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Best Photo Editing Software For Beginner & Professional Photographers

Finding the best Photo Editing Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What is Photo Editing Software?

Photo Editing Software designed basically for image editing. It may be used to crop and give a touch up to the photos. One can even organize the photos into albums and slide shows. Some of the tasks that the photo editor software will be able to furnish include editing the resolution of the picture, cropping of the image or individual in the image, addition brightness or contrast to an extraordinarily dark image, merge images, etc. 


Picture editing software, also known as graphics software, is used to make changes in the images with the intent of enhancing their quality, appeal, or message. Photo editing software for pc comes with various features, ranging from primary drag, drop, and crop software to advanced software used by professional editors. You can use photograph photos editing software for multiple purposes, but the primary reason for using these types of software is to manipulate or enhance specific images. 

Choosing the best photo editing software for beginners depends a lot upon your requirements and needs. If your intention with the professional photo editing software is to play around with the brightness and contrast, beginner software like Pixlr can come in handy. On the other hand, if you are looking for the best photo editing software for windows for professional purposes, Adobe and InPixio might come in handy. The cost of software is another factor that can influence your decision. For beginners, sticking to free software is the best option. For professionals, striking the perfect balance between the features and the cost is the key. 

What is the main purpose of Photo Editor Software?

The main purpose of a picture editing software is to enhance the quality of the images and alter them to the maximum resolution for a crystal clear display. This would help in providing utility services to the end-user, thereby creating value for the money spent by them.

Key Processes of the Photo Editing Software

1. 3-D representation: of the image, or giving an embossed or engraved effect to certain segments of the image.

2. Picture Collage: making in various forms such as different shapes, on different objects, of different size images in a single collage, etc.

3. Addition: of appropriate color scheme and suggestion of backgrounds, in case of a plain background of the original image.

4. Generation of various forms: The image supplied by the user can be used in case the chosen form doesn’t suit the user.

5. A small representation: of the end result product to the user, so that the user gets an idea of what the image would look like after editing and arrangement in the inbuilt template ( for eg: frame, Cup, etc.).

6. Enhanced presentation: of the image. The image editor software will upgrade the presentation of the image, thereby resulting in a more convincing and alluring portrayal of the image.

7. Availability of Multiple Designs: of representing the image. The change of texture or appearance of the image is also possible, to give a more realistic effect.

8. Add On: feature of talk and present. This allows the inclusion of voice messages in the visuals.

9. Freebies: to the early birds in the form of some special guidance’s and techniques of usage of certain tools.

Benefits of Photo Editing Software

1. Customization of the features: according to the requirement of the client would result in cost benefits. It would curtail the storage related issues in the device in which it is used.

2. Easy Installation: of the product with less cumbersome rules, regulations and device requirements.

3. User-Friendly: Layman with a little bit of knowledge of technological tools can operate the software easily.

4. User Guide: is also available for reference.

Reliefs to the buyer of Photo Editor Software

1. Easy usage without any external help: The software would enable you to work independently in a cost effective manner.

2. Perfect Guidance: The user doesn’t need a team for the approval or acceptance of the projects (Project management), as the software provides reviews at the end of each and every assignment.

3. Increase in existing knowledge: Apart from working on the current tools, the user also gets to know and learn about the latest prevailing trends in the market and the likes and dislikes of the same.

4. Increased Goodwill and popularity: of the customer just by word of mouth and by the display of the edited images.

The Pic Editing Software will give you enhancement in your work. The choice of software depends on your needs. Hope you had a better understanding of what to buy, just by reading the features and the benefits of the software.

Top Photo Editing Software Trends on Social Media

Trends are never constant, and if you have a social media following that continually waits for you to upload new images, you need to be aware of the latest trends. Trends come and go, and you need to structure your content around those trends to keep your audience interested and hooked in. That being said, here is a few photo editing software for beginner trends on social media that are working well nowadays and receiving the appraisal of the audience. 

1. No filter:

This trend has been out for a while now, but it will always be trendy because people want to see the "real" stuff. Too much editing can deviate the edited photo from the original one, which can manipulate the message and turn off your followers. The no-filter trend does not restrict you from editing pictures at all; you can do the necessary editing to remove blemishes and unwanted entities. However, your aim with the #nofilter tag should be to edit a picture in a way that it does not lose its natural look and feel. 

2. Digital Fim Photo:

Another popular trend on social media, especially on Instagram, is the digital film photo trend. In this trend, you can use photo editing apps of your choice to produce film-like effects for videos and images. Some popular film photo effects include light leaks, blurs, and vignettes, that are intended to give a photo a vintage, dreamy quality. These effects are nostalgic, that take people back to the '90s when disposable cameras were ruling the photography segment.

3. Photo Doodle:

Contrary to the "no filter" and "film photo" trends that focus on promoting reality, the photo doodle trend is all about adding flair to your photos. If you have spent your childhood decorating your textbook covers, you will relate to this effect as it includes adding a playful look to your photos by applying stickers and brushstrokes. This trend is fun and youthful, ideal for young influencers and brands that want to reflect energy and vibrancy. 

4. Vertical Photo:

This trend is mainly associated with Instagram. If you have been using Instagram for many years, you must be aware that Instagram used to allow square photos only. Uploading vertical images was considered to be an amateur move, but the trend has changed and reversed. With the number of mobile users increasing rapidly, vertical images are gaining more and more popularity. Vertical photos allow you to experiment with composition and frames and also produce images that fill more screen and eliminates distraction. 

5. Collage Photo Carousel:

Collage photos were prevalent in the early 2010s, with almost every other Facebook and Instagram user uploading photo collages. However, this trend lost its popularity as other trends took over, but it has regained its reputation as creative use of this format has been adopted. With unique designed layouts, another scrapbook photo style photo, brands & influencers are widely using this trend. 

6. Uncurated Candid Photo:

If you are a regular Instagram user, you must have come across the #candid trend. This effect includes producing pictures that are nonreproducible. For example, the joy on the face of a dog owner after reuniting with the dog that was lost. The emotion cannot be reproduced even by the best photographers and the best photo editing software (until the dog is lost again). 

7. Muted Color Palette:

If you are spending too much time adjusting the saturation, vibrancy, and the contrast of your images, you need to change the gears. The times of bright photos that used to pop out are gone, as people prefer watching more of the soft and muted tones. Film-like images with subdued colors and white, warm beiges that produce a clean, polished, vintage look is what trends nowadays. 

8. Real Food Photo:

This trend can be helpful if you upload a lot of food images. You must have seen a lot of mouth-watery pictures of pastries and burgers on Pinterest and Instagram that don't look the same way in real life. The audience is over the edited food trend and craves real food photos. Although authentic food images might not look as attractive and appealing as the edited ones, they look more realistic.

Types of Photo Editing Software

All top photo editing software has most of their features in common, with a few standout features that differ from each other. However, a generalized classification is accepted, which divides all best photo editing software for photographers into two types:

1. For Beginners

2. For Professionals

Let us discuss in detail about these two types of software and how do they differ from each other. 

For Beginners

As the name suggests, a beginner photo editing software is designed for the use of beginner photo editors or ordinary people who want to apply a few changes here and there in their photographs. Beginners' photo editing system is less expensive, and most of them are available for free, as well. 

These types of software can be found easily for free and require minimal computer knowledge to operate. For example, in Pixlr Editor, you can change the contrast, brightness, and FX of an image by a simple click and drag & drop method. Nowadays, a lot of digital cameras come with an in-built photo editing software for beginners. 

More basic beginner photo editing tools come with one or two essential functions, only like applying frames & borders and cropping the image. Some advanced software also provides contrast, brightness, and color adjustments. Not many, but a few beginner software provide some professional features like changing the resolution of the image, making the image more realistic, etc. 

For Professional

Unlike beginner photo editing software, these types of software are not readily utilized by day-to-day home computer users. Most professional photo editing software is expensive; they can cost two or three times more than beginner software. Moreover, they are hard to master and require skills and practice. These skills are essential because professional photo editing software embodies a wide range of features that the professionals can utilize only if they have in-depth knowledge of all the features and options available. Some professional photo editing software that is commonly used by professional graphic designers, art directors, and photographers are:

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Corel Paintshop

  • PhotoDirector 7 Deluxe

Although professional photo editing tools can be expensive and hard to master, they can produce unbelievable results that are otherwise impossible to achieve with beginner photo editing tools. These types of software can change the complete look and feel of the image, by offering unique features like retouching photos, changing colors, elimination backgrounds, erasing blemishes, healing spots, and much more. 

Some advanced professional photo editing software also allows you to change the file format, add watermarks, change the photo size, etc. Similar to beginner photo editing system, these tools also work on the same click and drag & drop method. However, the high number of features increases the complexity of the software; therefore, if mastered, professional photo editing software is equally easy to use. 

Best Photo Editing Software for Beginner Photographers

1. Adobe Lightroom Classic:

One of the best qualities of Adobe photo editing software is that they are excellent for both beginners and professionals. For beginners, this software offers a large number of free Lightroom tutorials and free Lightroom preset, making it easy for beginners to learn and develop their photo editing skills on the go. 

2. GIMP:

GIMP is widely regarded as the best free alternative to photoshop and very rightly so. It might not offer as many features as Photoshop but is not too bad either. Most importantly, it is an open-source platform and completely free to use. For a beginner, purchasing software can be a challenge, and GIMP helps beginners overcome that challenge. However, be prepared to counter some bugs. 

3. Pixlr Editor:

Pixlr Editor is widely used as a photo editing software for personal use because of its retouching interface. It is arguably one of the easiest pic editing software to use, keeping in mind the wide range of features it provides. Pixlr is free to use and can be compared to the Adobe Lightroom in terms of features and functionality. However, you might get annoyed by a little too much ads in Pixlr. 

4. Paint.Net:

Similar to Pixlr, Paint.Net is a photo retouching software. It is free and comes with an easy to use and understand interface. In spite of being free, basic software, it offers a lot of useful tools and features. 

5. ACDSee Ultimate:

Not that popular, ACDSee Ultimate is an excellent alternative to popular software for beginners like Lightroom and Photoshop. Moreover, it is also regarded as a combination of both Lightroom and Photoshop, but in an easy-to-use way for beginners. 

Best Photo Editing Software for Professional Photographers

1. Skylum Luminar:

Skylum Luminar has quickly gained popularity as one of the most powerful and favored photo editing tools for professional photographers. Starting with a one-time fee, it offers various features like AI Editor/Slider, Exclusive filters, Image Layers, Dedicated presets, and Adjustment Layers. 

2. Capture One:

Capture One is another RAW image editor that is favored by professional photographers because of its solid distinctions. Capture One features Interface customizability, Annotations, Advanced Color Editing, Layers, and a one-time, flat fee. It also offers Advanced Color Editing and quick interface. 

3. ON1 Photo RAW:

The support for the RAW format is gradually becoming a deciding factor for many editors. Apart from RAW support, this software is occupied with stackable filters, a plethora of presets, and various other solutions. This software also offers Live adjustments and previews and 170 photo editing effects. 

4. Canva:

Canva is a graphic design tool with a huge user base and following. It has a free version as well as a paid version and is ideal for both beginners and professionals. This software is suitable for photographers that own a website, as they can apply all the necessary effects suitable required for excellent website content. 

5. PicMonkey:

PicMonkey is another popular graphic design package that allows you to create and edit photos, collages, and touch-ups. It is ideal for beginner photographers, as it helps you develop your design skills and increase your creativity. It offers all basic design and edit tools like Filters, effects, templates, and automatic sizing. 

Photo Editing Software for PC

1. Adobe Photoshop CC:

Adobe Photoshop CC continues to be one of the best photo editing software for PC. With new additions like Auto-select tool, loads of font and drawing capabilities, support for the Microsoft surface dial, and raw camera profiles, the 2018 edition has turned out to be better than ever.

2. DxO PhotoLab:

Although slightly expensive than other similar software, it can produce results that no other software can. Some stand-out features of this software include Haze remover, Powerful local adjustments, Geometry corrections, and Excellent autocorrection & noise reduction.

3. Corel PaintShop Pro:

Similar to Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paintshop continues to dominate the image editing software market. It offers powerful effects that are being continuously updated. It is available at a one-time affordable price, making it an ideal Photoshop alternative. 

4. CyberLink PhotoDirector:

Another popular PC photo editing software, CyberLink PhotoDirector, offers a powerful and friendly interface. Some of its significant features include Cool multiple-exposure, active noise reduction, and faux HDR effects. It also provides powerful tools like Body shaper. Additional features of this software include Tethered shooting, Layer support, and Cool AI styles.

5. Phase One Capture One:

Phase One Capture One is an excellent photo image editing software for professional editors and photographers. Some features of this software are Keyword tagging tool, Fast import, Good photo-adjustment toolset, and Pleasing interface. However, this tool has some usability issues and a lack of online sharing. 

Photo Editing Software for Mac

1. CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra 10:

PhotoDirector is by far the most popular photo editing software for mac users, primarily because of its easy to use interface. Although ideal for beginners, this software caters to professional editors as well with its wide range of editing tools. 

2. Pixelmator 3.3:

Less expensive than PhotoEditor, this software offers all the necessary tools and advanced editing capabilities. It offers al the basic editing tools like color management, background removal, filters, etc. However, it does not provide lens distortion correction tools and a photo-organizing system. 

3. Affinity Photo:

Affinity Photo is the most powerful photo editing tool for Mac. It covers it comprises of many advanced tools like 42 preset filters, a content-aware fill tool, etc. It also offers a free trial period. 

4. Acorn 6:

Acorn 6 is an excellent tool for producing natural HDR images. It works in layers to quickly create both panoramic and HDR pictures. It also features an HDR guide that helps you out with an easy image combination. It is also compatible with the WAR image format. The only drawback of this software is that it lacks a photo organizer. 

Photo Editing Software for Android

1. PicsArt:

With more than 250 million users, PicsArt has been one of the most popular photo editing software for android for quite some time. It justifies the popularity as it offers some of the most advanced editing features like changing skin tones and hair colors, stretching and whirling tools, and hundreds of unique filters. 

2. Pixlr:

This software to AutoDesk can be compared to Picsart in terms of popularity and features. Almost all the features offered by Pixlr are similar to Picsart, with one drawback- a limited number of filters.

3. Snapseed:

Another free-to-use photo editing app for android, it is counted among the most popular photo editing apps for android. Owned by Google, it is a powerful photo editor with support for the RAW format. Additionally, this app is entirely free of cost with no in-app purchases and no in-app advertisements. 

4. PhotoDirector:

PhotoDirector comes with a minimalist UI with various enhancement and editing tools. It offers multiple tools and features like light effects, filters, and various add ons for improving the images and giving them a new life. One of the noteworthy features of this app is the object removal trick, which helps you remove unwanted objects from an image easily. 

5. Cymera:

Regarded as one of the most excellent photo editing applications for android, Cymera offers an impressive collection of image editing tools. Apart from these image editing tools, it also provides a useful camera function that allows you to turn your camera into a beauty camera. 

6. Camly:

If you need a photo editing app that is simple and easy to use but is productive and practical at the same time, Camly is the ideal choice for you. Although the simple user interface is its most significant advantage, this application offers all the necessary photo editing tools a photo editor should have.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Photo editor is a software that is used to edit photos to make them look more attractive or detailed. Different photo edit software offers a different range of functions and different levels of functionality.
  • All photo editors can be installed on their official websites. Some software might be available on other platforms and stores, as well.
  • Some photo effects software is free of cost, whereas some software is paid. Usually, paid software offer better and advanced features compared to free software.
  • The cost of photo editing system software ranges from $5 to $200. Some software also provides monthly subscriptions, and monthly subscriptions usually range from $5 to $20.
  • Many paid picture editing software offers a free trial. The duration of the paid trial can vary from three days to thirty days.
  • Yes, picture editing software is available for all platforms like PC, Mac, Android, IOS, Windows, etc. However, it is not necessary that one photo retouching software will be supported on all the platforms.
  • Yes, you can start using photo effects software without any prior editing experience. If you want to use advanced platforms, you will need to spend some time watching tutorials and practicing before making the most out of the software
  • Yes, most photo retouching software allows you to save your progress within the software and continue from where you left the last time.
  • It depends on different types of software. All software supports basic image formats like JPG, JPEG, and PNG. Some advanced picture editing software also supports the RAW format.
  • Yes, almost all popular photo effects software gets updated on a regular basis. However, paid software receives updates at a higher frequency compared to free software.
  • It depends on the individual specifications of every computer. Usually, picture editing software doesn’t require high-end computer specifications, and it is better to check for system requirements before installing a photo editing tools.
  • The refund policy of each and every software is different. Visit the "Terms and Conditions" section on their official website to learn more about their refund policy.

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Chirantan MungaraBy Chirantan Mungara | Last Updated: October 28, 2020

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