So You Want To Make Graphics And Edit Photos (But You Don’t Have Photoshop)?

So. You want to start making graphics and editing photos, eh? But you don’t have Photoshop, you say? Have no fear! Lila to the rescue! I’ve been making photo edits and graphics for over a year now and I have never touched Photoshop! How do I do it?

First things first, I’m the realest you’ll need the proper tools! So that’s what we’ll be discussing today. I’m going to give you all the resources you’ll need to make graphics and edit photos sans Photoshop! There are a lot, but don’t feel overwhelmed, because you’re not going to be using all of them, some of them are just alternatives you can use if you find that one doesn’t work for you. So let’s jump right in!

Photo Editing Programs:

The first thing you’ll need is a good photo editing program to actually, you know, edit photos. There are the ones I use (they’re all free btw):

  • GIMP: The free alternative to PhotoShop, GIMP is what I use when I have to do more “in depth” editing. It’s the closest to a free version of PhotoShop you’ll get, as far as I know, although it’s a little clunkier.
  • Fotor: A quick and free photo editor, which lets you edit brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature, tint, sharpness, and vignette and has a ton of filters
  • Collager: This lets you create free style collages, but what I really use it for is its gradient transparency feature when I want to graft an image over another.
  • Pixlr Editor (online): Another free alternative to PhotoShop (although, like GIMP, it’s less powerful), but this program is online.
  • Pixlr Express (online)A quick and easy editor, Pixlr Express has more editing option than Fotor, but less than the full version of the Pixlr editor.
  • iPiccy (online): This program is online and is free. You can use it to edit and “air brush” images.
  • LunaPic (online)This is where I edit all of my gifs (without editing each frame). It has tons of simple and more complex gif editing options.
  • Online Image EditorThis can be used to edit both photos and gifs. One of my favorite features of Online Image Editor is its transparency “wizard!”
  • EZGifThis is a really simplistic gif editor, but I use it for quick edits, like cropping and splitting a gif.
  • ImgFlipThis site allows you to create gifs from compiled images, saved videos, or online (a.k.a. YouTube) videos.
  • BeFunky (online): This is a free online editor AND collage maker (it has grid collage options or others).
  • PowerPoint: Are you confused? Laugh all you want, but I actually do a lot of photo editing by inserting photos into a PowerPoint and then using all of the photo editing options PowerPoint has available. After that, I take a screenshot of the PowerPoint in full screen and crop it. Like I said, laugh all you want, but it works 😉


Fonts are really important for design and editing as they can add flair, style, and personality. Here are some of the free font resources I use:

Vectors and Clipart:

When making graphics, you’ll want to use vectors and clipart (images, usually with transparent backgrounds, which don’t become pixelated when you resize them). It’s rarer to find free vectors and clipart, but here are some sources of freebies:


You’ll also want to use icons to create things like social media icons. Here are some resources for free icons:

Royalty Free Images:

If you don’t take your own photos, you’ll need a source of royalty free images. Royalty free images are images you don’t have to pay to use. For some of them, you have to credit the creator, for others, you don’t. Here are my resources for royalty free images where you don’t have to credit the creator:

Tutorial And Resources Sites:

Confession: I’m not the Supergirl of design. I don’t know everyhing. So here are some websites offering multiple free resources and tutorials!

So that’s it for now! Please leave a comment letting me know if this was helpful and letting me know any design tutorials you’d like to see next (i.e. how to make a blog button, how to design a header, etc)!


Posted by

Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

32 thoughts on “So You Want To Make Graphics And Edit Photos (But You Don’t Have Photoshop)?

  1. I will definitely not laugh at the fact that you use Powerpoint to edit photos. I use Numbers (the Apple-equivalent of Excel) for everything design-related for my blog. So yeah, I don’t think that that’s such a crazy idea really 😁 That aside, I really like these tips and sources, I’ll surely come back to this post regularly to check some of these sites!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! I’m not new to design, but there’s even some resources on here that I wasn’t aware of! This will definitely be helpful to people who are just starting out. Thanks so much for sharing 😊 I love that you use PowerPoint! Also, another great resource for free vectors and things is Freepik. Just thought I’d share because It’s my go to!

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  3. Awesome post… that I’m totally bookmarking to keep coming back to every once in a while.

    I actually hadn’t known about some of these photo editing sites. I’m such a lame person when it comes to making photos legitimately okay-looking. Though, I’ve been knee-deep into Canva (shout out to my job for actually introducing me to that one) lately which is incredibly easy and comes with templates when I am lacking the inspirations. Since you mentioned it, I would be interested in the making of blog buttons, social media buttons, etc. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so happy you found it helpful! canva is another great free tool! i can definitely do social media icon and grab box tutorials!


  4. Whoa…I never knew that there were THIS many options for editing photos. Thanks for this awesome post and for all of the resources that you linked. You’re the best ❤
    Your post opened my eyes to an entirely new world of things to learn and try that I had never known about. I'll definitely check out those links….but I'll probably force myself wait 'till summer because if I don't, I'll probably end up spending all my time on examining this new species I've been exposed to…And then I'll end up failing school because I'll neglect my homework for this, since I have terrible self-control haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Before switching to GIMP I used to use PowerPoint as well, mostly to remove the white background from PNGs . Another way of saving images here is to right click on the image and pick the option ‘Save Image As’. It’s a brilliant post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. I’m a total novice when it comes to design so haven’t heard of most of these sites. I think my blog could probably do with an overhaul so will be following future posts. I would be particularly interested in one on headers as I’ve never been able to combine a picture and text and make it look good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. huh. i’ve never heard of photofiltre, but ill check it out! most of the fonts ive found on the sites ive provided are for commercial and personal use, as far as i know (ill have to start double checking, though. it’s always good to double check).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I cannot thank you enough for this post, I just recently started doing graphics for my blog and this post is immensely going to help! So thank you one again. Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a helpful post! I’m hoping to start making some blog graphics and taking (and editing) my own pictures over the summer and while I used to do quite a bit of graphic design, it’s been years so this will be immensely helpful. Totally bookmarking this so I can come back to it. Thanks for such a great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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