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How to Edit Stunning Portraits on a Smartphone

Try these easy editing tips for tweaking your mobile photos
Photo of mobile editing

You don’t, necessarily, need to a pro camera and the latest version of Photoshop or Lightroom on your computer to edit portrait photos. With the help of a few apps and some easy editing tricks, you can process stunning portraits on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer.

In the below tutorial, photographer Simone Ferretti shares his mobile photography editing tips for beginners.  

“The phone that you have in your pocket can be good enough to edit stunning portraits,” Ferretti says. “You’re probably aware that editing people is the most challenging thing to do in photography. This is because whenever you’re trying to edit, you’re also messing up the skin colors while touching the other sliders. If you feel frustrated by that, don’t worry because in this video I want to help you understand the basic steps you need to take in order to transform your good portraits into outstanding portraits without ruining them.”

In the video below, he uses the free Lightroom Mobile app to demonstrate his editing techniques but also shows you how you can use an alternative app called Snapseed to perform mobile edits of portraits.


Before he walks you through his editing steps in the video below, Ferretti explains three things you should not do when editing portraits on a mobile device. “These are classic beginner mistakes that everyone does at the beginning when you’re still not experienced.”

Mistake #1: Orange Slider

“Skin color is always orange so whenever you’re trying to edit the colors or a photo, if you’re touching the orange slider, moving it left or right, you’re going to ruin the photo.”

Mistake #2: Clarity, Dehaze, Texture

“The second thing you don’t want to mess up with are three sliders: clarity, dehaze, and texture. You really don’t want to touch these sliders too much.”

Mistake #3: Oversaturation

“The last thing that you absolutely need to avoid is moving that saturation towards the right. When you oversaturate an image, you’re just going to end up with a terrible photo.”


Watch below as Ferretti then walks you through the right way to edit photos on a mobile device. For more easy portrait advice, check out this tutorial from him with ten great posing tips for portraits.

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