Photography Lighting is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

This post was most recently updated on January 29th, 2023

As a photographer, it is important to have the correct camera equipment. This will help to ensure that you are taking the best possible photos, and you are enhancing your skills. However, the photography skills do not end after you have taken a photograph.

To help enhance the photo, and improve things such as the lighting, you will want to use an editing software. The majority, if not all, professional photographers will use editing software, and if you want to take your skills to the next level, this is something you will need to incorporate too.

When it comes to the best editing software that is used by professionals, there are a handful of different options to choose from. They are all impressive options to consider, and the best software for you will depend on your personal editing needs. While some are easier to use, others are more technical.

In this article, we will be discussing the best editing softwares used by professionals, and why editing software is important to use.

Why Are Editing Softwares Important?

Editing software is important to use as a professional or mature photographer. While you may have taken an incredible photograph, it is unlikely that it will be perfect. This is only natural when you take into consideration the framing or the lighting.

Even if you need to crop a photo here, or adjust the lighting there, the differences editing can make to a photograph is certainly noticeable. There are many purposes for editing software, and it helps to naturally enhance the photographs you have taken.

What Are The Best Editing Softwares Used By Professionals?

There are a number of different types of editing software that is used by professionals, and the type varies depending on the purpose it is needed for. Here are some of the most popular options used:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is by far the most well-known and popular editing software available. A large portion of professional photographers or editors choose to use this option because there are so many ways in which it can be used.

When it comes to the cost of Adobe Photoshop, it is reasonably priced when you take into consideration all that can be done with it. The interface is clean and easy to use, on the whole, even though it can look slightly complicated at first.

It is accessible to use if you are a beginner, and there are many tutorials available online that chat through the settings and options available to you on Adobe Photoshop.

The editing you can create can range from simple, to quite in depth, and there are many image enhancing options included within this software. The layer options and masks available are fantastic, and is one of the reasons why so many people choose to use it.

If you are looking to combine or physically edit an image, this is a fantastic option to consider. Even so, there are some limitations when it comes to Adobe Photoshop, and this is why some photographers will choose to use it alongside other editing software

Adobe Lightroom

Following on from Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom is a fantastic software to use if you are looking to edit portrait photos. It is useful to use alongside Adobe Photoshop, as it offers editing features and image enhancing that Photoshop doesn’t.

Again, Adobe Lightroom is not too expensive to purchase, and it can be purchased separately from Photoshop, or as part of a bundle. There are two different versions that can be purchased depending on your requirements — Lightroom CC which is a more basic version, and Lightroom Classic, which is the full version of the software.

As the Classic contains all of the features, it is the better option for professionals, but it is more expensive. If you are looking to trail Lightroom, the CC version is a great place to start, but it does have its limitations. Overall, Lightroom is a popular choice, but it can be slightly slow in some instances.

Serif PhotoPlus

Moving on from Adobe software, there are a handful of other options to consider too. While the go-to is typically Photoshop, there are often other types of software available that may perhaps suit your needs better.

Serif PhotoPlus is a good choice, especially if you are looking for a good photo organization. It is set up well, and allows you to group photographs together with tags. This makes compiling projects far easier.

When it comes to the editing software itself, Serif Photoplus is impressive. The layers you can use are good, and it allows you to edit and enhance photographs with ease. It is particularly great for use with portrait photographs.

The software allows you to see the original photograph and your edit simultaneously. If you are new to editing, and you want to see how the photographs have improved, this feature is useful.

It is fairly easy to use, and its interface is not too complicated if you are a beginner. The cost is far lower when compared to Adobe photoshop.

Capture One Pro 21

Capture One Pro 21 is a software that you may not have heard of, however, arguably it is the better option when compared to Adobe Lightroom. This is because it has more features, especially when it comes to image enhancing. If you are editing photographs of people, it is a powerful tool.

The tethering tools and raw processing features are impressive, and the way in which you can manage your photographs is easy to navigate. The layers that can be used are great, and apart from the cost of the editing software, there are not many cons to note.

Affinity Photo 1.8

Last, but not least, we have Affinity Photo 1.8. While this is a powerful editing tool, it may not be the best option to consider if you prefer to have all of your photographs ordered and cataloged. This is because there are no options featured.

Even so, it is accessible for beginners as it has a basic interface. There are some aspects of the interface that are more complicated to use, and as a result following a tutorial would be recommended.

Affinity Photo 1.8 can be closely compared to Adobe Photoshop, and allows you to edit using similar features. It is not too expensive to purchase, and the retouching tools and layers that can be used are fantastic.

The biggest difference between Affinity Photo 1.8 in comparison to the other options featured is how it is purchased. It cannot be purchased via a monthly subscription like the other options. Instead, it needs to be purchased using a one-off payment.


We hope you have found this article helpful. As you can see, there are a number of different editing softwares available to download and purchase. Given that these are all used on a professional level, they are more costly in comparison to others available. However, if you are looking to take your photo editing and photography more seriously, they are worth considering.

The software you choose will depend on the purpose it is needed, and we would recommend looking into each option in detail before you decide, as they all have their own benefits.