Mobile Photography: Ultimate Snapseed Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. What is Snapseed?
  2. How to install and open Snapseed
  3. Navigating the Snapseed interface
  4. Tune your images with Snapseed
  5. Crop and rotate features in Snapseed
  6. How to use Snapseed brush and healing tools
  7. Create stunning portraits with Snapseed
  8. How to save and share your images
  9. Snapseed photo editing tips and tricks

Let's get straight to the point: you're here because you want to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed. Maybe you've taken a few shots that are 'pretty good', but you want them to be 'wow, that's amazing'. Or perhaps you're just curious about what this buzz around Snapseed is all about. Well, you're in the right place. This is your ultimate guide to making your photos go from 'nice' to 'Instagram star' level with Snapseed.

What is Snapseed?

Imagine a tool that can take your everyday mobile photos and turn them into pieces of art. That's Snapseed. Snapseed is a complete and professional photo editor developed by Google. With Snapseed, you have the power to enhance your mobile photos with just a few taps.

Here's what makes Snapseed stand out:

  • Comprehensive Editing Tools: Snapseed offers a range of tools and filters. These include basics like cropping and tuning, and advanced features like the healing brush and portrait enhancer.
  • Easy to Use: Despite its powerful features, Snapseed is user-friendly. You don't need to be a tech whiz or a professional photographer to use it. It's perfect for beginners wanting to enhance their mobile photos.
  • Free to Use: Yes, you read that right. Snapseed is completely free to download and use, making high-quality photo editing accessible to everyone.

So, whether you're a budding mobile photographer or just someone who wants to make their photos look better, Snapseed is a tool worth exploring. In the following sections, we'll dive deeper into how to use Snapseed to enhance your mobile photos, step-by-step.

How to install and open Snapseed

Alright, now that we know what Snapseed is, let's get it on your device. Trust me, it's as easy as pie. Whether you're using an Android or an iPhone, the process is pretty similar. Ready? Let's go!

  1. Download Snapseed: Head over to your device's app store. For Android users, that's the Google Play Store; for iPhone users, it's the Apple App Store. Once you're there, type "Snapseed" into the search bar and hit enter.
  2. Install Snapseed: The Snapseed app should be the first result. Click on it, and then click on the 'Install' or 'Get' button. It's a small app, so it shouldn't take long to download.
  3. Open Snapseed: Once Snapseed is installed, you'll find it on your home screen or in your app drawer. Tap on the Snapseed icon to open it. Voila! You're now ready to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed.

Wasn't that easy? Now that you've gotten the hang of installing and opening Snapseed, you're ready to take the next step: navigating the Snapseed interface. But we'll save that for the next section. So, take a break, explore the app, and get ready to dive deeper into the world of Snapseed in the sections to come.

Now that you've successfully installed Snapseed and opened it for the first time, you're probably seeing a screen with a bunch of different icons and options. Don't worry; it's not as complicated as it looks. Let's break it down:

  • Open: This is where you'll start. Tap the "+ Open" button to pull up a photo from your device's gallery. Here's where the magic begins. You're about to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed.
  • Tools: Once you've opened a photo, you'll see the 'Tools' button. Tap on it and a menu with various editing tools will pop up. This is where the real fun starts. You'll find everything from tune image and crop, to brushes and healing tools. But don't worry, we'll walk through these in the upcoming sections.
  • Looks: If you want to apply a quick filter to your photo, the 'Looks' section is your best friend. It's packed with pre-made filters that can dramatically enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed in just a tap.

Learning to navigate the Snapseed interface is a bit like learning to ride a bike. It might seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. So don't be afraid to tap around and explore. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Tune your images with Snapseed

Now that you're familiar with the Snapseed interface, let's dive into one of the most powerful tools it offers — the Tune Image feature. This tool is key to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed and give them a professional touch.

Once you've opened your image, tap on 'Tools', and then select 'Tune Image'. You'll then see a list of options including Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Ambiance, Highlights, Shadows, and Warmth. Let's take a closer look at these:

  • Brightness: As the name suggests, this changes the overall lightness or darkness of your photo. Use it sparingly, though. You don't want to wash out your image or make it too dark to see.
  • Contrast: This adjusts the difference between the light and dark areas of your photo. Increasing contrast can make your image pop, but too much can look unnatural.
  • Saturation: This changes the intensity of the colors in your photo. Dial it up to make your colors more vibrant, or tone it down for a more muted look.
  • Ambiance: This is a unique Snapseed tool that adjusts the balance of light in your photo, enhancing both the light and dark areas. It's kind of like a combination of Brightness and Contrast.
  • Highlights and Shadows: These tools let you adjust the lightest and darkest areas of your photo separately. This is great for bringing out hidden details in those areas.
  • Warmth: This adjusts the color temperature of your photo, making it warmer (more orange) or cooler (more blue).

Remember, editing is an art. It's not about making drastic changes, but subtle tweaks that enhance what's already there. So don't be afraid to play around with these tools. With a little practice, you'll soon be tuning your images to perfection.

Crop and Rotate features in Snapseed

So, you've tuned your image and it's looking pretty good, right? But wait, there's more you can do to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed. Let's talk about the Crop and Rotate features.

First off, let's tackle the Crop feature. Located under the 'Tools' menu, crop allows you to cut away unwanted parts of your photo. Ever heard the phrase "less is more"? This is where it comes into play. Cropping can help you remove distractions from your image, focus on the subject, and even change the photo's aspect ratio to fit different platforms.

But how do you crop an image in Snapseed? Easy. Tap on 'Tools', select 'Crop', and you'll see a grid over your photo. You can drag the corners of this grid to crop your image. Once you're satisfied, just tap the checkmark, and voila! You've cropped your image.

Now, let's move onto the Rotate feature. This tool can be a lifesaver when your photo is slightly tilted or you want to change its orientation. To use it, go to 'Tools', select 'Rotate', and then swipe right or left to rotate your image. You can also tap the '90' button to rotate your image by 90 degrees. Once your photo is perfectly aligned, just tap the checkmark to save your changes.

Remember, the Crop and Rotate tools are your friends. They can turn a good photo into a great one. So don't be afraid to use them to further enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed.

How to use Snapseed brush and healing tools

Now that we've mastered cropping and rotating, let's add another couple of tools to our Snapseed skillset. The Brush and Healing tools can really take your photo editing to the next level.

Let's start with the Brush tool. This is like your personal magic wand in Snapseed. With it, you can selectively enhance your mobile photos by applying changes to specific areas. Want to brighten a shadowy corner? Or maybe you want to desaturate a distracting background color? The Brush tool has your back.

To use the Brush tool, tap on 'Tools' and then on 'Brush'. Now, you'll see options for Dodge & Burn, Exposure, Temperature and Saturation. Select the one you wish to use and start painting on your photo. Remember, the changes are subtle but can make a significant difference when used wisely.

Next up is the Healing tool. This is your go-to tool for removing unwanted elements from your photos. That random stranger who photobombed your perfect sunset shot? Gone. That unsightly trash bin spoiling your street photo? Poof. It's as simple as that.

To use the Healing tool, tap on 'Tools' and then on 'Healing'. A brush will appear which you can use to paint over the object you wish to remove. Be careful to paint over the entire object, and Snapseed will do its best to replace it with surrounding pixels.

With the Brush and Healing tools, you can refine and enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed like a pro. So get experimenting and see the magic unfold.

Create stunning portraits with Snapseed

Have you ever wondered how some people manage to get their portrait photos to look so amazing? Well, here's a secret: It's not all in the camera. A lot of it has to do with the magic of editing. And with Snapseed, you can easily enhance your mobile photos and turn them into stunning portraits.

One of the best tools for this is the Portrait tool. This tool is specifically designed to enhance the attributes of a human face. It can smoothen skin, brighten eyes, and even add a spotlight effect to your subject. Pretty cool, right?

Here's how you can use it: Open the 'Tools' menu and tap on 'Portrait'. You'll see options for Face Spotlight, Skin Smoothing and Eye Clarity. You can adjust each of these to your liking. Remember, less is more here. You want to enhance your subject's features, not change them completely.

Besides the Portrait tool, you can also use the Vignette tool to add focus to your subject. This tool darkens the edges of your photo, drawing the viewer's eye to your subject. You can adjust the size and intensity of the effect to get the look you want.

With the right tools and a little practice, you can enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed to create stunning portraits that'll definitely grab attention. So why wait? Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!

How to save and share your images

Now that you've discovered how to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed, you're probably eager to show off your stunning creations. But before you can do that, you need to know how to save and share your images. Let's get right into it!

Once you're done editing, you can save your masterpiece by tapping on the 'Export' button. You'll find this at the bottom of the screen. Snapseed gives you three options: Save, Save a copy, and Export. 'Save' replaces the original photo, 'Save a copy' keeps both the original and edited version, and 'Export' creates a new file for the edited image. Choose what suits you best.

But what about sharing your photos? Snapseed has a solution for that too. Tap on the 'Share' button next to 'Export'. You'll see a list of apps you can share your image on, like Instagram, Facebook, or even email. Choose your preferred platform, and voila — your image is ready to impress!

So, don't keep your Snapseed-edited photos to yourself. Save them, share them, and let the world see the stunning images you've created. After all, the best part about enhancing your mobile photos with Snapseed is showing them off, right?

Snapseed photo editing tips and tricks

Now that you're well on your way to enhance your mobile photos with Snapseed, let's dive into some tips and tricks to make your photo editing journey even more rewarding.

First, remember that less is more. We often fall into the trap of over-editing, thinking that more filters and effects make a photo better. In reality, subtlety is key. Try not to push the sliders too far to the right or left. A slight adjustment can go a long way.

Second, make use of Snapseed's 'Stacks' feature. This allows you to revisit your edits at any point, making alterations if needed. It's like a safety net for your edits — you can always go back and tweak without starting from scratch.

Third, don't overlook the 'Details' tool. It can sharpen your image and give it a crisp finish. Use it sparingly though! Too much sharpening can make your photo look unnatural.

Lastly, experiment with the 'Selective' tool. This tool lets you edit specific parts of your photo without affecting the rest. Want to brighten just the sky or enhance the color of only the flowers? This tool is your best friend.

Remember, mastering Snapseed is about exploring, experimenting, and finding what works best for your style. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be enhancing your mobile photos with Snapseed like a pro in no time!

If you enjoyed our "Mobile Photography: Ultimate Snapseed Guide" blog post and want to learn more about taking stunning photos with your smartphone, be sure to check out Alina Rudya's workshop, 'Smartphone Photography 101.' This workshop will provide you with the skills and techniques needed to up your mobile photography game and create captivating images using your smartphone.