In the home furnishings game, it’s important to connect with your customers wherever they are, and these days, that initial interaction will likely be online. You’ll want to put your best photos and graphics forward in that case, with images that tell your story and help your showroom or retail spaces shine, assisting in your efforts to make those personal connections with your customers and clients.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer today to post engaging representations of your business on your website or social media channels. If you have a smart phone, there are apps for that. Here are three that can help you take your photo-editing and graphic design to the next level without a photography or graphic design degree.
Canva has become an impressive branding, graphics and social media imagery tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs. If you don’t consider yourself a graphic designer and you don’t have Photoshop skills, Canva has templates, tools and filters that can help you look like a professional. Canva has pre-designed graphics and templates for social media platforms, web imagery and even printed mailings, such as business cards, flyers and postcards, that allow for customization in a clean, drag-and-drop environment.
From the design-selector menu, you can choose your layout, search for images, purchase stock photos, add effects to your pieces, and customize the look and feel to match your brand color palette and fonts.
Available as an app and for the desktop, Canva has a free version, but to get the most out of this platform, you might want to part with the $12.99/month the Pro version costs for one to five users on an account. Check out all the features and pricing at www.canva.com
When it comes to photo editing and graphics, the brand Adobe springs to mind. Photoshop, for example, is a moniker everyone knows. Now you can access Photoshop quality photo editing on your IoS or Android device via Adobe Lightroom. This app features easy-to-use tools like sliders and presets, which let you revise photos so they look just how you want them. Start on mobile, web or desktop — your edits will be automatically applied everywhere else. Cloud storage at 20GB, 1TB or more lets you access your library anywhere. You can also choose from a range of premium presets created by professional photographers inside your Lightroom subscription. Apply styles ranging from vintage to futuristic plus portrait presets for any skin tone, all at a tap. It’s also easy to locate the photos you want to edit. Adobe Sensei machine learning recognizes people and themes, helping to find a photo or create an album.
You can download and try Lightroom free for seven days. After that, the cost is $9.99 a month.
While PicMonkey has apps for iPhone, Android and iPad for photo editing on the go, the desktop version is where this platform shines for creating images and graphics when you aren’t a professional graphic designer. That said, PicMonkey has more robust photo-editing capabilities than, say, Instagram photo editing, so it might be worth the install on your devices.
There are three main groups of editing features in PicMonkey: edits, touch-up and effects, offering a combination of tools all in one place. Edits consist of brightness and contrast settings, color balance changes, etc. Touch-up is a group of beauty effects designed to make the human face more appealing, and these effects mirror those of Instagram filters.
PicMonkey also offers templates, collage features and animation along with photo resizing, a background remover and even branding tools.
There’s a seven-day free trial to get started (but you can’t save your projects), and PicMonkey offers several plans to suit your needs, from Basic to Team. The Basic plan ($7.99/month) lets you use all of the essential PicMonkey photo editing features. It gives you a gigabyte of cloud storage, lets you add videos, and allows you to save your work in different formats: .png, .jpg, .gif or .mp4, for example.
The Pro Plan ($12.99/month) offers the above and lets you upload stock photos from Getty as well as custom fonts. You also get priority email support and unlimited cloud storage. Team ($33.99/month) gives you all Pro plan benefits, but with a discount for groups of three or more. This way, you can use PicMonkey to review permissions.