Useful Tools and Software for Photographers
Here's a list of useful software for photographers, including photo editing software, website hosts, marketing tools, general admin and others. Some of these are completely free, while others offer free trials in case you want to try them out before committing.
Photoshop has to be first on this list as it is one of the most important photo-editing tools for many professional photographers. You can currently enjoy a seven-day free trial, after which you'll pay $20.99/month. For a slightly better deal, try the Creative Cloud Photography package, which at $19.99/month includes both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Affinity Photo, a popular and award-winning alternative to Photoshop, can be yours for a one-off payment of $54.99. There is currently no subscription option, but you can enjoy a free trial before taking the plunge.
This impressive AI-powered photo editor does a lot of the work for you. As with Affinity, there's no subscription option. Instead, you can buy the software outright for $79 (or considerably less when a special discount is on offer, as it is at the time of writing.)
Learn new skills
If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your photography skills, learn Photoshop or other useful skills like 3D modeling, there’s no time like the present.
Our 10-part Introduction to Photography course is completely free. It teaches you the basics of photography, covering fundamental concepts that will lay a solid foundation as you move forward with your photography. The comprehensive chapters include everything from aperture to shutter speed, exposure to composition, and even other important concepts that some professional photographers have never learnt. It also comes with a free, downloadable 90-page e-book.
Whether you’re beginner or advanced, take a look at our range of over 40 Photoshop classes that will help you learn quickly and easily. Our post-production section also covers how to use Lightroom for those looking to make use of both of Adobe's photography tools. With almost 100 post-production classes for only $19, that’s one low subscription!
3D Modeling is another skill more and more photographers are adding to their repertoire. Learn how to create your own 3D models with our complete introduction to 3D modeling course, presented with professional retoucher Viktor Fejes. To help you keep busy without adding pressure to your wallet, many 3D software options, such as Cinema 4D and Arnold, offer free trials.
Websites for photographers
If you haven’t already designed a website to promote your photography, now is the perfect time to tick it off your list. Squarespace is one of the most popular websites for photographers, offering a variety of ready-made templates designed to show off your work. They offer a 14-day free trial if you haven’t yet used them and you can get 10% off your first purchase using the offer code ‘Karl’.
Another highly popular website service, Wordpress offers a free sign-up option that allows you to access dozens of free themes. They also other affordable plans if you require additional customisation or optimisation features.
Wix is another site you’re already likely to have heard about and they too offer a free 14-day free trial if you’re looking to try out premium features not available with their free sign-up plan. Depending on how confident you are, you can either create your own website from scratch or have Wix build one for you.
Marketing tools for photographers
If you don’t fancy creating your own website, Behance, by Adobe, is a free and easy to use platform that allows you to showcase your work, with no limit to how many images you can upload.
Canva is a powerful tool for any creative, and best of all it’s completely free. From social media graphics to business cards and logo design, Canva offers it all. You can sign up for free or try their Premium plan.
Similar to Canva, Adobe Express (formerly Adobe Spark) enables you to create graphics, logos, flyers and other design-based content from a huge range of customisable templates. You can opt for the Free plan or go all-in on the Premium, which at the time time of writing costs $9.99/month or $99/year. Express is also included in the Creative Cloud All Apps plan.
Social media planners
Once you’ve created all those eye-catching graphics, the next step is to get them out on social media to help create brand awareness. But this can take time. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are just two popular options for these. Buffer offers a free basic plan along with a 14-day trial for any of their paid plans, while Hootsuite offers a free plan or 30-day free trial of their professional plan.
Other useful software for photographers
Google docs is an incredibly useful resource for anyone needing to create or access documents or spreadsheets. With everything stored online, you can access your files from any smart device.
If you haven’t already used WeTransfer for transferring files you’re missing out! The file transfer service allows you to send files of up to 2GB for free or upgrade to Pro to transfer bigger files.
There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling of looking and looking for images, only to realise you’ve lost work. This is where cloud-based storage solutions such as Dropbox come in handy. Although it doesn’t offer a lot of storage space for those on a tight budget, Dropbox does a free basic account with 2GB of space.
You may not be able to bill for new projects while you’re in lockdown, but you can certainly bill for images that have been used without your permission. Pixsy is an online platform that automatically detects image theft and helps you resolve this. They offer a free plan, as well as other advanced paid plans.
To learn more about photography, take a look at our extensive range of photography classes, with everything from product photography to post production classes.