12 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (2023 Guide)



Over the years of shooting real estate images, we've seen how improper software makes photos appear dull or distorted. Failing to highlight a home's best features leads to missed sales opportunities. We’re listing options for the best photo editing software for real estate photography, whether you're a pro or a beginner. 



Best Photo Editing Software for Real Estate Photography

Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and Luminar NEO are the best software solutions for real estate photo editing because of their powerful editing capabilities, advanced tools, and ability to streamline batch editing of large sets of listing photos. Particularly when working on the RAW file format, you can work on multiple images to streamline your editing workflow.

Chart summarizing the key features of the best photo editing software for real estate photographer

Post-processing is an integral part of a digital photographer’s “process", whether you're a professional or merely a hobbyist. This is where you edit your photos to balance hues, create special effects, improve saturation, remove blemishes, and more. These image enhancements and alterations can be done using special photo editing software.

With these criteria, we’ve come up with a list of advanced photo editing tools that any skilled real estate photographer can use.

  • It should allow you to share your photos
  • It should enable you to perform the necessary adjustments
  • It should have an adequate selection of filters and effects
  • It should be able to import and organize your photos

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the premier photo editing software used by real estate professionals for its unparalleled selection of enhancement tools. Key real estate photography editing features like healing brushes, cloning, and content-aware fill allow editors to remove distracting objects from room photos.

Adobe Photoshop logo

Photoshop is perfect for an intermediate or professional photographer. The array of adjustments for exposure, color balance, and sharpening gives precise control over image qualities. Layers, masks, and blend modes facilitate complex edits and compositing. Photoshop is essential to helping you edit photos to the next level.

  • Pros: Multiple tools, industry standard, vast resources/community
  • Cons: Expensive at first, steep learning curve

2. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a powerful photo editing tool that has become the standard for professionals and novice photographers alike. With it, you can adjust the color, exposure, and tonality of a digital image. However, it is limited and not as powerful as Photoshop in terms of image manipulation — changing colors, removing spots, or compositing it with other images.

Adobe Lightroom logo

Aside from an HDR batch plugin, it provides an optimized workflow for real estate photographers with streamlined batch editing capabilities. We often use the Develop tools that offer one-click presets and manual adjustments to straighten, balance, and enhance large sets of property photos. Lightroom Classic is my go-to software when bulk-editing real estate photos.

  • Pros: Workflow-focused, built-in RAW processing, presets
  • Cons: Limited photo manipulation capabilities compared to Photoshop

3. Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo stands out in editing real estate photography shots because of its artificial intelligence-powered tools. It can make batch edits and enhance large sets of real estate photos quickly and easily. Editing features like AI Sky Replacement, AI Structure, and AI Accent AI instantly improve skies, surfaces, and details in properties. 

Luminar Neo logo

We use it to edit real estate photos because of its ability to uniformly process listing photos in bulk while still providing customizable image enhancements. This feature enables professional real estate photographers to turn around high-quality, consistent galleries that make spaces shine. Luminar Neo delivers professional results in a fraction of the editing time.

  • Pros: Quick AI-powered edits and enhancements, affordable
  • Cons: More limited control than Photoshop/Lightroom

4. Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is a favorite of both professionals and novices because its real estate photo editing tools and functions are easy to use. One of its capabilities is the ability to correct perspectives and change color gradients, color levels, white balance, and more. It also utilizes GPS image data for geo-tagging. 

Corel paintshop pro logo

The combination of automated real estate image enhancements and precise manual controls helps real estate photographers refine their photos efficiently. While not as full-featured as Photoshop, Paintshop Pro's lower cost and solid performance make it appealing as a strong real estate photo editing software.

  • Pros: Affordable, good selection of tools
  • Cons: Lesser known, not as polished as Adobe options

5. GIMP

Do you think you need Adobe Photoshop? Here is a real estate photography software program that can do about 80% of what Photoshop can do. GIMP is a bitmap-based image manipulation program that is ideal for quick and simple real estate photo editing.

GIMP logo

However, its user interface is not that polished compared to other applications. On the plus side, it's an open-source program, so it's free to use. You can also use free scripts and plugins to enhance its capabilities.

  • Pros: Free and open source, available on every platform
  • Cons: Steep learning curve, lacking some features

6. ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW provides filters and presets that give stunning photos heightened styling with just one click. The Enhance AI tools automatically adjust lighting, color, and detail in real estate photography. Stacking layers enables applying custom edits to specific elements like skies or buildings.

ON1 photo raw logo

Photo RAW also includes panorama stitching ideal for real estate photos, focus stacking, and portrait retouching tools useful for property listings. The streamlined user interface and seamless experience from import to export make ON1 Photo RAW a worthy Lightroom alternative for many real estate photo editing tasks at an affordable price point.

  • Pros: Robust tools, affordable subscription or one-time purchase
  • Cons: Slower than Lightroom, fewer tutorials/resources

7. Serif PhotoPlus

Serif PhotoPlus focuses more on graphic design and creative projects than professional photo editing. It offers drawing tools, frames, templates, and effects that real estate photographers can use to embellish their photos for marketing. The collage creator and text options enable you to design property lineups tailored to social media. 

Serif PhotoPlus logo

For basic one-off real estate photography improvements to brightness, color, and image cropping, PhotoPlus gets the job done. However, it lacks the workflow efficiencies and adjustment controls for batch post-processing large real estate photo sets. Despite that, we find this editing software quite unique because it also makes it easy to restore old scanned photos.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, good for beginners
  • Cons: Very limited capabilities compared to leading options

8. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is an easy-to-use online graphic design and real estate photo editing software. It offers templates, touchup tools, graphics, and collage creation for basic photo enhancements. The basic photo editor is free, while the pro subscription unlocks more advanced capabilities.