6 Photo Retouching Tools That Will Make You Look Like a Pro

Have a photo that needs some TLC? Don’t have the time to go into full edit mode or ask for professional help? Try these 6 retouching tools in Photoshop that will make you look like a pro!

1. Crop

First things first, make sure to use the crop tool to make sure the image you’re working with is the proper proportion, is focusing on the subject you want it to focus on, if a thumb got in the lens, etc.

This will give you the base artboard to work on for additional edits and adjustments.


2. Image Adjustment Tools

Image > Adjustments > …

Image Adjustment Tools

There are a variety of image adjustment tools within this toolbox that are helpful in making your image well-balanced.


Brightness / Contrast

This tool helps with adjusting contrast in an image. Lightening the image and darkening the shadows helps create a more crisp and vibrant shot. Some photographers’ styles take this to an extreme for very dramatic effects. However, we suggest making subtle changes. Don’t move your adjustment sliders all the way to the left or right. Try and keep them close to the center.

 Brightness / Contrast


Slide around the 3 tabs at the bottom of the graphic to adjust the highlights, shadows, and midtones to create a better balance in your photos.




Did your raw photo turn out way too light or way too dark? Correct this with the exposure tool, which will help create an overall lighter or darker photo.

For example, if you’re taking the picture on your phone, you can’t manually adjust exposure, so this tool will definitely come in handy when editing a mobile photo.

The exposure on our photo was already correct, so we did not adjust exposure on this example photo. That being said, if you do not see a purpose for using one of these tools while you edit a photo, then hold back from using it. Don’t use tools just for the sake of using them if they’re not going to make your photo look better.

Color Balance

Using this tool, you can adjust certain colors within the photo. For instance, does your photo have too much pink in it? Move that slider towards the green to correct the coloring on the image.

Color Balance



The hue and saturation of the photo creates an overall color change to the photo. Slide the top tool to the left and to the right to see if your photo changes hues. Stylistically, should your photo have a cooler or warmer feel to it? Should it be very saturated or do you want it to be duller (or even grayscale)?

When working with food photography, this is a great tool to use to make sure your fruits and vegetables are looking fresh and vibrant.


3. Healing Brush Tools

Healing Brush Tools

Healing brush tools can be found in your toolbox bar, with the band aid icon. In the case of this photo, we removed some blemishes on the face using the Spot Healing Brush. Additionally, we smoothed out and eliminated unwanted, distracting fly-away hairs. We also used the Patch Tool to remove the shadows under the eyes.