Top Apps for Photo Editing

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Largely due to the rise of incorporating media into our lives at a quicker rate than ever before, today’s society perpetuates what’s thought of as an image culture, that is, we’re drawn to images. We’re looking at them and for them both on our screens and in the environments we find ourselves in, we’re creating them, reproducing them, sharing them, empathizing with them, connecting and communicating through them. All of that to say, we see a ton of photos everywhere all the time. But how do we create our own images? How do we create images that are distinct and captivating, and will be unique among the other thousands we look at during our days? How do we create images that will have an ‘effectiveness’ and communicate the things we’re trying to convey for our ministry?

One way of creating such images whether they’re for digital purposes like social media, on screen for the congregation to see, or intangible pieces of information (like a pamphlet), is to edit them in a way that enhances their quality while also fitting them for your church’s mission and creative vision (the latter having more to do with things like branding and design). Below, we’ve listed our top three software applications for editing images.

1. Lightroom Classic

A member of the Adobe Creative Cloud family just like Photoshop, Lightroom Classic CC is an intuitive, efficient desktop application program that allows users to manage their photos in a ‘Library’ and edit them by ‘Developing’ them. The ‘Develop’ stage is where users edit their photos, and it provides an extensive amount of options including but not limited to, aligning tone curve, crop and skew adjustment, white balance, variations of tone (highlight and shadow, exposure, contrast, etc), hue, saturation, luminance, lens corrections, and much more. Essentially, it provides users with an easy way of editing their images at a professional level. The application has several other features following the development stage that have to do with publishing them (such as preparing them for manipulation into a book, slideshow, web publication, and more). What is important to know is that the Adobe Creative Cloud program is home to another application called Lightroom CC. While it is newer than Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC is much more limited in its options and not suited for intermediate or advanced quality images.

2. Photoshop

As stated above, Photoshop is also a desktop application program belonging to the Adobe Creative Cloud family. Much like Lightroom Classic CC, it is used to create and edit custom images; however, it is more thorough in its editing options and is geared towards those looking to edit with more minute precision. Photoshop is much more mechanical than Lightroom Classic CC, and is unique in the vast editing choices it allows users to make to the image layer by layer. It is often used by photographers, editors, designers, and creatives alike in hand with other Adobe applications such as Illustrator.


VSCO is a smartphone mobile application that functions as a photo journal. It allows users to create social profiles onto which they share their photos and videos, to discover others’ profiles, and as well, to edit their photos. VSCO provides a wide variety of preset filters for the user while also giving them a large set of tools to edit their photos. This set of tools is somewhat comparable to those in Lightroom Classic CC, for a mobile app, its abilities are impressive.

Perhaps you or someone you know is serving on your church photography team and is learning to grow in this creative pursuit that they’re stewarding. It is our hope that this list is of use to you as you navigate photography, editing, and photo reproduction.

By: Jessica Cluett