If you are a professional photographer, you’ll likely already know that having a good eye for staging, views, and a good camera will only get you so far.
While many people may initially frown at the idea of editing photos, any good artist knows that the best scenes that are captured need the best tools to help bring them to life.
And it is a lesson that every photographer worth their money knows, with their canvas being the real world itself!
So, if you are looking for a piece of photo editing software that can help breathe a little extra life into a photo that may have lost it once it was taken (light being a little off, or perhaps finer details being lost in subpar circumstances), you’ll find that these products are amongst the best in the business, and are worth a look at.
Starting this list with an always reliable option that most people will have at least heard of, we have Adobe and their excellent photo editing software, Lightroom.
Many people will likely have heard of Lightroom’s sister app, Photoshop. But with its often complex interface and numerous tools, newcomers can find it hard to get to grips with.
Lightroom is the perfect answer to this issue, combining an easy-to-understanding interface, with many of the best tools for editing your pictures that you’ll find out there.
With toolbars across the left handle and top of the screen to not distract from your work whilst editing, plus the extra feature of being able to organize and rank your work as you complete it, this is a great tool to try using for your photos at a professional level.
And all without melting your brain, too!
Of course, if we are discussing the best tools that you can use for photo editing as a professional, we can’t just throw Adobe photoshop to the side like that!
After, when it comes to photo editing software, Photoshop might just be the king of the pack!
Sure, the interface is a little busy, and can often scare off newcomers to photographers that are just looking to enhance their work in post-production.
However, once you have gotten to grips with how the software works, not only do you find yourself working with a highly competent piece of editing software that is widely considered the industry standard to beat, but a ceiling that has incredible potential for making gorgeous art from your photos.
Overall, despite some stiff competition out there, Adobe Photoshop is THE top choice editing software for professional photographers.
Starting with the non-Adobe products that you can find out there, we start with Luminar and one of their best-selling programs, NEO.
Luminar has recently been making a name for itself in the photo and picture editing industry as an up-and-coming star with its range of products.
Luminar NEO is currently one of their most popular, and it is not hard to see why.
With AI-assisted editing being enabled, as well as a layout that resembles a phone more than it does a computer program, accessibility and ease of use upfront are the names of the game here.
With this app, making the edits to the photos that you are looking for is even easier than it would be in programs like Lightroom.
Now, some people may feel that this program is cheating a little, and takes out a certain amount of the artist needed to create a well edited photo.
While we aren’t here to make judgment calls of that sort, we will acknowledge that for a professional photographer that is just starting, having software that you will be able to use in no time flat is incredibly appealing (see also ‘What Cameras Do Professional Photographers Use?‘).
Does that mean that having software with more manual input might be a great boon to your skill set? Probably.
However, in the meantime, and when you need to get a photo professionally edited quickly, you should consider that particular software for yourself (see also ‘Ways To Showcase Your Photos To Look Extra Professional‘)!
The problem with using many editing pieces of software, whether you are editing photos or something else, is that there can often be a gap in your skill set that these programs do not cover for.
Canva For Enterprise helps photographers fill some of these gaps, and is the perfect program to use if you don’t consider your design skills to be quite up to a standard that you are comfortable with just yet.
It’s not so much just a piece of photo editing software, but an app for design in general.
With this particular program, you can use your photos and pics in brochures and leaflets, create easy-to-format and read PDFs, and so much more besides that.
If you’re looking for a piece of software that can help you create more than just pretty photos, you can’t go wrong with Canva For Enterprise!
We’re not quite done with the Adobe products just yet on this list!
Once again, simplicity is the name of the game with this particular software.
This is the perfect program for people who, whilst liking the level of polish that you’ll find in an Adobe product find Photoshop or even Lightroom a little too complicated, or simply want to avoid the subscription model that Adobe has chosen for most of its products.
With an even more simplified interface system, whilst still having many of the same incredibly effective tools that have made Adobe a household name, Elements is the perfect tool to use if you are trying to find software that can be used easily, without losing anything in terms of overall quality.
If this sounds like a good option for you, or you otherwise want to get a taste of the kind of software that Adobe can provide, this is a great package to get for professional photographers.
We’ve talked a lot about simplicity as a selling point so far in this guide.
However, if what you are looking for isn’t simple, but the ability to tailor your editing software to your needs and knowledge, you should consider DxO Photolab 4.
With plenty of options when it comes to customizing the interface of this app, as well as plenty of presets that you may find handy to preprepare, this is the kind of software that, once set up for yourself, makes your workflow incredibly efficient, and a pleasure to use overall.
If that sounds like an appealing tool set to have in your professional career, you should consider this as an option for yourself.
After so many different software programs so far with increasingly bizarre naming conventions, it can feel a little strange to go back to using an editing tool just called ‘Photos’.
However, Apple’s entry into this market is anything but simple!
With plenty of tools that allow you to create the wildest edits in your photos, as well as in-built facial recognition so that you can keep track of the features that matter, this software that comes as standard with virtually all Mac products is ideal for photographers that already use these products!
So, as you can see, you’re pretty spoiled for choice as a photographer when it comes to editing tools for you to use!
If we can't teach you, no one can!