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This Post was updated May 2017
A photo can say more than 1,000 words can. Images are the universal language that people around the world can understand and connect with. Why not make your photos as professional as possible? You’ll garner more engagement for your posts and keep your audience engaged. My go-to photo editor is PicMonkey.
In fact, after I started using PicMonkey, my social media following tripled and now I have over 13,000 followers on just Instagram alone!
Related Post: How To Photograph Your Dog For Social Media
It’s important to use a photo editor that you understand and enjoy. I have always used PicMonkey because it is easy to use and provides great results. Every single photo on this website and social media get’s edited through PicMonkey. In the past, I tried using PhotoShop but was constantly frustrated. The program is extremely powerful but it is so complicated that I was left feeling discouraged.
PicMonkey is drop-dead simple!
PicMonkey has three plans to choose from. Free membership, Premium and Supremium. There are many features you can use for free and this is great for basic edits. However, if you want to access their abundance of effects, fonts, touch-up tools and templates, then go for their Premium membership. This is the plan that I'm on. When I first started out, I was using the free version but quickly upgraded because there are some features I just can’t live without! Below I’ll show you some of the awesome things you can do with PicMonkey.
Check out this before and after photo of my cute little dachshund, Rocket.
Here is the before:
Here is the after:
This is what I did:
After you have signed up and created an account, click on “edit” to upload your photo.
2: Crop and Rotate:
Select the slider button on the left toolbar. This will open up your Basic Edits. The first thing I do is crop the photo to make it more visually appealing. You can set your own dimensions or choose a size from their drop-down menu. Make sure you select “scale photo” to preserve the dimensions.
If your photo isn’t quite straight, you can select the “Rotate” tool to level it.
Next, I use the exposure tool. I always increase the brightness, highlights, and contrast. Be careful about overdoing the contrast. I only increase it by about 2 degrees. Then I drop down the shadows to darken Rocket’s fur. Minor adjustments will be best. You want your photo to look as real and natural as possible.
Think about this: Good photo editing is all about subtlety.
4: Colors and Sharpen:
I typically leave the saturation at “0” but this depends on what your photo looks like. I will drop the temperature down by a couple of degrees if my photo appears to be a little yellow.
5: Teeth Whiten:
Teeth Whiten is meant to whiten teeth but there are so many other uses for it. I always use it to whiten the background which gives my photos a bright, clean look. I have a white, brick wall in my house that I use as a background so this tool works great for me. If you accidently whiten an area and need to fix it, press the eraser button and paint the original back in.
*Step 6 and 7 can only be used if you have a Premium Membership.
This is a great feature. If you have anything in your photo that you want to get rid of, the clone tool will be your best friend. I use this tool for everything from removing dust particles to large things like outlets! I used it here to remove the (yes, crooked)power outlet in the background. I also use it to smooth out the background or remove anything else distracting in the photo. It takes a bit of practice but once you get the hang of it, you will find it very useful.
7: Eye Brighten:
This feature is my absolute favorite! Eye Brighten will make the eyes pop and sparkle giving you a polished finish. Be sure to use it on the white of the eye, human or animal, if it is looking a little dull. Just look at this before and after!
There you have it. Easy-peasy, right? Here is the before and after one more time.
Always try to get the exposure as close to ideal as you can in the camera. You can fix it later, but it’s just not the same as getting it right in the camera. Remember to be subtle with your edits.
You are not trying to completely change your image or make it perfect. You just want to bring out the best of what’s already there.
Now let's dig into some fun features!
I am constantly creating images for my blog and social media. For bloggers like myself, having beautiful images is a must. Whenever I write I blog post, I create a ‘pin' to send to Pinterest. I do this through you guessed it, PicMonkey! Below are some examples of Pinterest Pins that I have made.
By combining fonts, colors, and photos you can create visually appealing content and increase your engagement! You don't need to be a designer, either. They have an incredible collection of pre-made templates that you can fully customize to fit your needs. Templates are perfect for social media posts, blogs, websites, invitations and business cards.
One of my favorite features is PicMonkeys ‘Hub'. Hub is their storage platform for Premium users. I'm SO glad PicMonkey added in this feature. Basically, this allows you to start and stop editing projects at will, fix typos and misaligned overlays without having to start from scratch. Before Hub, I would save my photo only to realize I spelled something wrong and would then have to START.ALL.OVER. Not anymore! Hub is a huge time-saver and one of the main reasons I switched to Premium.
Here is a photo from a recent trip to a National Park in Southern Utah.
I used the ‘Mirror Effect‘ and enhanced the color with the ‘Film Stock‘ filter. Then I added the ‘Thirsty Script Bold” font over the top.
The possibilities are endless. To keep your creativity flowing, they offer a huge collection of tutorials. Anything and everything you want to do or create, there is a tutorial for.
Thanks to PicMonkey, I have grown my social media following, increased my engagement and have improved my photos dramatically.
PicMonkey's Premium plan is $47.88 per year. That ends up being about $3.99/month. If you click this link, you can get a FREE 7-day trial of Premium so you can test out all of their features!
Have any editing tips? Do you use PicMonkey to edit your photos? Share in the comments below! Remember, you can always email me, Elizabeth, if you have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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