Thanks to Instagram and Facebook filters, everyone thinks they are photographers. But, what makes a stunning image? It is easy to say, “When you see it, you will know it.”
The pressure is higher now more than ever for online entrepreneurs, Instagramer Growth Marketers, Youtubers and Bloggers to stand out among the masses. With everyone having access to social media filters, what more should you do to get the attention of your target audience?
Editing your photos is the key to creating stunning images. Image editing not only enhances the beauty of the picture but also reduces the image size. Smaller files increase your SEO ranking as they make your website load faster.
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However, photo editing is more than just adding filters and file reduction. It involves getting the right focus, exposure, noise reduction, white balance, and highlighting the key image features.
So, what are the best photo editing software to optimize your visual your online presence?
Here, I unveil the photo editing tools to meet the needs of every Online Entrepreneur and Social Media Photographer.
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What is the Best Image Editing Program?
How do you know the best photo editor to fits your needs?
You need to consider your experience with photo editing tools before choosing an editing program. Are you a beginner or a professional level editor? Knowing this will help you see if you need a free, user-friendly software or a pro-level photo editor.
Also, if you know exactly how you’ll edit your images and the editing options you mostly need, use this information to make a decision. Another consideration is the platform you will display your photos. Influencers mostly post them on social media, bloggers on their WordPress sites, etc. You will need the best photo editing software to ensure you have the desired image output for display.
Let’s get started!
Best Photo Editing Software (Paid)
No introduction is needed for Adobe when it comes to photo editing. If gold-stars were being handed out, Adobe would take the golden cup home. Over the years, it has remained the champ, pioneering in cutting-edge image editing tools and features.
Adobe Lightroom has an intuitive interface, unlike the Photoshop complex one. It is a one-stop-shop for image cataloging, raw file processing, and editing. Your day-to-day image enhancements and organization are adequately taken care of with Lightroom.
It hosts some of the most stunning features like face recognition, lens and camera correction, gradient and brush adjustments, professional and preset filters, blurring and fixing tools, and multiple customizable sliders.
Adobe Lightroom CC comes at $9.99 per month.
The one tool giving Adobe the long-overdue competition is Luminar. It is a strong contender to Adobe’s editing tools.
Are you looking for a perfect blend of Photoshop and Lightroom? Skylum Luminar gives you the best of both worlds at more affordable prices. This is why it has become trendy among photo editors over the past few years.
Also, its AI slider added to the buzz around the efficiency of Luminar. This unique slider is an automatic fix for everything from white balance, toning, brightening, to all other necessary photo adjustments.
Some of its other key features include image layers, adjustment layers, and exclusive filters like the Orton filter courtesy of Lord of the rings.
Skylum Luminar license goes for a one-time payment of $70 only.
What they say is true. ‘The creative world runs on Photoshop.’
Mention photo editing anywhere, and the first thing that comes to mind is Photoshop. No kidding! You can’t write an article about the best photo editing software and fail to mention Adobe Photoshop. It is the go-to-tool for artists, digital marketers, illustrators, and graphic designers.
Are you a professional photo editor in need of all the bells and whistles? Adobe Photoshop has the most sophisticated retouching and touch-up features. For 3D designs, multi-layer editing, and extensive brushes and filters.
If you are a digital marketer, blogger, or an online entrepreneur in need of all the advanced photo editing tools in one package, Adobe Photoshop got your back!
The Adobe Photoshop single App comes for $239.88 annually. Adobe also offers a browser-based tool powered by Photoshop (Adobe Express) that even allows advanced features such as a background remover.
Do you want a practical but simple approach to upgrade your photos?
If yes, then Corel Paintshop Pro is your answer. It has the most straightforward image editing tool. Some photo editors call it the ‘Photoshop alternative,’ but it lacks the Photoshop flagship features like 3D modeling, detailed typography, camera shake reduction, and Faces Liquefy.
Regardless of all that, you don’t have to break the bank when you edit photos with Corel Paintshop Pro. Some of its key features include: AI presets, 360-degree photo editing, numerous graphic design templates, blur and fix editing options, and tutorial guides.
Corel Paintshop Pro has a one-time payment of $79.99
5. Aurora HDR
We saved the best for last!!
Aurora HDR gives you natural yet stunning images. It has leading-edge features when it comes to HDR photography. You can trace minute-by-minute details on an image. It merges several photos of the same shot and saves them in different exposures.
You can work on it alone or integrate it with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Apple Photos. Influencers should leverage this photo editing software for their posts. Some of its key features include the ability to clean noise to enhance image details, and it has 80 presets to convert RAW images to create works of arts.
It costs $99 for lifetime ownership.
Best Photo Editing Software (Free Version)
Do you want to create image authority with a free image editing tool?
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is of the best free photo editing software around. You can easily download and install it on your Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.
GIMP is packed with image manipulation features you find in premium applications, and they are continually updating their platform. The toolkit itself is not only breathtaking but also user-friendly. With the smart tools, you quickly remove flaws with the clone stamp and healing tools, build custom brushes, and apply the changes you want on your photos.
Being an open-source, free image editor, GIMP’s developers and users have created a massive collection of plugins spreading its usefulness further. The plugins come preinstalled, and the glossary has more to download, including the Photoshop plugin.
Ever wondered how you can keep a polished online presence?
Well, Canva is the graphic design tool that converts your images to posters, invitations, graphics, infographics, social media posts, etc. at a snap.
Canva runs on a freemium platform that comes with multiple design templates and photo editing tools. It is available for android devices, iPhones, and iPads. Canva provides several image output formats, including both JPG and PNG, which are compatible with any OS. Additionally, there are no watermarks on your downloaded images.
For bloggers, Canva comes with dozens of templates for logos, newsletters, social graphics, website banners, web ads, among other features. Most of the functions are drag-and-drop, making it possible to develop your visual content quickly. You can even generate an online course using Canva and issue badges and certificates to those who purchase your product.
Other features include image cropping and transparency tools, photo vignette and blur, photo enhancer, speech bubble maker, stickers, and badges.
You can purchase the premium Canva option at $12.95 monthly.
3. Pixlr X
Do you find it cumbersome to download and install different software on your PC?
Pixlr X needs none of that! It’s a free online photo editor whose interface is almost similar to Photoshop Express, creating a well-designed and slick look. With it, you are enabled to apply vignette effects, change saturation, exposure, and color, add frames, merge photos, and sharpen or blur images. It also has preset templates for you to pick which one to use.
Another plus is that it’s not based on Flash but HTML5, so any modern browser running on any operating system works just fine.
You can also try the earlier version Pixlr Editor which is a previous version of Pixlr X. However, it has over 2 million free effects and numerous filters and overlays.
The major downside with Pixlr X is the ads, but their pro subscriptions are at discount rates $5 a month and $12 quarterly.
Are you a social media influencer looking for free online graphics and design software? Snapppa was created to help any online entrepreneur who wants to give their images an additional edge.
It is a cloud-based image editing tool for social media posting. Snappa has a very user-friendly interface that not only transforms photos into stunning art but also provides a collaborative platform for digital marketers to work on projects.
With a powerful drag-and-drop edit, you have a high-speed and crisp editing program. There are thousands of free stock images and templates already customized for social media, blogs, and many more online posting platforms. Also, you can share your finished image directly on social media.
The downside is that the freemium model only lets you download five monthly images. There is a pro subscription of $10 per month.
If you are starting your illustrations career as a freelance and you don’t have money to invest in a photo editor, Inkscape is the tool to download.
Inkscape is the best photo editing software for online entrepreneurs who work with vector graphics or illustrations. Being an open-source, free photo editor, developers can continuously upgrade its features. It has created an eco-system of and a vast community of people dedicated to its success.
Some of its key features are multiple text formats, including calligraphy tools, color picker, object cloning, available add-ons, and extensions. It is an all-round tool as it also converts BMP images to vector, and you can choose the editing options you want and remove the others.
It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners
Looking for a simple beginner’s app to brush up your photo editing skill? Or are you just overwhelmed with heavyweight photo editing programs?
PicMonkey is here to save your day! It is built to bring out your creativity skills. It comes with a wide range of image editing tools, including retouching, photo collage, crop, filters, among others.
Besides, you can do all the edits on your iPhones or Android phone.
You can try out the 7-day free trial version before you get the $7.99 monthly package.
Ever thought you could get an Adobe Photoshop alternative?
ACDSee Photo Studio multipurpose photo editing software is the closest tool to Adobe Photoshop you can get in the market. The only difference is that it has a user-friendly interface that both beginners and enthusiasts can enjoy. Other than that, it has all the latest advanced tools to give you the best photo editing experience.
Some of its key features include facial recognition, image retouching, powerful LUTs presets, and the ability to distort objects while still maintain high-quality images. Additionally, you don’t have to import pictures as you can edit them directly from your drive.
A lifetime license of $99.95 is the best buying plan offered.
Adobe Photoshop Elements is one old-school photo editing tool with a very simplified and user-friendly interface. It is the amateur version of Adobe Photoshop with guided edits making it the perfect software for beginners. This is because their main emphasis is on family memories.
Photoshop Elements 2020 is made up of two apps, the Elements Organizer and Elements Editor, that either work together or as stand-alone programs. The Organizer provides you with the platform to arrange your photos in different albums and folders. You can easily open them on Editor, which has a tutorial and inspiration eLive mode to walk you through the editing process.
Adobe Elements has powerful image-manipulation tools, strong geo- and face-tagging abilities, toning and retouching brushes, and exceptional output options. However, you need not worry as a beginner as there are tons of helpful guides for the advanced tools.
You can purchase the software for $89.99.
4. Exposure X5
This tool is created for all online entrepreneurs who love analog. It is an efficient and powerful photo editing software that deserves more recognition than it gets.
Exposure X5 has a straightforward user interface with a lot of filters and nifty effects. It doubles as a browsing and photo editing tool specializing in analog film effects. All its tools are pretty much straight forward as they are majorly made of one-click presets.
Some key features include powerful selective masking tools, lens correction, both manual and automatic aberration control.
It’s very similar to Adobe Lightroom.
All the above are the best photo editing apps, each remarkable in their own right. However, remember to consider your preferences, budget, and image editing skills before choosing the right one for you.
We hope this article has given you a great kicker to pick a photo editing tool to take your online entrepreneurship to the next level.
So, which editing tool did you pick?
Let me know in the comments below!