All Things Thrifty: my favorite photo editing programs and apps.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy Saturday!  I thought Saturday would be a fun day to start a new blog series!  This is a  series I have been dreaming up for a while.  I would consider myself a very 'thrifty' person: I design for Practical Scrappers, which is all about being thrifty, regularly frequent thrift stores, and am always googling a "how to" so I can learn how to do something on my own.  I'm always dreaming of ways to "use what I got."  So I wanted to share this series with you in hopes you will think thrifty!

I was going back-and-forth on which post to kick off this series.  In the end, I decided on sharing my favorite photo editing programs and apps.  All of the programs or apps I use to edit my photos were either free or extremely cheap!  (And both of those words are music to me ears!)  So here are my favs that I use every day: 

*photo editing programs*

cost: free to download

Picasa is my #1 go-to for photo editing.  I use this program for all of my cropping and retouching of my photos, creating photo collages, and the occasional photo filter.  Picasa has TONS of features, such as adding filters, removing redeye, straightening, and creating Polaroids!  (I used the Polaroids feature in this album I shared last week).  This is a great free program for every day use!

cost: free to use online or you can create an account

I discovered Picmonkey when searching for DIY blog design on Pinterest.  I have literally fallen heels over head for this program, you guys.  I used Picmonkey to create the banner, greeting photo/welcome sign, and photo categories all here on  my blog.  I also love this program for resizing all of my photos (not cropping, but resizing), creating more artsy photo collages, and adding the 'dusk' or 'tranquil' photo filters (tranquil is used in the photo of the pumpkin above).  There are also tons of other features that I haven't even used yet, such as the face touch-ups.  They even share themed overlays, filters, etc. for certain holidays!  Some features are only for the "premium" accounts, but there is still tons of features that are free to use.  And the best part?  You don't have to have an account to sign up.  Simply upload your photo, edit it, and save!  No logging in!  (I'm currently working on printables using this program that I will share here soon!)

*photo editing apps*

cost: $1.99 for download, additional fees for additional features

I {very} impatiently counted down the days until the A Beautiful Mess app was available for Android.  It was so hard seeing everyone on the iPhone share their beautiful photos.  Now I think the hype has died down a bit, but I still love using this app like crazy!  To me, this app reminds me so much of scrapbooking on your photos: a title and some embellies.  Perfect!  I really love the 'dreamland' filter.  It's one of my favs!  (Can you tell I'm a filter kinda girl?)  I haven't purchased any additional features since purchasing the app and feel like I have so much to choose from!  I definitely love the little details it adds to my photos.

cost: $1.99 for download, additional fees for additional features 

Oh this app.  I was also drooling over this app and the beautiful photos that people shared!  Now that I have it, I think I've used it about 5 times or so.  (I only own the basic download, no add-on features yet, although I have been eyeing a feather one for a while now).  One of my favorite features is the different fonts that are offered.  There are A LOT of fonts offered with just the basic feature!  Also, there are lots of quotes and overlays you can add, all with the basic download.  Quotes are my ultimate favorite, so I love taking 'background' photos and adding quotes to them.  This is a great app for your money!

cost: free to download

Before all of the super-fun photo apps were available for Android, this was my go-to photo app and the first one I downloaded for my phone!  This app is great if you take a photo {not through Instagram} and then want to share it on Instagram.  It will automatically size it for you and you can add a background to hide the panels.  It also is {of course} great for photo grids, like this one of me and my hubby.

So there you have it.  Those are my five favorite programs/apps  They really are the only ones I use, when I use one.  Sometimes it's just so nice to have a simple photo with no extra features!  But, if you are in the market for a cheap, photo editing program or app that isn't hard to use but produces great results, this is a good way to go!

Kelster Jean

PS:  Most of these photos were shared on Instagram.  You can find me @kelsterjean!

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  1. Love this post! Since you mentioned picmonkey to me a couple weeks ago, I have been IN LOVE! This is a great series. Looking forward to the next one!

  2. Great post, thanks for sharing!
    Off to find you on Instagram.

  3. Thanks for the info. I just got a tablet and I al trying a lot of the photo apps.

  4. Picasa is also my favorite and hopefully I've been using it from a long while and I can assume that day by day it will be more flexible and will able to give us more new and exclusive features that we cannot think right now. Is not it??


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