What Do Professional Photographers Use to Edit Photos? Top 9 Reviewed

Best Photo Editing Software
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Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury

Today because of technology, photo editing and transformation are getting easy with a push of a button. Almost everyone these days has a smartphone, and even with the lowest one, you can take pictures, and using photo editing software, you can become a photographer.

There are complex editing tools for the advanced user. However, that needs to learn; not everyone can do that, of course.

Many professional photographers nowadays use photo editing software as their primary tools to edit raw files and transform them it something unique. As a result, many articles you may find all over the internet related to how to edit photos like professionals. Still, all of these require powerful yet simple-to-operate software to work in the first place.

In this guide, I will talk about what do professional photographers use to edit photos based on my experience that would be required in your day-to-day life if you are a professional photographer or editor.

All of these below are my favorites, and I handpicked them and ranked them based on some factors:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it feature-rich?
  • Is it affordable and supported by all operating systems?

Let’s get started then.

1. Adobe Photoshop.

One of the oldest and best photo editing software.

What do professional photographers use to edit photos? Adobe Photoshop is the favorite tool.

Most of us must have heard about Adobe since we were young and started learning about computers. Indeed it is most renowned and trusted among all other companies out there.

Adobe established in 1982 by Mountain View company (California, USA)

It is the world’s best graphic design software professionals use in every creative project they have ever made. You can download a free photo online and transform it into a masterpiece using photoshop elements such as image manipulation, retouching tools, etc.

Edit photos using Adobe Photoshop.

Key features:

I. Transform your photos:

Using their professional photography tools, you can easily cut, crop, remove, retouch, or combine photos according to your style.

II. Cloud-based:

Adobe will permanently save your work in self-hosted cloud storage no matter which device you use.

III. Smart & faster editing:

With new advanced technology, you can select your subject automatically and precisely. Thus it will reduce the workload and valuable time.

IV. Auto fonts activation:

  • With a new adobe feature, you won’t have to install new stylish fonts for your project. Instead, Adobe will automatically search and find for you and install it on your device.
  • Great masking, retouching, and cloning abilities.
  • 360-degree editing tools & depth map support for HEIF files.

You may get these photo editing features from other software such as Affinity photo, DxO photolab, Corel PaintShop Pro, and other free photo editing mobile apps. However, if you are a professional in photo editing, then Adobe would be your best choice.

Apart from Adobe Photoshop, we strongly suggest you check Adobe Creative Cloud as they offer more opportunities for you.

Adobe photoshop pricing plans.

Adobe has 3 photo edition plans for you. Photoshop, Photography Plan, and Creative Cloud All Apps, ranging from $9.99 to $52.99 per month.

A 7-day free plan is available for you to try the first risk-free.

2. PaintShop Pro Ultimate.

One of the best photo editing software for beginners – free 30-day run.

One of the best photo editing software for beginners – free 30-day run.

PaintShop Pro Ultimate is one of the lightest and fast photo editing software in 2022. In addition, it introduces new innovative features called “new touch-ready workspace, content-aware technology, and selection refinement,” For these, your workflows will accelerate faster than usual. Also, your learning curve will be short if you have prior experience in photo editing software.

The best part is – It is offering you a 30-day free trial period for a test run.

What makes PaintShop Pro different from all others? Maybe it makes the difference because they focus heavily on their user’s thoughts.

Evolved photo editor with customer-inspired features.

Evolved photo editor with customer inspired features.

They have given much thought to their user and become much more perfect than before.

User Inspired Features:

Powerful adjustment tools: along with previous devices, this new feature added more value to it.

Precious retouching: with high precision selection, photo restoration, and makeover tools, you can fix lens issues and chromatic aberrations with more advanced functions.

Artistic photo composition: use multiple layers and musk to make a robust graphic design in your photo.

Complete RAW & HDR control: it enables you to edit raw photos with innovative RAW lab features and create awesome-looking HDR images by combining multiple exposures.

Save time: it works faster with batch processing and supports nearly all types of images.

Whatever you need for professional photo editing.

Whatever you need for professional photo editing.

PaintShop Pro has a robust professional editing option. In addition, you have access to a wide range of built-in templates to work with.

You can create collages, greeting cards, web banners, brochures, etc. Play with tools like photo stamps, Bokeh, or retro tools to make editing much more fun than before.

Speed up the standard and repetitive tasks by using a script to make all this automatic hands-free.

The 360-degree camera support option allows you to create a stunning 3D view of landscapes by merging them or creating a planet-like effect.

Therefore, you can do everything from simple black and white editing to advance customization.

PaintShop Pro has four products available with different features ranging from $51.99 to $139.99. They all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee; thus, you have no risk option here.

PaintShop Pro subscription plans.

3. Luminar Neo.

Most professional photographers use Luminar to edit photos – 30 days’ money back.

Next-generation AI-powered photo editing.

Luminar Neo is a revolutionary AI-powered photo editing tool that can superpower your photographic career.

It’s always a good & safe deal – a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Let’s say you have taken a great picture, but here is an apparent drawback, the sky isn’t the way you wanted to be in your project. You wanted a clear sky without clouds, and even after two weeks, no luck.

Why do you even bother to wait for the sky to change itself? Luminar Neo gives you the AI Sky replacement tool; with it, you can change the atmosphere how you see fit.

Replace the sky with an AI sky replacement tool.

The same goes for other projects; you can alter your face with a portrait enhancer tool. With AI Skin enhancer & Portrait enhancer, you can get a perfect portrait incredibly fast with a realistic result.

One of your projects needs to alter the surrounding environment; you can do it quickly, just like Hollywood movies make things out of thin air.

You may need to enrich your images with sun rays, but there was none; no problem; adds a source of sunlight with the sunray tools, and even you won’t be able to tell the difference. 

Change your images and bring out the hidden beauty; the content-aware AI structure can automatically detect an area you can enrich, and it can be done automatically without damaging faces or texture.

Lightning fast performance with AI-powered enhancer.

Lightning fast performance with AI-powered enhancer.

Now let’s talk about pricing plans. There is no subscription for Luminar Neo, it is just a one-time payment, and you may use it forever. The base price is $79 a license for one computer.

If you want, there are some paid add-ons with the base product, B&W Classic Looks, Andrei Oprinca’s LUTs Collection, EyeEm Creator looks, etc.

And of course, there is a 30-days risk-free money-back guarantee.

4. Aurora HDR.

Advance HDR photo editor – risk-free 30-days.

Advance HDR is one of the best photo editing software.

Aurora HDR is probably the world’s most advanced HDR photo editor for both Mac and Windows. Award-winning software can take your career to a new level by giving you innovative tools.

It offers you a Risk-free 30-day run; otherwise, a Money-Back guarantee.

No, it is not just another photo editing software with advanced features. Their technology, “Quantum HDR Engine powered by AI,” is patented. So, it’s not another photo editor.

Their innovation can deliver the most acceptable HRD image powered by Artificial Intelligence, ensuring the highest quality brackets merging and spectacular color enhancement.

Quantum photo editor HDR Engine powered by AI.

You have 20+ HRD editing tools in your arsenal LUT mapping, denoising, dodge and burn, etc.

HDR Denoise can automatically detect and recognize noise in your HDR photos; this tool can eliminate those in seconds.

HDR Smart Structure is a smart slider that lets you eye-popping depth and details without noise and halo.

You can use this tool as stand-alone software or a plugin with other major photo editors, i.e., Apple-photos extension, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom.

Feedback from industry leaders about Luminar Neo.

Aurora HDR will cost you a flat $99 for five computer licenses. You may also purchase their additional bundle that combines both “Luminar Neo & Aurora HDR” for $149. It is a limited-time offer; you should better hurry.

And you can always test their software for a 30-days free run, and they guarantee to return your money if you are not satisfied.

5. Canva.

One of the best free photo editing tools on the internet.

Canva offers you a lifetime free trial without risk.

Canva is one of the most trusted and well-known because its free service suits most beginners. However, the advanced and severe designer may decide to look at Canva Pro for stunningly more features. Their free plan has lots of photoshop elements like DxO photolab, so you can expect is more cost-effective.

You can try Canva free as long as you like & Canva Pro also has a 30-days free trial option.

With Canva, you can design logos, banners, posters, business cards, flyers, and many more within this list.

Thousands of pre-designed templates are available for you to get started, or you may create your design, whatever suits your needs.

Thousands of pre-designed templates to choose from.

Thousands of pre-designed templates to choose from.

If you do not have the necessary skills, there is a whole Design School within Canva, and it’s entirely free to learn.

Just head in there, open an account and start to watch tutorial videos, and on the next day, design logos for your business. Simple and exciting. To help you get started, you may search for free stock photos from different free online photo sites such as Pixabay and Unsplash.

Canva has three types of subscription plans. Free, Pro, and Enterprise, ranging from $0 to $30 per user per month. And as usual, their Pro plan has a free 30-day run for you to test out.

Canva pricing option.

6. Picmonkey.

Simple & powerful photo editing tool – risk-free 7-days.

Simple & powerful photo editing tool, free for 7-days.

PicMonkey is one of the simple image editing tools; it is not as advanced as Adobe or Aurora HDR; however, it is still valid for beginner and advanced users.

It has a free 7-days run, no risk.

With their easy-to-use tool, you can edit or create an image, logo, banner, poster, or whatever you like.

They have millions of stock photos ready to use, 8,000+ graphics to add, and 1,000+ templates to get started with editing images.

Social Media users can get the most benefit from them.

Social Media users can benefit most from them.

If you are a YouTuber, PicMonkey can be a handy tool. Easily create the quick cover image and splash page add color, graphics, and photos in your thumbnails.

Facebook and Twitter users can also get an advantage by using this tool; you can boost your followers’ engagement with stunning posts, ads, and images.

You can create logos for your brand, watermark your images, and many more.

They have a vast collection of tutorials for your photo editing career; just sign-up and head to their learning section. Though this software is relatively new, it is also one of the best photo editing software; their learning curve is relatively short.

Picmonkey subscription option.

Along with their free 7-day trial, you may choose from 3 subscription plans. Essential for beginner cost will be $7.99, Pro for advance user cost is $12.99 and for a team or group of marketers, there is Team plan budget is $33.99.

7. Capture One.

Ultimate photo editing software – free for 30-days.

The ultimate photo editing software for beginner and advanced users.

Capture One is another powerful Ultimate photo editing software that serious designers must have. It is created by the camera company name Phase One.

One of the great features is an even better RAW image editor than all other professional photo editors.

The best part, as always – Try the free 30-day run without paying any dime.

Its unique feature masking ability eliminates the need for photoshop, and Capture One software can handle that with ease no matter how big the image file is.

Great photo editor with excellent masking ability.

Their industry’s fastest tethering can speed things up for you by shooting directly to your computer.

By tethering, you can build a live studio workstation in your home and showcase your work to get an instant review.

Moreover, you can design your ideal workstation that suits your need and comfort.

Capture One has different types of products based on the devices you use. For single-users starting from $20 per month, it supports all cameras. There is a plan for Fuji Camera starting from $9.99 per month, and they have a complete plan for Sony and Nikon cameras.

However, if you are planning to buy their products, then Capture One 20 Pro License + 145 styles included will cost you a total of $448, and Only Capture One 20 Pro without style bundle will cost you $299.

If you can’t decide, then try their 30-day free trial.

Capture One pricing plans.

8. Designwizard.

Design image & video within a minute – free forever.

Design image & video within a minute.

Design the way you want images or videos with a few clicks of your mouse and done within a few minutes.

The best part – a free forever plan without any trial period suits most of your basic needs.

You can easily personalize any design by uploading it & automatically, it will resize & change the way you want it.

You don’t even need to upload your design to edit it; you can choose from millions of user-created free and premium images, high-quality videos, illustrations, and graphics.

Community drove millions of stock images and videos.

Community drove millions of stock images and videos for photo editing.

What are they offering you? They even have thousands of templates as well for you to get started.

What you need is a Digital Certificate of Achievement, Facebook Post templates, Twitter templates, real-state videos, design a business card, poster, logos, whatever you want; possibly it is already there. Just find it and use it.

Select a template and start working with it using the easy-to-use tools they offer.

Select a template and start working with it using the easy-to-use tools they offer.

How about their subscription plan? They have a free plan for you to take care of most of your needs. But if you are a professional designer, you must need more.

They have a Pro and Business plan along with an Enterprise plan. The Pro plan starts at $9.99, the Business plan will cost you $49.99, and their Enterprise plan has a custom rate for you to contact them.

Designwizard subscription plan.

9. Acdsee Photo Studio Ultimate.

Ultimate creative freedom – free 30-day test drive.

Ultimate creative freedom in photo editing.

It is said to be the Ultimate Creative Freedom for creative minds people.

Where do you belong? In the field, behind a lens to capture the beauty of nature and Photo Studio Ultimate will shape that captured beauty by combining GPU-accelerated features, raw editing, and evolutionary digital asset management technology.

And it’s safe to start by using a 30-days free test run.

It’s fast enough to swiftly satisfy your creative graphic design and photo editing needs.

Learn from industry expert photographer Alec Watson.

Learn from industry expert photographer Alec Watson.

Isn’t it amazing that you will get the chance to learn directly from an expert photographer? It’s a bonus feature with the subscription plan.

And, what are new features they are offering along with old ones:

Broaden the horizon: Eyes on the Horizon, it is ended there? No worries, you have the power in your hand to expand it to the limitless boundary.

Rule of thumb: you can control the unit measure, color, and visibility. Customize the ruler and lay as many guidelines as you like.

Handle any geometric imperfection, Layer effects, Blend the clones, Align and blend your layer, and many new features.

Effortless digital asset management of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate.

Now, what about pricing plans? They have monthly and yearly subscription plans and a one-time purchase of stand-alone software. For example, with Home Plan, you will get 4 top ACDSee Products for up to 5 user licenses and a 50-GB cloud storage space, the monthly plan costs $8.9 per month, and the yearly plan costs $89 per month.

Their stand-alone software plan’s lifetime license will cost $84.95 for only Photo Studio Ultimate. And, four products combined one-time cost will be $129.

Acdsee Photo Studio Ultimate subscription plan.

Executive Summary.

I have written down all I know until today about Photo editing software. In this digital era, everything has changed. Now people can take photos with a handheld device or phone easily. But even 30 years ago, in 1990, people would be shocked if they could somehow read this guide. Back then, taking a photo was a lot troublesome & they had to wash negative films in a dark room and make a clear picture.

And editing a photo give special effects was out of the question back then, at least not for general people. A personal computer with our precious windows didn’t even exist until 1995.

Thinking about the past era, you will realize that technology has blessed us. Photo editing software can make almost anything possible now; the limit is only your imagination.

Not just these software but also there are many open source photo editing software you will find on the internet; you may also find many free photo editing software. However, check those before use in your professional photo editing work.

I hope you liked my guide, I have tried to give my best in this guide, and maybe it’s not perfect, but what about you? What do you think about this guide? Is it helpful? Need further help regarding photo editing software? Whatever the question, ask in the comments below. I will try my best to help you out.

Recommended reading: after reading photo editing software reviews, I think you should check my other guide – “Best Video Editing software” if you need photo editing software, then tomorrow you might need video editing software as well, so don’t forget to check out latest collections and offers.