Experimenting with Apps for Editing Portraits

Experiments on a portrait photo with a variety of easy-to-use iOS and web-based apps to see what is possible.

Experimenting with Apps for Editing Portraits

The Original Photo

First, here's the original photo by JC Gellidon from Unsplash:


The Heavily Edited Photo

I ran the photo through these AI-powered apps on my iPhone XS Max:

  • Lensa: It's designed for realistic and subtle improvements, but you can dial-up the edits to be heavier, which is what I did (iOS).
  • BeautyPlus: This lets you manually tune a broad variety of facial features and attributes (website, iOS, Android).
  • FaceApp: This one has several capabilities that BeautyPlus lacks and vice-versa (website, iOS, Android).


Artistic Effects by Photo Labs

Photo Lab is designed to add a broad variety of effects on selfies and portrait shots (website, iOS, Android).

And, now some effects that apply a fake set of glasses:

Watercolor Paint Effect by Portra

Portra produces a lovely watercolor effect with a paper texture background.


Smoothing with BeFunky

Since these apps optimize for sharing on social media and viewing via smartphones, they shrink, degrade, and compress the images. This isn't noticable on a small screen, but is when enlarged for printing. So, I used BeFunky's DLX De-Noising filter to smooth some of the rough spots.

BeFunky is an underated web-based image editor. You can do a lot with it and it's so easy to use that you can just play around with it and figure it out. No need to go through tutorials. If you're like me and too lazy to learn Photoshop or Gimp, then check it out.