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Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

17 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

by Waseem Abbas on Nov 28, 2018

Are you looking for professional photo editing software for your photos? Editing your photos before uploading on your photography website is essential. In this guide, we will share the best photo editing software for photographers.

The best photo editing software can help to bring focus to an image, highlight your key subjects and transform an average picture into something truly incredible.

The question for most photographers is how do they choose the right editing software to supplement their skills. There are countless different options out there to choose from, from better-known systems like Photoshop and Adobe to simple but effective choices like Canva. There’s even some great free options.

In today’s post we’re going to answer the question “What is the best photo editing software for photographers?” by looking at:

  • The top-rated software on the market
  • The features of each tool
  • How you can use the software

Let’s get started!

Why Should You Edit Your Photos?

Editing your photos not only brings out their beauty, but it also helps in reducing the file size, so your WordPress site will be fast and your search engine rankings will improve.

Having an intuitive and easy to use photo editing software can help you edit your photos quickly and take them to the next level.

Let’s take a look at some of the best photo editing software available online.

1. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe is truly the gold-standard when it comes to image editing software. If  Photoshop comes off as too complex and cumbersome, then you’re sure to love all the incredible things that you can accomplish with Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom allows you to edit your pics with a host of fantastic features, including:

  • Fixing and blurring tools
  • Presets and professional filters
  • Customizable sliders
  • Multiple device support and sync

If you are using Envira Gallery for your WordPress site, then you should check out our Adobe Lightroom to WordPress integration.

2. PicMonkey


PicMonkey is a complete graphic design package that allows you to edit photos, make collages, touch up, crop and more. It will help you develop your design skills and bring out your creativity to easily edit the images.

With a free trial, you can test out all the features of PicMonkey before you buy anything, which includes options to edit your photos using specific templates or arrange your images into a college.

Features include:

  • Basic Filters
  • Collage effects
  • Templates
  • Blank canvas design
  • Automatic sizing for social media

You can also print photos, cards, canvases and more from PicMonkey directly.

3. Gimp


GIMP is a free professional photo editing software. It is easy to download and install on your computer. GIMP has multiple features which help you with retouching photos, photo composition, picture enhancement, and includes a built-in file manager. You can also create image authority with GIMP.

Many photographers regard GIMP to be a great alternative to Photoshop, as it comes with a range of features that help with things like photo composition and image retouching.

Features include:

  • Photo enhancements like corrective mode and vignette
  • File management and optimization modes
  • Digital Retouching
  • Clone and touch-up tools
  • Support for multiple plugins

It works great on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. You can edit photos of all formats using GIMP.

4. Canva


Canva is a simple graphic design software with a large number of users online. It comes with multiple photo editing tools and products.

You can also download Canva on your mobile phone and edit instant photos. The Canva Marketplace has tons of templates, photos, cards and icons that make your life easy in creating the visual content of your site or blog.

With Canva, you can adjust various elements of your images with a simple drag-and-drop editor, add fonts and templates to your pictures if you want to use them on your website, and more.

Features include:

  • Over 8,000 templates
  • Photo blur and vignette
  • Image cropping and straightening
  • Image transparency tool
  • Design grids and photo frames
  • Stickers and badges
  • Add texture
  • Speech bubble maker
  • Photo enhancer

5. Adobe Photoshop

best photo editing software for photographers

It’s hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without giving Adobe Photoshop a well-deserved mention. Photoshop is the go-to tool for illustrators, designers, and artists around the world. Photoshop’s masking, retouching and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market, though it’s fair to say that this tool might not be best for the odd “basic” touchup. Photoshop is designed for painstaking work on your portfolios.

Features include:

  • Touch-up and retouch features
  • Multi-layer editing
  • Enhanced pro features
  • Available on desktop or mobile
  • Best-known photography software

Confused between, Photoshop or Lightroom? Check out our guide: Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which is the Best Solution

6. Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar envira gallery

Luminar has quickly grown to become of the the most popular editing tool for professional photographers around the world for many reasons. For one, you pay a one time flat fee – there are no monthly subscriptions which has become the norm for Adobe and other software companies.

Luminar is a one stop shop for photo editing that can be used by itself or as a plugin in with Lightroom, Photoshop and even Apple Photos. Its also gained popularity for its AI slider, which does an automatic quick fix for everything from brightening, clarity, toning and other basic adjustments.

Features include:

  • AI Editor/Slider
  • Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets your add realistic sun rays to shine in your images), top and bottom lighting filter, Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings, blurs some parts of the image and focus on others)
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Image Layers
  • Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos

7. Fotor


Fotor is a famous cloud-based photo editing software. You can use its free desktop version with the all the features that are available on its online photo editing version.

You can check the effects on your photos with scalable editing option. It has a simple to use interface which allows you to open RAW files and combine images in layers.

The cloud-based software allows you to save the incomplete designs for future editing, so you can start from where you left the work. All you need to do is upload your images onto the website and you can start editing, creating designs and more.

Features include:

  • Photo editing suite
  • HDR effects
  • Filters and image touch-ups
  • Portrait Retouching
  • Design templates
  • Hundreds of fonts, stickers, and shapes to choose from

8. Pixlr Editor


The Pixlr Editor is another online photo editing software solution, although you can download a desktop or mobile app if you prefer. There’s even the option to upgrade to “Pixlr X” if you’re looking for a more advanced editing option. Pixlr is very similar in nature to Photoshop, as it allows you to add images to blank canvases, create unique effects, and add filters on-the-go.

Features include:

  • Over 2 million free effects
  • Filters and overlays
  • Creative editing app
  • Mobile and desktop downloads or web interface
  • Various Pixlr versions to choose from

9. Photo Editor by Aviary

Photo Editor By Aviary

Aviary is a free app that works like magic to edit photos swiftly.

Designed to “Make photos magic”, this application has a range of tools available to help you create amazing tools in no time – and you can access the app from your smartphone too!

Features include:

  • Presets to instantly enhance your images
  • Over 1000 effects and filters to choose from
  • Stickers and frames
  • Resize, crop and rotate your photos
  • Adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation etc)
  • Text and draw
  • Cosmetic tools (remove red eye, whiten teeth, etc)

10. Corel Paintshop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is easily one of the best photo editing software options online for people who want a simple but effective approach to upgrading their images. Though it might not be the most advanced tool in the world at first glance, it comes with everything you need to take your images to the next level, without breaking the bank. There are dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes to choose from, and the app adds new features all the time.

Features include:

  • AI enhanced presets
  • 360-degree photo editing
  • Fantastic user experience
  • Graphic design templates
  • Photo editing options like blur and fix
  • Learning tutorials

11. On1 Perfect Effects

On1 Effects is a complete photo editing software and you can use for free.

Not only is On1 easy to download and install, but it comes with literally hundreds of presets, stackable filters and other solutions that you can use to enhance your pictures in no time. There’s even an add-on available for Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop too!

Features include:

  • Stackable filters
  • Custom presets
  • Textures and borders
  • Live adjustments and previews
  • Available to download on any device
  • Selectively apply effects option

It’s easy to download and install, and you can use it on any operating system. You will get 170 effects with photo editing, brush, and masking tool. It also has an addon available for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture.

12. Snappa

Snappa is an online graphics and design software available online for photographers who want to transform their images into something more. If you’re looking to convert your pictures into social media banners, or pictures for your blog, then Snappa will help you to transform your images by adding new dimensions and effects with ease. You don’t even have to download anything to get started.

Features include:

  • Drag and drop photo editing
  • Image dimension templates
  • Available stock photos
  • Add graphics and texts in seconds
  • Share graphics on social media

13. PortraitPro


PortraitPro is a professional image editor specifically designed for photographers who specialize in portraits. The application includes everything you might need to edit skin tone, remove blemishes or wrinkles from your subject’s face, add eyeshadows and more. You can also add effects to fix things like poor lighting or get rid of sagging cheeks.

Features include:

  • Advanced layering options
  • Skin smoothing
  • Wrinkle Remover
  • Makeup tools
  • Award-winning editing using sliders

The other effects like lighting are really necessary for any portrait. You should also check out this guide on photography lighting.

14. Inkscape


Inkscape is another 100% free piece of editing software perfect for budding photographers. You can download it on Windows or Mac, or you can access the source code if you want to put it into your own app. Inkscape is designed to give you complete control over your images, whether you want to clone objects, add certain colors to your images, or overlay text.

There are dozens of features available, including:

  • Color picker
  • Multiple text formats
  • Copy-paste object cloning
  • Calligraphy tools
  • Available extensions and add-ons

Inkscape comes with great effects to edit and brighten your photos. You should also check out this guide on best image formats and their features.

15. Paint.NET

Paint NET

Paint.NET is a free simple old school image editing software with an intuitive interface designed for Windows users. It has options like unlimited undo to your edits, add effects, and work on layers. There’s a range of powerful tools by Paint.NET that allow you to edit photos easily.

16. PhotoScape

PhotoScape is another free old school lightweight fun to use photo editing software. You can edit your photos with its simple tools. It allows you to create presets on your toolbar to edit your images faster.

PhotoScape can also create slideshows and animated GIFs for your photos. It has features like color picker, RAW to JPG converter, face finder, and more. You can also resize, combine, batch edit multiple photos, split photos into pieces and do a lot more with your images in PhotoScape.

17. DxO Optics Pro 10

DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab is an extraordinary photo editor. It converts your RAW images to JPG very smoothly. And it works great with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It offers a suite of processing and correction tools that meet the needs of real photographers. Some features include:

  • U Point local adjustment technology
  • Manual and automatic mode
  • Customized profiles
  • A multitude of optical corrections

You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial before committing to a subscription.

Which Photo Editing Software is Right for You?

If your looking for a free simple editor then GIMP may fit the bill. However, for an easy to use industry standard we recommend Adobe Lightroom.

We hope this guide has helped you to find the best photo editing software for photographers. Let us know your experience with these picks in the comments below!

If you like this guide, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more free photography software and resources.


  1. Hi Waseem,
    I would like to suggest you to include Zoner Photo Studio X in your list. It is very simple, universal photo editing software which at the same time offers wide range of advanced editing features including layers, refine edge, filter brush etc.

  2. The list you have created is very friendly and helpful. It is not easy to find software and get details of them. I saw PhotoScape on your list this software is perfect for everyone mostly it is useful for the website owners or bloggers. Will you suggest some software with some new effects and VFX for personal use?

  3. I’m colorblind and am having a hard time finding software that is good at doing comprehensive auto edits. Anyplace you can suggest or point me to?


  4. I’ve been using PhotoViewerPro for a while, and it made my life much easier.
    It’s quite nice, lite and powerful photo editing software and I don’t have any objections 🙂 I prefer it over some other commercial software..
    It can edit JPG, JPEG, PNG and PDF! Also has great options about resizing multiple images..

  5. I have recently discovered PhotoViewerPro for editing my photos. It is very easy to use. I was able to explore several tools that could make my photo look like it was taken by a professional photographer.

  6. Hi,
    I am looking for a freeware photo editor for editing my website photos.
    Can you please suggest which would be the best one to go for?

    Thanks in advance

    1. If you only want to make small changes, Canva is a great choice because it’s so quick. If you want to do more in-depth photo manipulations, I’d suggest GIMP.

  7. Thanks for the guide sir. among this list sir, which of them is free for downloading and can work on windows 7?

  8. I have used pixlr, photo scape, picmonkey and many other in the list. To me picmonkey is very easy and smooth. I personally prefer picmonkey. But others are also good to use. I think this list includes a great option for those who needs editors to edit their photos. Thanks for sharing the list.

  9. Cool list of software! Thank you for sharing this, Waseem. Being acquainted with several ones from the above mentioned I may say that photographers basically use really powerful stuff for quite ordinary tasks. Operate with presets and layers, use various brushes and editing tools, as there are so many tech available.

  10. I”ve been looking for such a list, thank you. Great job! I like GIMP, it can be used by professionals, you just need to get used to how its functions work, coz it differes from adobe illustrator. But still if i need a serios photo retouching for some reasons, i turn to professionals https://geniusretouch.com/ , because you never want your pictures to look retouched, don’t you? For example my friend’s wedding… Especially if photos a poorly lit, it is hard to make them look shiny.

  11. The list is huge and almost have the Best Online Photo Editor Softwares and Apps (Free and Paid). But I want to add one more site in this which I had recently used for my Sister Pre-wedding photoshoot editing. They have awesome effects, layers and other options too that make your photo a memorable one.

    I did a small write up on this to let other know about this website. The best thing about this website is they are completely free and moreover if you will stuck somewhere they will help you out. Please check my recent blog on this: https://medium.com/@cherrysmith/the-best-photo-editing-tool-of-2018-b729bd1984f9

    Here is the website link: https://freeonlineimageseditor.com/

  12. Throughout the internet, there are a multitude of programs that allow us to edit product photos for our online store and you have shared a wonderful list here.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Great discussion on the best photo editing software it’s an easy to use photo editing software can help you edit your photos quickly and take them to the next level. /

  14. I am a beginner and tbh, i am talented at taking photos but have really no knowledge at editing them. I have used photoshop n lightroom but what i need is a program where i take the photo then put card in conputer and it downloads to a program and within secs, pictures are done. WITHOUT me having to spend all day doing it. The program autonatically does it for me. Anyone know such a program? Im starting a buisness where i will booked back to back and ned to give them there photos instantly by printing them right there. Thank you in advance!

  15. Photography is an ongoing constant learning process and simple yet powerful editing software enhance your creativity beyond imagination. Thnx for sharing all these wonderful software and guide for everyone. GOD bless you and your team.

  16. Great selection. As for me, I mostly use PhotoWorks image editor. It’s not complicated. Especially i enjoy retouching raw photos – high quality for little time and effort.

  17. I always look to gather new knowledge. It’s the direction I like to go when reading webpages. I search it out. I’m especially interested in topics related to blogging and posts and general internet process so I am really pleased I found your page. It really was engaging to read. Thank you for that.

  18. I have used PicMonkey for years but now that they upgraded or made changes. I find it very in user friendly. I’m wanting to try something else. Your list was very helpful. Thanks

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