I am not a graphic artist at all, but I have to say it’s one of my frustrations… I always enjoyed creating images and editing our family pics.

Everyone knows the best program to use out there is Adobe Photoshop and we also know that it’s kind of heavy in the pocket… yes its expensive but a good investment, specially if you need and do a lot of photo editing for your business… or just in your everyday life since everyone loves good looking selfies and Instagram worthy photos!

As a virtual assistant some of my tasks requires me to do basic photo editing like resize, cropping, maybe adding some text etc. but because I don’t have Photoshop I have to be resourceful and find myself some good alternatives!

So I tried a bunch of programs and have picked the best ones that worked for me, my top 3 FREE Photoshop alternatives.

1. Gimp – The Free & Open Source Image Editor
GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done.

Read more from the official website of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP).

Gimp was the first program I came across when I was looking for a photo editing program, as a total novice on photo editing before, I was pretty overwhelmed at all the features it offered. Although it took me quite a while to figure out how it works the time and effort was worth it and I have been using it ever since to edit photos and create some cool looking images.

Gimp |Emma Gineta Blog

2. Paint.NET
Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

Read more from the official website of Pain.Net

Paint.NET is one of my favorites I have learned to use the program faster compared to Gimp as it is on the lighter side and I found to be much easier to use… the best thing I love most about this program are the plugins, you can actually open and edit .psd files with this tool which is pretty awesome and useful!

Paint.Net | Emma Gineta Blog

3. PicMonkey.
PicMonkey is a free photo editor that works in your browser — nothing to download or install. Fix your photos and add beautiful filters and text. Touch up facial features and create outstanding graphics. Ridiculously easy, staggeringly gorgeous.

Read more from the official website of PicMonkey

The software works in your browser so you don’t have to download anything. I love the filters and the touch up tool. PicMonkey is by far my most favorite when it comes to editing photos and I use the website not only for photo editing but creating simple graphics as well.

PicMonkey | Emma Gineta Blog

I also have played around a couple of times with Pixlr and Fotor. 

Pixlr is pretty neat and has some cool features, filters and overlays. You can use the web app or download the desktop and mobile app.

Pixlr | Emma Gineta Blog

Fotor is also a web based app that has editing and collage features and have recently launched the Design tool that works like Canva. I have not tried the tool yet but I will surely update you once I have explored it!


You can try Adobe Creative Cloud Plans and subscribe to a monthly plan if you are not ready to get the full package yet.

There are lots of photo editing software out there that will not hurt your credit card if you don’t have the budget. Why not try some of these editing programs to your next project? Let me know you go!

Emma Gineta is a a Filipino Virtual Assistant who works with heart-centered and fun-loving entrepreneurs and business owners to help them spend TIME wisely, focus on growing the business and do their Brilliance.