The Best Free Photo Editing Software
A picture is worth a thousand words. We all know that's not true, really, because if it were, we'd all just be posting pictures all the time, without captions. But pictures do help a blog post get noticed. Pictures are especially helpful for sharing. I mean, have you ever seen a Pinterest pin without images?
No. Of course not.
This website uses a stock image subscription, that, if shared, could end up being worth the money, but unless you need a bunch of images, it's probably too expensive.
Canva is really cool, and has the ability to turn your images into eye-catching art. They have all kinds of templates, along with easy-to-follow design tutorials.
You can make something like this:
They make it relatively easy to use, and free, unless you want to buy their premium images, but those all cost $1, which can be worth it, depending on the look you're going for.
Pros of Using Canva
Templates: If you know approximately what you want to say, using their templates is the way to go. Keep the font they picked, change the words, don't even move stuff around. That's what the above image is: I took a wedding announcement and changed the words. It took less than a minute to put together, and the result is lovely!
The templates extend to not just the full layout, but the pieces within as well. You want a text bubble? They'll give you a text bubble, complete with a suggested font.
Cons of Using Canva
Not very flexible: If you want to create something from scratch, or if you want to significantly alter a template, you have to commit to a bunch of time. You'll get frustrated, move the wrong thing, edit the wrong thing, and want to fling it out the window. It's great, it's free, but it has its limitations. You can't do anything you want. You have to do what you want within the small confines of what you can do with their software.
The images look very similar: Spend any amount of time on Canva, then go to Pinterest and browse through the images. It's a bit of a let down, isn't it? That image you thought looked really neat turns out to be wicked popular with the people you follow as well. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a bit of a downer when you spend over an hour crafting your perfect image to find that it's been done with 72 different topics.
When should you use Canva?
When you want to slightly alter an existing theme. Don't fall down the rabbit hole. Set a timer for ten minutes, and call it good enough once you reach that point.
PicMonkey is a photo-editing software that just keeps getting better. It's free (though they do have a paid version, which, at the time of posting, is $33/year), and you can use it to jazz up existing images, create collages, or design something of your own.
Pros of Using PicMonkey
Flexibility: With PicMonkey, you can pretty much do anything you want. They recently added some sort of magical tool that turns all the fonts on your own computer into web-ready fonts. It's really easy to use, and I find, it takes far less time to get something reasonable out of PicMonkey than Canva.
It's better for photos, unless you're going for a tall graphical look.
Cons of Using PicMonkey
Not as professional: Somehow, the images from PicMonkey end up looking a little more amateur than those done using Canva. That's not a criticism, it's just how it turns out.
Which Free Tool Should You Use?
Both! If you aren't in the habit of adding words to your images, try these.
However, if you're interested in branding your image with your logo, hands down, the easiest option is the not-free version of ShareAsImage. It'll put your logo on any image you share.
What have you used to make your images pop?