The Best Photo Editing Programs for Beginners in 2015

02 Jul 2015
| Last update: 22 Aug 2017

The commercial photography industry has been steadily growing for quite a few years and it seems to have reached a new zenith in 2015, especially when it comes to photo manipulation. This is definitely one lucrative business which shows no signs of dwindling in the coming years. On the contrary, photo editing is starting to be a great career choice for almost anybody. You only have to take a look at some popular job-searching websites and you’ll notice there are plenty of companies, small and large alike, that are looking to hire photo editors.


Not only will you have the opportunity to earn good pay, but you will also be able to work as a freelancer from the comfort of your own home. Do you like the idea of working as a photo editor, but you’re afraid that it’s too late? Perhaps you also think that it’d be too complicated to learn? Nonsense! There are lots and lots of programs that are not only user-friendly, but also beginner-friendly. Here are the best picks for 2015:

1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

When it comes to photo editing software you’ve most likely already heard about Photoshop. While it is true that the pros generally use this program, there are also other versions aimed at beginners. Photoshop Elements 12 is one of them. Here are just some of the features it offers:

  • Access to a wide variety of editing tools, along with access to online resources that help you understand them.
  • The freedom to choose between different modes, like Quick or Expert mode. The former is ideal for someone who doesn’t know a lot about photo editing.
  • Once you learn all the basics, you will be able to use more advanced editing tools. You’ll never feel restricted when it comes to what you can do with your photos and creativity.

You can get Photoshop Elements 12 on Amazon for $73, plus shipping fees. It’s a pretty fair price for what it has to offer.

2. ACDSee 18

This is another great option for anybody who is interested in the photo editing industry. The great thing about ACDSee 18 is that, beside giving you access to various editing tools, it lets you efficiently organize your entire photo collection. Here are some other highlights:

  • Your photos can be magnified, while still retaining their initial high quality.
  • You can easily find any photo you need, since ACDSee 18 allows you to store them according to certain keywords.
  • You will be able to view the history of any photo editing adjustments you made to a certain picture and have the option to reset the photo back to one of them.
  • Access to basic and advanced editing tools.

Getting familiar with the program won’t take long, plus you can always browse Customer Care if you need any help.  You can buy this program directly from ACDSee’s website for only $39,95. Keep in mind the offer only stands until March the 17th.

3. GIMP Photo Editing Software

Finally, we have reached the end of our list and it’s only natural to finish with a program that was not developed and published by a large company. Nope, GIMP started out as the school project of two university students back in ’95. So why would this software be a better choice than the previous ones? Take a look:

  • Getting used to how GIMP works doesn’t take a lot of time. Its interface and design are very intuitive and you’ll start editing in no time.
  • You can easily create website graphics from scratch.
  • You’ll have access to a wide variety of basic and advanced editing tools, most of them offering Photoshop-like quality.
  • Immediate access to support, since the GIMP forums are a large and active community.
  • Access to helpful tutorials.
  • GIMP is functional across a large array of platforms, from Windows to Linux.
  • By far, its best feature is its availability. You can download the GIMP photo editing software for free.

Still want more? GIMP’s developers made it available as a Portable App. What does this mean? You will have the freedom to install it on a flash drive, insert it in any computer you want and run it independently, without having to worry about it leaving any trace on the computer. That’s right, all your GIMP files will be directly saved on the flash drive.

In the end, the decision is yours to make. All these programs are great, but the latter seems to surpass them in many ways. Take your time and gather your thoughts before doing anything else. Your new photo editing career is just beginning and it’s up to you whether you want to spend money on useful editing tools and valuable assistance, or just get them for free.



Content Writer at Squirrly
Content writer and occasional proofreader. When not typing away at his keyboard, he spends his time playing video games and reading about the gaming industry.