Credit: Sarah Waite  @chalkboardnails

Credit: Sarah Waite @chalkboardnails

Everyone wants to be able to take perfect nail photos, but if you don’t have the ideal setup, you might need a little help making your images pop, says nail tech and blogger Victoria Thorp ( “Using the right apps, you can edit any photo, whether it’s taken on the latest model phone or on a dinosaur,” she says. There are many apps available (such as Snapseed and Picsart) that allow you to adjust your images, you just need to understand what all the settings do. “Different apps may use different terms, but they all do essentially the same thing,” she says.

Thorp explains:

Exposure: This is how light the photo is. Ideally you want to take your pictures with as much light as possible, but if that’s not possible, try turning up the exposure (or brightness). You can do this for the whole image or in specific areas, which can be great for lightening the skin or background without blowing out the nails.

White Balance: If you find your image is a little too yellow or blue (this is particularly problematic in afternoon sun or under LED lights), then you need to adjust your white balance. One way will shift the photo color cooler and the other warmer. Just play with this setting until the coloring looks natural.

Credit: Peka Grayson  @impekablenails

Credit: Peka Grayson @impekablenails

Blur/Sharpen: Is your photo a little blurry? Or do the hands look super dry? Then you need to try blurring and sharpening. (This setting may be called Structure in some apps.) This is another setting that works very well when applied to specific areas. Blurring the hand slightly will give that lightly airbrushed look, while sharpening the nails will make the design really stand out.

Spot Fix: Ideally you don’t want to have to use a spot fix, but if you have a little piece of dust in your photo or a flaw that you don’t want seen, zoom in on the picture as close as you can and tap the screen with the spot fix to remove it.

Credit: Leslie Henry  @workplaypolish

Credit: Leslie Henry @workplaypolish

Adding Watermarks: You always want to protect your work with a watermark to stop people from stealing your work. Using Phonto (Word Swag is another option), you tap the screen, write what you want, and select the color and font, then pinch and slide it where you want it. Make sure it is somewhere on the image that isn’t easy to crop out.

Sparkly Filter: There is nothing more frustrating than having a nail covered in glitter or gems and having none of that bling show up on your photos. Add a little sparkly flair by opening the image in an app like Kirakira or Brillar and adjusting how intense you want your sparkle to look.

Credit: Nina Park  @ninanailedit

Credit: Nina Park @ninanailedit

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