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25 Best FREE Photo Editing Apps in 2021

By Kristina
23 Sep, 2021
12 min read

When it comes to your e-commerce business, great pictures matter. A lot. 

The average attention span of online shoppers is 8 seconds, so product photos that attract attention are key to running a successful dropshipping or e-commerce store.

Despite this fact, all too often the brand and product pictures look unappealing. That’s because, no matter how great the product looks in real life, capturing that look in a photo is hard. 

So your photos might suffer from:

  • muted colors, 
  • weird backgrounds, 
  • or off-balanced lighting.

These substandard visuals will scare away potential customers visiting your online store. 

But don’t fret! You can easily use photo editing to correct these issues and showcase your products in their best light. And you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to make your product photographs look stunning. 

The best photo editing apps make this process easy. And we’re here to help you find the perfect apps to take your pics from zero to hero.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at: 

  • what photo editing is, 
  • why dropshippers and e-commerce entrepreneurs should learn to edit their photos, 
  • and 25 best photo editing apps you can use for free.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

What is photo editing?

Photo editing covers a wide range of activities. But it basically means adjusting in some way the images you already have. These images can be digital photographs, illustrations, prints, or photographs on film. 

The photo editing process is almost as old as photography itself. Since the birth of photography, photographers have always tried to improve their photos at home. Today, the basic photo editing techniques include:

  • cropping, 
  • resizing, 
  • adjusting brightness and contrast, 
  • color corrections, 
  • and others. 

Photo editing apps can easily accomplish all of these tasks and perfect your e-commerce images.

Why do you need to edit your photos?

There are many reasons why photo editing is essential for the success of your e-commerce store. 

Attractive edited photos will help you with: 

Getting the attention of potential customers

Most online shoppers will only skim through your content. But there is a simple trick to get people invested in your products - sleek, good quality images. According to Venngage, posts accompanied by images earn 180% more engagement than those without. And engagement often equals sales, so images are an important asset to any e-commerce business.

Converting customers 

When it comes to shopping online, product photography plays a critical role in any decision to purchase. In fact, more than half US shoppers believe that high-quality product images are the most important factor in deciding whether or not they’ll make a purchase from you. Great product photos on your online store give your potential customers a better idea of how your products actually look, and make them trust your store with their money.

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Getting traffic to your store

Editing images down to their optimum size and dimensions can help with attracting visitors to your online store. This is because optimization leads to shorter page load times, which will make your e-commerce website rank higher on Google. And with over 80% of consumers doing online research before buying anything, you want to be right there at the starting point of their buying journey.

Developing your brand 

Not just any image will do the trick when it comes to brand awareness and loyalty. Visual consistency is key. This means that you should ensure that all visual elements you use on your e-commerce store and social media channels are consistent in quality and design. Editing your photos will help you to achieve this. After all, attractive, high-quality images can deepen a customer’s (or potential customer’s!) attachment to and trust in your brand.

In short, photo editing is an important step to making your products look stunning online. But there is no need to buy expensive software - there are plenty of free, easy-to-use photo editing tools. Regardless of your skills, needs, and goals, the best photo editing apps will allow you to achieve a professional look with minimal effort.

We’ve compiled a list of 25 of the best photo editing apps that will take your images to the next level. So if you want to find the best free photo editing app, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get to it!

The 25 best free apps for photo editing

1. Pixlr

Best for: A deep dive into photo editing.

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

Complex but easy-to-use, Pixlr has extensive features and many powerful tools. You can perform numerous complex operations in Pixlr, including using color correction and sharpening tools to make your subject pop and superimposing text, shapes, and other elements onto your image for eye-catching originality and flair. And if you stumble upon something that is slowing you down, Pixlr offers numerous tutorials that are quick to watch and easy to understand, making this one of the least-frustrating advanced photo editors for busy people.

2. BeFunky

Best for: Creative edits and photo collages.

Available on: Browser, Android and iOS.

Easy, intuitive, and feature-rich, BeFunky makes image editing a piece of cake with an uncluttered, intuitive interface and powerful features. It is easy to find the right tools and see the effects on the image in real-time. The capabilities include a wide range of tools, from basic editing like exposure and contrast, to portrait touch up capabilities, artsy effects, creative overlays, and textures. While there are premium features, the free version does pretty much everything you need.

3. Fotor

Best for: One-click photo editing.

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

Fotor is packed with image-enhancing tools and filters to make pictures look their best. It supports all the most popular image file formats and is extremely user-friendly. You can enhance photos, retouch portraits, remove backgrounds, and apply effects. There are plenty of one-click filters designed to enhance your pictures based on the conditions in which they were taken, and the subject. Examples include artificial lighting, sunset, portrait, landscape and theater. And, in addition to images, Fotor offers design help for business owners looking to create professional looking business cards, banners, invites, and more.

4. Canva

Best for: Quick edits for social media.

Available on: Windows, Android and iOS.

Used by plenty of social media accounts, Canva is also a valuable tool for e-commerce store owners looking to quickly edit product photos. The wide array of templates available make it an essential resource for anyone looking to create digital content. Canva comes ready with preset image sizes for social media, blog postings and more. In addition to great layering functions, it has some really awesome font tools that allow you to create truly eye-catching images. Finally, it also comes complete with built-in support using search, tabs, and articles to find help with any issue.

5. GIMP

Best for: Advanced users.

Available on: Windows and Mac.

Often compared to Photoshop, GIMP is open-source software and a favorite among many graphic designers. It is full of professional features, including a plethora of brushes, and has a very friendly and flexible interface. Easy to customize, GIMP provides the ability to create and add your own filters, allowing you to create just about anything. You are welcome to donate any amount to the GIMP project if you so desire, but you have the option to use it for free without paying a penny.

6. Adobe Photoshop Express

Best for: Comprehensive photo editing on mobile.

Available on: Browser, Android and iOS.

Adobe Express features Adobe’s renowned imaging smarts, with a deep supply of tools for correcting and embellishing your photos. It has all the tools you would expect - cropping, red-eye correction, brightness, contrast, saturation, filters, borders, etc. However, the best part is its selection of smart filters. The software also includes a “decorate” category, which allows users to add text and easily create fully customizable collages. Photoshop Express is free to download, but you do need an Adobe account (it can be a free account).

7. PhotoScape

Best for: Beginners looking for interesting features.

Available on: Windows and Mac.

A fun, feature-filled, free photo editor, Photoscape is jam-packed with features that remains very easy to use. You can apply a multitude of adjustments and effects to your photos. The tools are solid, and along with retouching features, you can easily add filters to your images, create animated GIFs, batch edit photos, create slideshows and more using dozens of free templates. There are many color and tone adjustments and several filter effects from the practical (noise reduction) to the fun (cartoon). You can also spruce up your photos with a variety of fun and funky frames.

8. Crello

Best for: Creative edits for eye-catching social media posts. 

Available on: Browser.

Made for marketing material, social media posts, and other blogging activities, Crello helps to create impressive content in minutes. It encompasses image and photo editing tools within a rich, canvas-based workspace. You can access thousands of professional, trendy templates and edit them right away.

9. Inkscape

Best for: Quick, basic edits.

Available on: Windows and Mac.

Although Inkscape is meant for working with vector graphics, it does have some features and tools that allow you to make common photo edits. These include cropping, background removal, colour adjustments, and sharpening. Inkscape excels at detailed drawing (you can create circles, arcs, 3D boxes, ellipses, stars, spirals, polygons, etc.) and line-specific editing, but might be confusing for photo editing novices. So complete beginners might want to start with other apps on this list. 

10. Snapseed

Best for: Powerful editing on mobile.

Available on: Chrome, Android, and iOS.

Snapseed offers a wide range of exposure and color tools to make tweaks to your images, but also has plenty of filter options, from vintage styles to modern, punchy HDR looks. You can edit things such as brightness, saturation, contrast, curves, and shadows, among various other fine tuning. You can also layer the effects up to create some interesting edits on your image. The interface is user friendly and has several presets for you to try out. Snapseed also comes with a mask break and healing adjustment features.

11. Instasize

Best for: Striking edits for Instagram.

Available on: Android and iOS.

If you actively use Instagram for your online marketing, Instasize is the app for you. A multipurpose photo and video editor, it has all the features needed to create a great Instagram post from scratch. These include filters and setting sliders for post-processing alongside text and borders for final polishing. It also has a set of beauty tools available to quickly touch up personal portraits and selfies before you upload them. Plus, regular updates to the platform provide new content themed around seasons, locations, and moods. The app’s free version provides access to original filters, color editing tools, and video editing capabilities.

12. PhotoPea

Best for: Advanced photo editing.

Available on: Browser.

Free and open source, PhotoPea lets you edit photos, apply effects and filters, add text, and crop or resize pictures. It is equally suitable for complicated procedures like web-page design and making illustrations, and simpler ones like changing the size of pictures. If you’re an advanced photo editor, PhotoPea provides an excellent alternative to Photoshop. That means it has fewer Instagram-style filters and effects than rival photo editors, so if you are looking for something simple, try other apps on this list.

13. iPiccy

Best for: Graphic design novices.

Available on: Browser.

This easy-to-use, layer-based editor is quick and responsive, offering a variety of basic and advanced edits as well as controls for adjustments, colors, and filters. Feel free to go down the rabbit hole of playing with iPiccy’s many textures, stickers, frames, and images; using the various blending modes; painting directly on your photo; or inserting some text with your own or online font collection. There’s also a collage making feature with numerous templates and colour, size, cell roundness adjustments that will make the editing process easy and fun.

14. VSCO

Best for: Charming filters.

Available on: Android and iOS.

This is a minimalistic app with a simple interface and powerful features. VSCO’s best feature is a library of filters to enhance your images and make them share-worthy. These soft and subtle filters add a touch of class to your photos compared to many heavily filtered Instagram presets. You can also adjust them via a simple slider. VSCO also offers some other photo editing tools such as adjusting color, balance, highlights, cropping, and spot healing.

15. PicMonkey

Best for: Simple edits for social media.

Available on: Android and iOS.

The app is a scaled down version of the paid PicMonkey editor for desktop, but you can still do a lot. It is especially handy for posting from your smart device directly to social media. You can crop, fix lighting, and apply trendy filters and effects to your pics and videos. There is also a background remover feature and a touch-up tool for selfies. PicMonkey also has pre-sized blank canvases to design optimal social media images, and tons of customizable fonts and graphic stickers - from playful to business-y - to finish off your designs. 

picmonkey
Image Source

16. Taler

Best for: Creating your digital branding.

Available on: Android and iOS.

Taler lets you create original content using templates with sizes suited to different platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and others. You can make banners and graphics from scratch as well as upload and edit your image. The app also allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your image as well as refine the clarity, temperature, and more. It’s also possible to add text, overlays, and filters. Taler adds more templates every week, giving you more inspiration for your design.

17. Movavi Photo Editor

Best for: AI-powered photo editing.

Available on: Windows and Mac.

With the help of Al-powered photo enhancement, editing on Movavi will take no time: the program will improve your pictures automatically. You can easily crop photos, apply a filter, use a color effect, and adjust image parameters, including saturation, white balance, contrast, and brightness. You can also get rid of red eyes, unnecessary objects, replace the background, eliminate the consequences of improper lighting during shooting, as well as add a watermark. Besides, it can easily compete with the best free photo organizing software.

18. Polarr

Best for: People with design experience.

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Polarr is an outstanding photo editing tool for people who really want to learn the ins and outs of photo editing, though it’s not great for beginners. Featuring a variety of advanced editing tools, it does take some time to become familiar with the interface, giving the experience somewhat of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, you will appreciate auto-enhance tools and sophisticated filters

19. Facetune

Best for: Editing selfies.

Available on: Android and iOS.

When it comes to certain products - like makeup and jewelry - potential customers want to see what they look like on an actual person. But photographing people presents a set of challenges. 

Facetune gives your portraits a professional look without any expensive equipment or software. It allows you to quickly make professional photo editing adjustments to your images. You can smooth skin, whiten teeth, remove blemishes, and even adjust the position of facial features with just a few swipes and taps. Like with filters, you don’t want to go overboard with retouching, so make sure to tap and hold the blue button at the bottom of the screen to switch between the original image and your edited version for comparison.

20. Picmaker

Best for: Fast, simple designs.

Available on: Browser.

Picmaker is an AI-based design platform that lets you create stunning professional designs in minutes, be it a YouTube thumbnail, channel art, Instagram posts, banners, flyers, ads, logos, or stickers. You will find thousands of ready-made design templates, a brilliant photo-editing tool, millions of stock images, and any design icon you can think of. Plus, there is an AI-enabled background removal tool and a brilliant collection of fonts. You can also upload your brand kit, and get started editing right away - you don’t need any design knowledge to get going on Picmaker.

21. Seashore

Best for: Quick and easy image manipulation.

Available on: Mac.

If you’re intimidated by feature-rich apps, you will find Seashore incredibly easy to navigate as it has a user-friendly interface designed for beginners. Seashore provides basic image editing tools that allow you to get your editing done quickly without getting lost in the complexities of a full-blown editing app. 

22. piZap

Best for: Simple but fun edits.

Available on: Browser, Android and iOS.

piZap is a fantastic example of a modern and sleek free online photo editor. It makes it easy to whip up social media stories and posts, edit and enhance photos, put together amazing collages and make custom graphic designs. piZap has loads of fonts, stickers, borders, filters, and free stock images. The tool also caters to some rarer projects: not all online photo editors let you create phone backgrounds and app icons like piZap. Most features and content are free to use and no sign-up is required!

23. Paint.NET

Best for: Beginners and slower devices.

Available on: Windows.

Initially created as a replacement for Microsoft Paint, Paint.NET has developed into an intuitive photo editing software aimed at those looking for an easy-to-use free image editing software that offers high-quality results. It has a clear and straightforward interface that supports hotkeys functions, making it a great option for inexperienced users who don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how the program works. Paint.NET offers a wide array of photo editing tools including brightness, contrast, hue, curves, levels, layers, and gradients.

24. InPixio

Best for: Quick, creative edits.

Available on: Windows and iOS.

InPixio offers a user-friendly program that allows those with minimal photo editing skills to create beautiful images to share on social media. The software’s most notable features include hundreds of filters, blur effects, creative frames, textures, tone sliders, preset creation, and automatic online sharing capabilities. It is also highly intuitive, allowing for fast editing. The free version, however, includes watermarks.

25. Apple Photos

Best for: Basic edits and retouching.

Available on: Mac and iOS.

Apple Photos includes basic editing capabilities, and it is automatically downloaded to your Apple device. It offers a surprising number of features, including the ability to edit raw images. If you simply want to retouch or sharpen your images, then your built-in Apple Photos editor may be all you need.

The best free photo editing apps for e-commerce: the takeaways

The images on your store and social media accounts are typically all your customers have access to when making purchasing decisions. So the better they look, the more likely your customers are to buy.

The beauty of editing tools is that they allow you to change the way your images look and feel, totally transforming your online store’s appearance. With just a few clicks, you can upgrade your photos into artworks or brandable assets to use on marketing channels.

And the good news is you don’t have to invest a lot of time or money in order to create professional looking images and digital content. Just like any good e-commerce tool, the right free photo editor can improve your online store’s image without cutting into your income.

All the free tools on our list boast a decent set of editing options - just pick the photo editing app that works for you. For beginners and those just starting in business, this type works best. Use our suggested apps and online editors to showcase products in an appealing way online and develop a brand image that will guarantee your e-commerce success.

FAQ

What is photo editing?

Photo editing is the process of adjusting and enhancing images, be they digital photographs, illustrations, prints, or photographs on film. Some basic photo editing techniques include cropping, resizing, adjusting brightness, and color corrections.

Why do I need to edit my product photos?

Photo editing is a key step to make your products look great on your e-commerce store. Attractive edited photos can help with increasing customer engagement and conversion rates, getting organic traffic to your store, and building your brand.

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Kristina

I'm a content manager at sixads. I'm fiery about marketing, writing and traveling, so you can often find me scribbling away in some unknown corner of the world. If you want to know more ways to increase traffic and attract buyers to your online store get in touch with sixads on one of the channels bellow.