Drab to Fab {Enhance Your Photos Online for FREE}

Drab to Fab {The Free Edition}

PicMonkey Before and After Hero

Huge difference, right?  When I shared a Photoshop version of this tutorial last Sunday, I realized that a lot of people reading it, wishing they could make their pictures look better, might not be as lucky as I am in regards to Photoshop access.  What’s a non-Photoshop user to do?  Easy-peasy!  Head over to PicMonkey.  You can do most of the same things I do in Photoshop right in PicMonkey.  There’s nothing to download, nothing to sign up for (unless you want to) and you can use their service as much as you want.  Bingo!

White Balance

Neutral-PickerJust like in Photoshop, the first thing I to edit in PicMonkey is adjust my white balance.  In PicMonkey, the function is called Neutral Pickerand it’s located under the Colors option.  You simply click on the Neutral Picker option and the select an area of your photo that should be white.  For the best results, especially when you have a large area of white, select the brightest white in the picture.

Brightness and Highlights

BrightnessAfter only adjusting the white balance, you should already see a pretty big difference in your picture.  Now, select the Exposure option and play with your brightness.  Chances are you’re probably going to want to up your brightness just a bit.  Pay close attention to skin tones and make sure you aren’t making the picture so bright that you loose detail.

You can also play with the highlights, shadows and contrast options here.  This is kind of trail and error, but you can always use the cancel and undo options if you don’t like how something looks.  On this photo, I added a bit of highlighting.  As you can see in the image below, that the result was loosing the detail in the garage door – and for this photo, that’s a good thing.

On this photo, I didn’t like the look adjusted shadows or contrast gave the image, so I left both of those alone.


Retouch-and-SharpenPicMonkey has some great retouching options and many of them are included in the free program.  There are a few SUPER cool ones that are available on with the Royale upgrade (which is still super cheap and completely worth the cost), but they aren’t “must-have’ options as far as this type of editing goes.

I used the cloning tool to touch up the girl’s flyaways, clean up a scratch on her nose and touch up a little spot on her forehead.  I used a few of the upgraded options to add “mascara” and a little more color to her lips and cheeks.  Using all of these tools is as easy as a click.

Once you’re happy with the look, you can adjust the sharpness of your image if you want, of leave it like it is.

PicMonkey-Before-and-AfterA world of difference, no?  Which one do you think would look better hanging in my office?  The changes I made on this literally took me less than 10 minutes and the enhanced version definitely looks more like a portrait while the original is clearly a snapshot.

Addy Edited PicMonkeyEasier than you though?  I’d love to see what some of your before and afters look like.  If you give PicMonkey a try, share your before and after images with us on Facebook.  We’d love to see what you come up with.  While you’re there, let us know if there’s something specific you’d like to learn and we’ll see what we can do to make that happen – be it photography related or something else all together!

Happy Editing!

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12 Responses to Drab to Fab {Enhance Your Photos Online for FREE}

  1. Kerry Cairns says:

    I love this! I have been using PicMonkey but have been trying to teach myself. Thanks! 😀 This made my day. teehee.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I love PicMonkey and use it a lot but didn’t know about these extra tips. Totally going to try them out. Thanks!

  3. Wow, that’s a big difference. Looks a lot easier than my amateur attempts with Paint Shop Pro!

  4. Laura says:

    I LOVE picmonkey. It’s so easy to use!

  5. That made a huge difference. I’m going to have to find me a picture to play around with now.

  6. Jennifer says:

    pic monkey is a fav of mine! Awesome for collages too

  7. great tutorial. I also use picmonkey FOR EVERYTHING> i have a paid subscription and love it.

  8. Picmonkey is so great and easy to use. I also love how cheap it is!

  9. Amanda says:

    Great tips! Thanks!

  10. Amber says:

    I love pic monkey, but I didn’t know about the neutral picker. Thanks so much!!

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