The ability to edit a photograph is a great skill to have, helping you to bring up the quality of average shots or just add those final touches to an already beautiful image. For beginners, it’s hard to know where to start, as there isn’t one all-encompassing guide to success.

So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of the first steps you’ll want to take when editing photos. First things first, though, you’ll want a decent-quality camera if you’re serious about creating those high quality images. Something with a large lens and at least 8 megapixels would make a good starting point. Additionally, you’ll want a program that can edit photos on your laptop or PC, there are plenty available and some of them are even free!

Now that you’re ready, read on for our top tips!

Image cropping

So, you’ve completed your first real photography session and it’s time to inspect your work on a bigger screen. The first thing you’ll want to do is scan through your shots looking for any unwanted obstructions. For example, you might have a magnificent composition for a particular photo, but some unwanted light is causing a blur at the edge. With a crop tool, you can simply remove the affected part without writing off the whole image. Most people are used to cropping photos thanks to social media websites, but if you’re taking up photography as a full-time hobby you’ll want to invest some time into this particular skill. Even the smallest change can make a big difference to the balance of composition and getting cropping right is the difference between an amateur and a pro.


Applying an effect or filter to your image can change its impact drastically. As you can see, monochrome effects work well for portrait style photographs of people, it adds character and depth to any shot. For landscapes, you should consider upping your saturation levels slightly to bring out the natural hues you’ve captured. Another effect you could try out is a sepia filter, which is great for adding an antique-y feel to your photographs. Basically, there are several effects you can apply while editing, so why not play around with all of them?

Sharpen and clean up

One thing beginners tend to neglect is to taking good care of their equipment. When you’re out taking photographs the elements can affect your lens, and a buildup of unwanted gunk and residue can reduce the quality of your images. The first thing you should do is clean it! However, not all is lost if you do forget to do this, as most programs have tools that can remove any dust or grime from your photo. Additionally, you can improve the sharpness and contrast of your shot with editing tools. Try creating a certain mood by darkening shadows and emphasising the lighter parts of your shot.

Print it

Once you’ve finished up your editing, don’t just leave your images to rot in a digital folder somewhere! You’ve gone out and captured a magnificent piece of art, now give it the treatment it deserves with a high-quality printout. Got a black and white or sepia image with a retro feel? Why not go for a retro style print? These classically textured print outs will really make your work stand out from the crowd, whether it’s just for your own collection, as a presentation or gift for someone else.


Share your work by displaying it in a meaningful manner. Edited photos are great for wall art, and can be adjusted to match the colour scheme of your room while still retaining the charm of the original image. Combine them with funky frames, or even edit one in for a whole new look. If you fancy a more casual feel, why not print out a poster version of your shot? Alternatively, you could embrace your artistic side and try to rotate, skew or colourise the image in a new way with a range of photo effects. The possibilities are endless.

With the world at your doorstep and ever-improving technology at your fingertips, we’re sure you’ll master the art of photography!