How To Whiten Your Photo Backgrounds With


As a crisp clean background is visually appealing, it could be very frustrating when you take a picture of a subject with a white backdrop and there are dark spots and odd shadows. Am I right?

Catering to that need, a variety of apps have included the whitening effect to their editing options. Editing apps such as Facetune, Snapseed and even Unum (in their editing section) have incorporated the whitening tool.

However, I've found that sometimes, these apps reduce the overall quality of your image. Being a stickler for quality, (har), I found a way around this which I'll be sharing. I'm not a photography guru or anything of that sort but I do hope this tutorial will be helpful.

Before we get on with it, if you'd like to know to whiten your photos on your mobile phone with Snapseed, read this post

So here, above, is our unedited picture. We'll start by playing with the levels or brightening and increasing the contrast of our photo.

1. Edit your photo 

As you can see, there are odd shadows and this ruins our crisp bright effect unless this is the kind of look you're going for. To fix this, we'll simply click on the paint tool, select the white colour and run our paintbrush over shadows not very close to the subject. We want this as natural looking as possible.

2. Remove distant shadows

3. Remove more sensitive shadows (shadows close to your subject)

Since we've cleaned up a bit, time to get rid of the more dangerous shadows. That is, the parts of the photo that if tampered with would make the picture look like some sort of joke. After all your hard work, I assume you won't find it funny.

We repeat the same process but you'd want to add a new transparent layer first. Select "add new layer" then paint over the more sensitive shadows. You'll understand the need for the layer soon enough.

Once this is done, you're going to click on layer properties then select the opacity. We don't want the cleaning up to look too obvious so this helps give a more natural look.

And you're done!

Another example...

Repeat the process above. First edit your picture to your satisfaction then proceed to cleaning it up by using the paint tool and applying a new layer (if necessary) then adjusting the opacity..


Won't you pin me, pretty please?

Pretty easy right?

More photography posts

-Basic editing: How to fix a bad photo

-How to remove unwanted objects from your photos using Snapseed

-How to take good pictures with your mobile phone

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, click those very visible sharing buttons below because sharing is caring. You care, don't you?


Don't forget to subscribe to my blog, my YouTube (new videos every Friday!) and follow me on Instagram, let's connect!


P.S: How's your week going so far?

Subscribe to our mailing list

For your dose of style inspiration,fashion & photography tips and DIY projects, all on a (low) budget.

You Might Also Like


  1. Thank you for the tips. I have a question, which editor were you using cos you didn't mention it. Thanks

    1. Hi Juliet,

      I used in this tutorial and always to edit my blog pictures. It's a free editor.

  2. Hi, I really loved this post. Very informative! But quick question please! Can the paint app work on an android phone?

  3. Sounds pretty easy. I will try it out.