When diving in to the world of blogging, there are a number of things it quickly feels like you need. One of those things is a DSLR. It feels almost immediately like everyone is taking these incredibly high quality photos and you have no idea what tools you need to do the same. And it seems like everyone knows how to use Photoshop to craft those light, airy photos, to make pretty visual collections of items, or to create Pinterest pinable images.
So sure, you could spend hours and hours learning Photoshop (a great skill to have, undoubtably), or you could take the easy way and use some easier, user-friendly options to create and edit images for your blog.
Let’s look at what types of images you might need for your blog:
To make a roundup of beauty or fashion items, Polyvore might be helpful. Polyvore allows you to create image sets (basically a collage of different items). They have a large amount of fashion items and products already in their library but you can also import additional items. Once you have created and saved a “set” i.e. an image collection, you can open it up in Picmonkey to add numbers and a heading.
I’m a huge fan of Picmonkey for photo editing. The interface is simple and easy to use. Their Royale membership isn’t too pricy and allows you access to dozens of photo filters, fonts, and editing options. Recently they also added the ability to use your own fonts. This means that you can download fonts you like from sites like Da Font or Font Squirrel and use them in Picmonkey. I try to keep things consistent and use the same fonts that are on my blog in the pinable images I create.
For creating a hero image for each blog post (to pin to Pinterest), Canva is my go-to. Initially I was a little turned off by Canva, as many of their designs cost money. For a long time I stuck with just Picmonkey because the idea of paying even a buck or two for something that I could do myself seemed silly. Recently I discovered that Canva’s designs only cost money when you use their premium features i.e. stock photos. If you use your own photos, Canva is free. Since there are lots of places to find free photos online (Unsplash and Pixabay come to mind), this is an easy way to make high quality blog post images for free! Canva’s interface is also very easy to use and does allow you to use a large variety of fonts.
To make edits to photos I’m going to use on Instagram, my go-to app is Afterlight. Afterlight allows you to increase the brightness and the exposure and generally gives you all the tools you need to make your photos bright, sharp, and beautiful. The interface is simple and easy to use.
Creating an Image with a Transparent Background
Creating an image with a translucent background is useful for layering images or creating collages (if you opt not to use a tool like Polyvore). I frequently use LunaPic’s transparent background tool to do this.
Still Want Photoshop But Don’t Love the Price?
I’ve heard that Pixlr is very similar to Photoshop. Since it seems pretty challenging to learn, I haven’t used it much. Adobe also offers the Creative Cloud Pricing. For $9.99 a month, you can get access to Photoshop and Lightroom for personal use. So if it was just the price that was deterring you, definitely check that out.
So if you’re a photography fanatic, yes, learn Photoshop (or maybe Lightroom). But if you’re a regular blogger, the time it takes to learn Photoshop could be spent on content creation and networking. Because you can achieve similar results (for what you probably need) using the tools mentioned above, you don’t have to learn Photoshop.
So check out the above alternatives and tell me, which is your favorite? Or what do you use to edit photos without Photoshop?