Hey there handmade sellers!
Today’s topic is definitely one of my most FAQ. As we discussed in our previous blog post, it’s not enough to simply snap a photo and upload it to your shop. Editing must be done! But, the idea of editing product photos is super overwhelming to a lot of you, and knowing what program to use is just the first step in figuring it all out. So let’s get started, shall we?
The types of programs we’ll be discussing today are strictly for computers. For photo editing apps for smartphones, check out next week’s blog post.
The Best - Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom
I’m going to just start right off with the bee’s knees. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (they are two different programs, but you get both when you subscribe to the monthly photography package) are the industry standard when it comes to photo editing. Why? Because they are simply the best.
Photoshop and Lightroom do everything you will need (and more), they are effective, reliable, and there have been a vast amount of tutorials created around them, leaving it pretty easy to find answers to any of your question online. Even better, Photoshop and Lightroom allow you embed a colour profile with your product photo which is a necessity as it ensure your colours are rendered a true to form as possible (to read more about that, check out this post).
Photoshop and Lightroom used to cost a small fortune, leaving them really only accessible to professionals. But these days, Adobe has wised up and found a way to make their programs more accessible for the masses - through a subscription-based service. For $9.99 USD a month, you get both Photoshop and Lightroom, including all updates. For less than it would cost for two grande Starbucks vanilla lattes, that is a downright steal for this high-end, professional program.
Oh, and don’t let the fact that pros use it intimidate you. While these programs have loads of features, as handmade sellers you really only need to know a few. It’s just a matter of knowing what tools those are, and how to use them (just so happens I have a course that covers exactly that - check it out here).
Decent - Affinity
If subscriptions aren’t your thing but you still want a decent program, check out Affinity. Affinity also has a wide array of tools for photo editing, including the ones you need as handmade sellers. And it still allows you embed a colour profile.
Affinity’s design is aesthetically pleasing and looks very similar to Photoshop. The Affinity website has tutorials to get you started, and after that a lot of the Photoshop tutorials will likely translate.
Free - Gimp
I’m going to be straight with you - I don’t love Gimp. But, it’s free and it allows you to embed a colour profile with some complicated trickery.
The reasons I don’t love this program is because of the challenges with embedded a colour profile (you have to find, download, and install the colour profile before it’ll embed it with your images) and because it’s just not user friendly or intuitive. It’s clunky. But again - it’s free. And it does contain the tools you need as a handmade seller to edit your product photos.
There are fewer tutorials available for Gimp, but a lot of the tools do mimic Photoshop’s tools so you might be able to generalize some of the Photoshop tutorials out there.
It’s also imperative to note - there are other programs available out there. Some popular ones are Pixlr and PicMonkey. I don’t recommend these programs. Why? Because they don’t allow you to embed a colour profile. In fact, it strips images of their colour profile.
This is a big deal because, as I discussed in this post, if you don’t have a colour profile embedded in your photo you may find that the colours of your products are wayyy off once you’ve uploaded them to your online shop. Off colours = unhappy customers. Not good.
So, stick to the programs mentioned above and you will be well on your way to beautiful, professional-looking edited photos before you know it!
Go-to product photography instructor for creatives since 2017
I'm a photographer and I teach makers, artists, and creatives how to take beautiful, compelling, and effective brand and product photos for their business.
With my signature straightforward teaching style and affinity for blending the technical with the creative, I'll teach you how to not just take a nice photo, but how to LOVE crafting stunning, stand-out images that significantly elevate your creative business.
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