Get 50% Off Affinity Photo Today!

38 Essential Software For Photographers

Here are 38 software suggestions for those wanting to make money from their photography.

|  General Photography
 Add Comment

Laptop, camera, pen


When it comes to choosing software as a photographer, there's much more to think about than just which editing program you'll be using. Of course, you'll want to utilise the best programs possible while still trying to not spend too much of our cash so below, we've put together an essential list of software, both free and paid-for, you can use to kick-start your photography journey / business.

There is lots of software available so please do add any recommendations you have in the comments below so the list can be expanded. 

You can navigate to specific tools via the options listed below:




Free Software


Writing & Saving Documents 


Google Docs 

You're going to need access to spreadsheets and other documents and with Google Docs you can create and edit web-based spreadsheets and more for free. Everything is stored online and can be accessed from any computer / smart device, plus there are templates available for creating a variety of documents should you need help with the layout / design of specific files. The documents are also shareable and can be accessed as well as edited by multiple people at one time. Basically, you can create spreadsheets, written documents, lists etc. 'in the cloud' without paying a penny which means you don't have to spend money on what can be expensive office packages. 


Google Doc


Evernote - Stay Organised 

You're going to need software that keeps you organised and Evernote can help you do this. It works with Google Drive and there is a free version available. With Evernote you can take notes, share data with others, jot down a reminder or capture a picture of something you want to save for inspiration. You can also set reminders for events / meetings and organise documents so everything is in one place. 



Libre Office 

At some point, you're probably going to need a spreadsheet or perhaps you'll want to pen a letter of thanks to a client and to do this, you're going to need an office suite. LibreOffice is a free, open source office suite that includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). It's available on Windows, Mac and also Linux. 




Cloud Storage 


Google Drive 

With a Google Drive, you get 15GB of free storage space and it works with Google Photos, Gmail and Google Docs. You can also scan all your paper documents with Drive for Android. Just capture a photo of documents like receipts, letters and statements – and Drive will store them instantly as PDFs meaning you can work paperless if you so wish. Files can be made available offline so you can view them even if your connection to the internet. If you do need more than 15GB of storage, you can pay monthly for 100GB, 1TB or 10TB of data. 


Google Drive




Cloud storage is an easy way you can back up your images from shoots and also share your work with others. As mentioned, on a Google Drive you get free storage space but you may want to add to this without paying for it and one way you can do this is with Dropbox. You do only get 2GB of space, though so for a professional who can capture hundreds of images on one shoot it's probably not going to be enough but you can combine it with other free cloud storage services to give you more space. If you did want to upgrade the amount of room you have in your Dropbox, it's £6.58 a month for 1TB of storage or there's a Business account that gives you 'as much space as you need' for £15 a month/user. 

Other free online storage services include iCloud (5GB free), Amazon Cloud Drive (5GB free) and OneDrive (5GB free, 1TB for students). 



Online Presence 


Wordpress Blog

A website and / or blog can be a great way to get your name 'out there' and with Wordpress, you can have an online presence quite quickly. It's probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. However, even though you can use some of what Wordpress offers for free, you still need to purchase a domain name and hosting for your website but by using something like Wordpress, you can save yourself a little bit of cash. 




Photo Community

 We know this isn't technically 'software' but by joining a photo community such as ours, you can share your images online, ask for feedback and advice and also check out a few articles that might help you improve your technique or simply give you inspiration for your next shoot. It's good to surround yourself with people who have similar hobbies/jobs, plus we have lots of giveaways which mean you could see your kit list growing without paying a penny for it.


ePz homepage


Time Management Tools 



Asana is a task management tool that can be used by an individual or a team. You can create tasks, projects, and conversations, all of which are managed via a dashboard that are accessible via desktops as well as on mobile devices. You can see the progress of projects, add notes to them so you have a string you can refer to and tick tasks off as they're completed. There's also a 'due date and time' feature that will send you reminders of when projects are due which is handy for those with really busy schedules or the individual who tends to forget things easily. There's a calendar, tasks can be assigned to individuals and it can also be integrated with Dropbox, Chrome, Google Drive and other programmes. 



If you're a one-man-band then you can use StudioCloud for free. It's business management software that allows you to manage clients, create schedules, invoice and book keep, plus allow clients to quickly make bookings with you online. There are loads of other things this time management tool can do, plus it's available on Mac, Windows, Android and iPhone. There are paid for options which allow more people to access the StudioCloud and prices start at $35 a month. 



Studio Ninja

This is another studio management package that has a free option for those who work solo with the option to upgrade to paid-for versions (starts at $21.55 USD a month) once you expand your team. Studio Ninja reminds you when tasks are due, it can automatically send pre-written emails, chase up overdue invoices and much more. It offers online invoicing and credit card payments as well as a calendar so you can clearly see what jobs are coming up. There are plenty of other tools and features built in that are designed for photographers, too. 


Studio Ninja



Offering a freebie level is something many studio management software companies seem to favour and AcuityScheduling is no different, however, it seems a little more limiting than other free levels with seen. The paid-for levels do offer a wide range of tools such as scheduling, reminders and online payment system. 


acuity scheduling


Photo Editor 


Free Online & Desktop Apps

There are plenty of free photo editing apps online as well as free photography apps available in the Windows, iOS and Play stores. They don't tend to offer some of the advanced tools you find in paid-for applications such as those from software giants Adobe but they are useful for making basic edits to images. We're not saying you'll want to use them permanently but for quick adjustments, you may find them OK.



There's also GIMP which is free to download and use. GIMP is a cross-platform image editor that's not only free, it's also open source so you can change its source code and distribute your changes. It's very popular but if you've used Adobe products in the past, in can be hard to get your head around at first but as with anything, once you've used it for a while, you do get used to the way it works. 





Back-Up Software & AntiVirus 


Crash Plan 

Technology is great but it can go wrong and if something does break, you don't want to lose all of your images and other documents. To prevent this from happening, you're going to need to back your data up and with CrashPlan, you can currently do this for free. We say 'currently' as the free version is getting phased out and you'll have to opt for one of the paid-for options instead.





Avast AntiVirus 

Avast antivirus and antispyware protection is available for your PC, Mac and Android devices. It's free to download and promises to not slow your computer down. The free version stops anything nasty, captures emerging threats, helps with password management and gets rid of unwanted extensions in browsers. 




AVG Antivirus Free

Another popular antivirus software is AVG and they too offer a free version. In the free download, you'll get antivirus which blocks viruses, spyware and other malware, remote protection so you can scan using your mobile, link protection that scans links, an easy to use dashboard and Mac & Android protection. 





Skype is a free, web-based service that you can use to make calls on as well as chat with people via a messenger system. Calls can be voice only or made as a video call and it's available on mobile devices as well as desktops. Skype-to-Skype calls are free but you will be charged if you ring mobile or landline numbers. You can also create group chats/ calls as well as speaking to individuals. It's a great way to put faces to names when organising shoots with brides to be as well as a useful tool for talking to your team of make-up artists and other assistants in one place. 



Paid-For Software 


Photo Editor - Adobe 


Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud Photography Plan 

Adobe is the name most will think of when you're asked to name a photo editing software creator and this option from the software giant gives you access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC for 12 months. With Lightroom, you can organise, edit and share photos while Photoshop gives you all of the tools you need to retouch and edit photos. It's priced at £109.99 and is available for PC and Mac. 

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 

This is a 12-month license that gives you access to the full version of Photoshop. The software is downloaded and installed on your local computer, plus any updates as soon as they are released. You also get access to 20GB of cloud storage and versions for both Mac and PC are available. It's not cheap, though, with a year's license costing £205.78. 

Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud PS

Adobe Lightroom 6

Adobe Lightroom is incredibly popular among photographers as you can use it to organise your photos as well as edit and export them. It's easy to use and more reasonably priced than the Photoshop option coming in at £103.88 for both the PC and MAC versions. 

Adobe Lightroom



Adobe Photoshop Elements 15

If you don't want to spend quite as much cash on your editing software or be tied into a subscription system then Photoshop Elements may be for you. It's kind of a cut-down version of Photoshop and even though it doesn't offer quite as many tools as Photoshop does, there's still enough available to make edits and adjustments to photos. 

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15


Photo Editor - Adobe Alternative 


Corel PaintShop Pro 2018 

PaintShop Pro 2018 is the latest version of Corel's photo editing software that's billed to rival the most advanced photo editing and design suites currently on the market. It's also subscription free and easy to use for all levels of ability. Those looking for an Adobe alternative should take a long hard look at Corel PaintShop Pro 2018 as we're more than happy to 'Highly Recommended' it.

 Corel PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate


Serif Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a Mac app that's designed to be a direct competitor to Adobe's Photoshop that comes with plenty of tools, features and some interesting touches that should get even the biggest Adobe fan's ears pricking up. Affinity Photo is available from the Mac store as a one-time purchase for £48.99.

Serif Affinity Photo


Online Presence 



foliopic is a template based website design package built with photographers and artists in mind. No software or website knowledge is required to get your website live and there are templates you can use to help create your site. Prices start at £19 (per year) for a basic account while a Pro account is priced at £139 (per year). 



Another popular website CMS provider is PhotoDeck. Professionals use PhotoDeck for Portfolios, Secure Proofing and for creating e-Commerce websites. There are 3 options available: Folio - £8 / month, PRO - £17 / month and STUDIO £38 / month. 



Wix is another leading cloud-based development platform with millions of users worldwide. With the Wix website builder, you can create a fully personalised website. There are 5 monthly price points available which start at £2.55 a month and rise to £15.57.



Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that gives you all of the tools you need to make your own website. Two plans are available which can be paid monthly or billed annually. Personal is £10 per month if billed annually or £13 month-to-month. Business, which offers more features, is priced at £15 per month is billed annually or you can pay £21 on a monthly basis. 



Writing & Saving Documents 

Microsoft Office is the name that probably springs to mind when you think about tools that can help you produce spreadsheets and word documents. The Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016 Licence Key is available for £174.99 for Windows and £156.49 for MAC. With it you get Office 2016 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016


Account & Time Management Software 



Quickbooks is designed to make accounting simple for small business and help you save time on the accounting tasks you do most. It's easy to learn and use, with no accounting knowledge necessary. It's available at different price points, via monthly subscriptions or you can pay a one-off fee over on Amazon but it is a sizeable chunk of cash. 

QuickBooks Pro 2016



Xero is cloud accounting software that's designed to be used by small businesses. You can log-in online anytime, via a variety of devices and it comes with a wide variety of useful features. Prices start at £10 per month for a 'Starter' account and rise to £27.50 per month for the Premium account. There's a middle option priced at £22 per month if the 'Standard' version is more your liking. 




Project Managment Plus 

Project Management Plus includes 4 professional project planning/management applications to keep you on track and organised. There is an app for planning / budgeting, one for managing activities, a diary / organisation tool and a resource and event scheduling system. It's surprisingly reasonably priced at £5.99. 

Project Management Plus


AntiVirus & Backup Software


Norton Security Deluxe

Norton Security defends against viruses, spyware, malware and other online threats. It secures multiple PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets with a single subscription and with Utilities you can recover damaged or deleted files, clean and speed up your PC, fix common issues and errors, maintain your digital privacy and improve PC performance. A 12-month license for Norton Security Deluxe - 1 User, 5 Devices and Utilities is priced at £22.99.



McAfee Total Protection

McAfee is another popular choice for those looking for antivirus protection. It guards against viruses and online threat as well as a variety of other useful tools. It's priced at £17.99 and can be used on PC, MAC, Android and iOS. 


McAfee Total Protection 2016


Kaspersky Total Security

As with all internet security, Kaspersky offers different plans depending on how many devices you'd like to cover and it's available for PC or MAC. The software safeguards privacy, defends against internet threats and simplifies security management. A 1-year multi-device plan that covers 10 devices is priced at £23.99. 



Bvckup 2

Bvckup 2 is backup software that's quick, can backup in real time or run backups at fixed time intervals, all for the reasonable price of $39.95 for a Professional license. 


Bvckup 2




Amazon Prime 

We're not saying you won't be able to be a photographer without this and we know it's not software but, it does give you access to unlimited photo storage as well as over a million ebooks, some of which are probably photography related so you can expand your photographic knowledge. It also gives you access to unlimited 1-day delivery (handy when you need items quickly). Amazon Prime is available on a 30-day free trial then after the free trial has ended, Prime Membership is priced at £7.99 a month or you can purchase the annual plan for £79 (equivalent to £6.58 per month).You can cancel your membership at any time. 

Electronic devices

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, WEX

It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Other articles you might find interesting...

10 Ways To Instantly Improve Photo Backgrounds
6 Photography Tutorials You Can Try Without Leaving Your Home
52 Things You Can Photograph At Home
How To Ensure Your Zoom Compact Shots Are Sharp
5 Ways To Photograph Overdone Scenes Differently
7 Creative Indoor Photographic Projects For You To Try
Don't Be Afraid Of Constructive Criticism - Here's How It Can Help You
16 Awesome Autumn Photography Projects You Must Try


21 Nov 2018 9:31AM
Thank you for the list!
I'd also recommend Pixpa for online presence. I've recently shifted to it and haven't really explored the complete platform, but it's much better than Wix in terms of optimization and print fulfillment.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.