home page, click the Basic Edits tab (the topmost icon in the far left column). Click the “Auto Adjust” button to see what PicMonkey thinks is your photo’s best exposure, color, and clarity. Sometimes the Monkey’s right, sometimes not.
Click “Crop.” If you want your photo to maintain its aspect ratio (proportions), click “Scale photo.” Resize by clicking and dragging the corner circles.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE TOP TOOLBAR
Notice the toolbar that floats directly above your photo. Your best friend is going to be the Undo button, the curvy arrow icon that points to the left. This is how you undo any action or any effect once it’s been applied. For example, if you didn’t like what “Auto Adjust” did to your photo, click Undo.
MAKE YOUR PEOPLE POP
If there’s a person in your photo, you can experiment with our Touch Up tools to bring out the best in his or her facial features. Click the Touch Up tab. Some all-time favorite free ones are “Blemish Fix,” “Blush Boost,” and “Weight Loss.” You can experiment with the Royale Touch Up effects even if you’re not a Royale member; you just can’t fully apply them to the photo. Favorite Royale Touch Up effects are “Wrinkle Remover,” “Mascara,” “Eye Brighten,” and “Air Brush.” Our subject got Barbie-perfect skin today, with “Wrinkle Remover.”
We put some great samples of photos that we used Touch Up on, in our Touch Up board on Pinterest!
MOD-UP THE MOOD
Click the Effects tab (the flask icon in the far left column). These effects are made of awesome, and they can dramatically change the mood of your photo in one click. The efffects group called Tried and True are huge among PicMonkeyers. We used “Dusk” to create a warm vignette around our wistful lady.
Go to our Pinterest Effects board for a quick look at before-and-after pics of many of our effects.
Time to have some fun with overlays. Click the Overlays tab (the sticker icons in the far left column). Scroll down to the “People Toppers” effects group. Click “Facial Hair” and observe the instant manliness. We’ve decided Mrs. Wistful needs a mustache.
The corner circles help you size the overlay, and the top circle helps rotate the image to just the right angle.
WRAP IT UP
Now it’s time to frame zis verk of art. Click the Frame tab (the square icon in the far left column). The first four frames are the easiest to work with because they maintain your photo’s original aspect ratio. Try “Polaroid Frame.” Notice that it may crop your photo to a square. Click “Transparent Background,” which makes the frame look super realistic.
Save your photo using the “Save” button in the top toolbar. You can click “Share” in the same toolbar to share it on your own PicMonkey share page in Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest or Email.
Next time you set out for adventure, you can explore the Themes tab (the bottom icon in the far left column). The Halloween themes—Vampires, Zombies, Day of the Dead, and Witches—have tons of Quick Tips laid right into the editing experience. It’s like going to the PicMonkey Graduate School of Photo Crazification.