Photography Tutorial

3 Easy Summer Photo Effects For That Sun-kissed Glow

SUMMER. Want to make your photos look like they’ve captured the true essence of this season? Three words. Sun-kissed glow. Or was that two words? Regardless, summer is when you want to achieve that warm lighting to give your skin exactly that – like it’s been kissed by the sun. Not literally, though, because that would burn like a @#$!%. (Please wear SPF, good people.)

It’s cool if you have preset effects on hand in any app that you’ve got, but what if you want to do this manually so you can adjust just how much warm tones go into your photo? Cue Pixlr X – free, fast, and easy editing at your fingertips. You don’t even need to download anything.

A gentle faded effect on your photos is also a great addition to have on your photos (once you get tired of always looking at your sun-kissed glow, of course).

All you really need to do is focus on the highlights, the color tones, and the warmth level of your photo. Let’s delve right into that.


This is basically the first step in any photo correcting. Beautiful, stunning images always have their highlights adjusted. If you’re looking to increase the highlights in your photos, the Highlights slider under Adjust > Light will help you with that. This tool brings out the whites level in your image to make it brighter in a more natural manner than the Brightness tool. You’ll also be able to find much more detail in your photo.

Toning Highlights

If you want more reds than blues, or yellows than pinks – this adjustment will help you arrange your colors to suit your photo. Similar to tinting – although that option has a really strong effect on Pixlr X – it actually helps to give the highlights in your photos a color boost.


For summer-themed photos, warm temperatures are always the go-to option, for one obvious reason – the sun. Adjust the slider just the way you want it.

BONUS: Faded Effect In Under 1 Minute

YES the faded look. Ever stalked someone’s Insta-feed because you fell in love with their gently faded summer aesthetic? Yeah, I hear you mumble, but they obviously took some time to do that with a program they might’ve subscribed to and installed. I’m just a broke college student. Okay. What if I told you that you can replicate that in just under a minute with Pixlr X? Fire it up in your browser, baby.

I really just head over to filter effects, click on “Too Old” and select “Logan”. That’s the quickest way for me to achieve the faded look. If you do find other ways to get that similar appearance, kudos to you! Share some tips with me, too 😉

Image credit to: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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