Taking Portraits to the Next Level: Best Photo Editing Apps

Photo Editing

Portrait photography is an art that captures not just faces but emotions, personalities, and moments. In today’s digital age, capturing a great portrait is only part of the journey. The other, equally important part, is editing these portraits to bring out their full potential. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast, having the right photo editing app can make all the difference. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best photo editing apps for elevating your portrait photography, ensuring each image you capture is not just seen but felt.

1. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express stands out for its versatility and depth, offering a range of tools that are perfect for detailed portrait editing. It allows for advanced edits like blemish removal, skin smoothing, and teeth whitening, ensuring your subjects look their best. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible even for beginners, while its integration with other Adobe products offers a seamless workflow for professionals.

2. Facetune 2

Facetune 2 is specifically designed for editing portraits and selfies. This app shines in retouching skin, enhancing eyes, and reshaping facial features, all with a few simple swipes. It’s particularly popular among social media users for its ability to create a polished look while maintaining natural skin textures.


VSCO is not just a photo editing app; it’s a community for creative photography. Its strength lies in its array of subtle filters that bring a unique aesthetic to portraits. VSCO’s filters often mimic the effects of classic film cameras, offering a timeless quality to your portraits. The app also provides basic editing tools, making it a great all-in-one solution.

4. Lightroom Mobile

Adobe Lightroom Mobile is a favorite among professional photographers for its advanced editing capabilities. It excels in color correction, allowing you to tweak the smallest details in your portraits. The app also offers features like selective adjustments and portrait-specific presets, making it a comprehensive tool for detailed portrait editing.

5. Snapseed

Snapseed, a free app developed by Google, offers a range of professional-grade editing tools. Its ‘Selective Adjust’ tool is perfect for enhancing specific areas of a portrait. The ‘Portrait’ mode can automatically detect faces, offering enhancements like skin smoothing and eye clarity. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible for photographers at any skill level.

6. Pixelmator

Pixelmator is known for its powerful retouching tools, which are great for portrait editing. It allows you to remove unwanted elements from your portraits, like stray hairs or blemishes. The app also offers advanced color adjustment tools, ensuring that skin tones in your portraits look natural and vibrant.

7. Prisma Photo Editor

For those looking to add an artistic touch to their portraits, Prisma Photo Editor offers a range of artistic filters. These can transform your portraits into paintings or sketches, giving them a unique, creative flair. It’s perfect for creating portraits that stand out on social media.

8. AirBrush

AirBrush is tailored for quick and easy portrait edits, focusing on natural retouching. It offers tools for whitening teeth, brightening eyes, and smoothing skin, ensuring your portraits look flawless yet realistic. Its user-friendly interface makes it a popular choice for quick touch-ups.

9. TouchRetouch

While not a traditional portrait editing app, TouchRetouch is excellent for cleaning up backgrounds in your portrait photos. It can easily remove distracting elements, ensuring that the focus remains on the subject.

10. Mextures

Mextures is unique for its layer-based editing, allowing you to add textures, light leaks, and gradients to your portraits. This app is ideal for those looking to add a moody or artistic touch to their portrait photography.

Tips for Editing Portraits

  • Keep it Natural: While editing can significantly improve a portrait, it’s essential to maintain the subject’s natural look. Over-editing can lead to an artificial appearance.
  • Focus on the Eyes: Eyes are often the focal point in a portrait. Ensure they are sharp and clear.
  • Skin Tones: Pay attention to skin tones. Adjusting the color and luminance can make a significant difference in the overall feel of the portrait.
  • Use Filters Sparingly: Filters can add a unique style to your portraits but use them sparingly to avoid overshadowing the subject.
  • Practice Restraint with Retouching: Subtle retouching can improve a portrait, but too much can distort the subject’s appearance.


Editing is a crucial step in the portrait photography process, offering the power to transform a good photo into a great one. The apps listed above cater to a range of editing needs, from simple touch-ups to advanced, detailed edits. By choosing the right app and applying thoughtful editing techniques, you can elevate your portraits, capturing not just images, but stories, emotions, and personalities. Remember, the best portraits are those that resonate with the viewer, and with the right tools, your portrait photography can truly captivate and inspire.

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