Free Photo Enhancing Software and Apps – Frugal Confessions

Free Photo Enhancing Software and Apps

Have you noticed lately that I am giving much more consideration to images and photos on I have always loved and treasured photos, and am an avid scrapbooker. Still, I didn’t have the motivation or tools to really pull off images in each post. Then the Houston Chronicle, where I syndicate to, required that we include an image in each post. Around the same time that I received this request, I also stumbled upon Pinterest (love!).

Since I have learned so much in the last few months about images, and have had such a fun time doing so, I thought I would share with you the free and legal resources available to you to bring your own images, photographs, and stories alive.

Sourcing Free and Legal Images from the Internet

Perhaps you don’t have you own images to use. Thanks to Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, I learned how to source free images from the internet that can be legally used and modified commercially. Here’s how:

  • Go to Google.
  • Click on “images” in the upper left hand corner of the webpage.
  • Search for something in the Google search bar like you would normally.
  • Once you get results, go to the cog button at the upper right hand of the page and click on “Advanced Search”.
  • Scroll down to the bottom box called “usage rights”, click on the arrow, and select, “free to use, share, or modify, even commercially”. Your image search will then be filtered so that any images presented to you can be downloaded, saved to your computer, and used as you wish.

Free Photo Editing Software

I never thought I would be able to make images as pretty and professional-looking as the ones I was gaping at on Pinterest. In fact, I spent several weeks thinking about how to fix this problem. Would I need to pay someone who does graphic arts? Fortunately, I found free online software that offers some great texts, tools, and graphics: PicMonkey. You can upload images you find on the internet (after saving the images to your computer) or your own photographs, and then play around with them. There are various fonts that you can use to write on the image, various effects that enhance the image, shapes, banners, etc. See what I’ve done with the following image using this free software:


danny boy in grass

danny boy in grass Edited

I am sure there are many other free photo editing software and websites out there, but so far this is the only one I have experience with.

Free Photo Editing Apps for Your Smart Phone

There are numerous free photo editing apps available on your smart phone, though I have not delved into any of these yet. Here are a few that look interesting:

While not free, I recently had success working with a company who offers Slide Scanning And Photo Scanning Services. Old Photo converts Slides to Prints, bringing them to life on a DVD (complete with music!). It’s Affordable Slide and Print Scanning, especially when you consider the memories that you would otherwise lose.

What are some of your free photo editing software and apps? I’d love to learn more!

7 comments… add one

  • I use GIMP 2.8 for all my computer image editing. Of course it’s free. Although the layout is a bit funky, it is very powerful and has pretty much all the editing capabilities of Photoshop. Along with raster images, all current browsers also support the SVG vector format. I use inkscape to create and edit those.
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  • I am a fan of these stuff. My smartphone is full of photo editing apps. Haha. But the website I use when I’m on my laptop is It has a lot of features that other software don’t have.

  • Lucas

    I do photography as a side job and primary use the following tools

    1) Adobe lightroom – yes not free, but it is the best time saving tool for a pro photographer and way cheaper then full photoshop. Works really well with RAW images as well, which is what i primarily shoot.

    2) Gimp – free and very powerful – i use it primarily for composition and filtering beyond what lightroom does.

    3) Google’s Picasa – pretty good free tool for organizing and doing a good number of edits on pictures. Integrates well with your google account for emailing through your gmail account, uploading to your youtube account, etc. . .

    those 3 cover 99% of my photo use

    Couple other random ones:
    4) microsoft photosynth – free – for some panorama editing that you would need adobe photoshop for

    5) GoPro CineForm Studi – free – I use it for generating timelapse videos from interval photography. (example:

  • Great ideas here and thank you Amanda, for the additional image search suggestions. Dana

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