Don’t hate. Three Great Retouching Apps That Are Mostly Free.

Don’t hate. Three Great Retouching Apps That Are Mostly Free.

With a dizzying number of retouching apps only a download away, I wanted to offer a very biased plug of my three favorites, Snapseed, Over and yes, Facetune. I don’t claim these are measurably better than the 70,000+ other choices. In full disclosure, they were very unscientifically chosen based on the advice of people I trust. And please don’t mention that Snapchat, Instagram, iPhone, Facebook, Android and probably General Dynamics all have terrific retouching apps included for free. I already know.

To begin, let’s start with an un-retouched shot:

iPhone photo before retouching with Snapseed and Over

You could give the shot a nifty retouch using software provided on your phone, but why do that when you can use Snapseed and feel fairly impressed with yourself? One of the older apps, Snapseed is still free and provides plenty of smart features that adds richness to the shot. Along with cropping, brightness, ambience, saturation, warmth and a few other spiffy choices, the vignetting tool provides a high level of, well, fun.

Retouching with smartphone apps

An over-abundance of Snapseed vignetting

The simply-named Over lets you place things OVER your photo. Get it? You’ll have to pay the price of what a frapuccino should cost to download it, but think how impressed the gang will be when you instantly add neat words and phrases to your selfies. You can also add images to your shots, and yes, I know Snapchat has entered whole new territory with adding animation to shots that really leaves everything else in the dust, but Over is still loads of fun. Also, it has a smart opacity feature that helps text blend in, and can easily darken shots to make text read.


This shot doesn’t really lend itself to the next app, because Facetune is designed for doing quick portrait touch-ups, so I did the next best thing-I thinned the text. Facetune does a fairly amazing job of making something seemingly as complicated as reshaping faces and body parts surprisingly easy. You’ll have to pay, but it’s a small price considering the compliments you’ll receive from grateful friends for working quick magic on their portraits. Plus, Hollywood types use it, which makes us feel better knowing that even the beautiful people need a little photo help.

retouching with facetune, snapseed and over

You should see what Facetune can do to faces

Well, that about sums it up, except for the part about all of them being easy to share from the app, but that’s the price of entry.

Write me about your faves.