If you’re a beginner to photo editing and you’re trying to figure out which photo editing software to buy, be it Luminar, Lightroom, Capture One, ON1 Photo RAW, or something else entirely…
…then you’re not alone.
Choosing your first photo editing program is difficult. There are quite a few options, and all of them seem overly complex, expensive, and difficult to even begin working with.
That said, there’s one form of software that I love, and that I wholeheartedly recommend for beginners of all stripes:
Let me tell you why.
And, by the way, this is not a sponsored post–I’ve been using Luminar 4 since it came out, and I’m a huge fan.
(Also, for those of you who need no convincing, click this link to grab Luminar immediately.)
1. Luminar Is So Simple to Learn
Take a look at Luminar’s editing interface, and the first thing you’ll notice is how easy it looks.
Your images are in the center of the screen:
Your editing tools sit along the top bar:
And on the right-hand side:
Everything is clear, easy to access, easy to use.
Then, when you get into the actual nitty-gritty of editing, everything is grouped into useful sections.
You’ve got the Essentials tab for basic edits (such as brightness, color, and contrast):
And you can edit by moving down the line, starting with the Light tool for brightening up or darkening down your images:
Then the Color tool for punching up your images with some saturation:
Then the Details Enhancer Tool to make things look crisp and clear:
(And so on and so forth.)
Of course, no editing software is going to be instantly understandable, but it remains, to date, the easiest software to learn I have ever encountered.
It’s something that anyone can understand, no matter how comfortable you feel with technology.
In fact, a friend of mine recently shared her own story regarding Luminar; for 10+ years, she had been too afraid to work with Lightroom. All the different options and the complex interface confused her.
Then she tried Luminar…
…and it was like a lightbulb went on. Suddenly, she could start editing her photos, easily taking them to their full potential.
2. Luminar Comes for a One-Time, Amazingly Cheap Payment
As a beginner, you’re going to want to get a good photo editing program.
But you also want to keep the costs down.
After all, you’re probably wanting to save for new lenses, camera upgrades, camera accessories, and more.
Now, one option is Adobe Lightroom.
It’s a good program, even if it isn’t super beginner-friendly, and even if it requires some intense effort to get good results.
But the problem is that it’s expensive ($120 per year for the Lightroom plan).
Plus, there’s another issue:
Adobe Lightroom is only offered as a subscription. You can’t purchase it as a standalone product, so it costs $120 USD per year, every year, forever.
Which adds up.
If you keep using Adobe’s products, after a few years you’ll have paid close to $400 USD.
Compare this to Luminar, which comes for a single, one-time payment of just $89 USD.
Which costs less than a single year of Lightroom.
3. Luminar’s One-Click Presets (AKA “Looks”) are Unbeatable (and Free)
Presets refer to major edits that you can make with a single click. They’re like Instagram filters, except more comprehensive, plus they offer a lot more control.
And they’re great for quickly giving your images a professional look–when you’re going through a lot of images at once for sharing, when you’re batch-editing photos from a single outing, and more.
For instance, you might take a photo like this:
And add a preset to achieve this:
Do you see what I mean? Presets are fast, easy, and powerful.
Now, a program like Lightroom comes with a lot of presets.
But they’re just not that great. They don’t really enhance your photos, if you know what I mean.
Luminar offers seven collections of presets already built in, absolutely free.
And they are incredible.
There are street photography presets, portrait photography presets, landscape photography presets, and so much more.
If you haven’t used presets before, you may be wondering:
Are they cheating? It shouldn’t be that easy to create good-looking photos, right?
But they’re not cheating at all. They’re just a great way to give your photos a sleek, professional look.
In fact, plenty of professionals use presets. Luminar even offers a number of paid preset packages created by well-known professional photographers, so that you can edit your images just like they do.
By the way…
Do you want a checklist that gives you a step-by-step workflow for gorgeous edits in Luminar?
To gain instant access, just click here:
4. Luminar’s In-Built AI Software Is Amazingly Powerful (Literally Mindblowing)
In addition to offering a whole suite of great manual editing tools and sliders, Luminar features several artificial intelligence options–that allow you to improve different specific aspects of your photos with just a couple of clicks.
And they will take your breath away.
First, you have the AI Enhance tool. Boost the AI Accent slider, and your photos will immediately look better. Somehow, Luminar’s AI technology knows just what to do to enhance each photo (and it’s not a one-size-fits-all tool; it does different things to different photos!).
That’s why I often recommend you start your editing workflow by using the AI Enhance slider.
Then, if you still need to make tweaks, you can proceed with other Luminar editing functions.
After all, why do more work than you have to, right?
Luminar also offers an AI Structure tool, which is perfect for bringing out detail and texture in your images.
And a Sunrays tool, which lets you insert sunrays into a photo that doesn’t have any sun.
But the best AI option of them all?
The AI Sky Replacement tool.
With literally two clicks, you can take a boring, bland sky like this:
And turn it into this:
Or even this:
Normally, this would be something that only a Photoshop expert with years of experience could pull of.
But with Luminar, you can pull it off, too. With zero hours of training.
5. Luminar Offers Room to Grow as You Become More Skilled
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking:
Luminar seems nice.
But if it’s meant for beginners, what happens once I’ve become a better editor? Will I need to pay for another form of photo editing software?
And the answer is no. Absolutely not.
Luminar is great for beginners.
But it’s also great for more experienced editors, because it has every tool you need to succeed, even as your editing skills get better and better and better.
(And trust me, they will!)
You can start by using the Looks, the AI functions, and the Essential editing tab to quickly improve your photos from the get-go.
And then, as you want to make more complex changes to your photos, you can expand to Luminar’s Creative tab, which allows you to add texture overlays, glows, fog, and much more to your images:
As well as Luminar’s Professional tab which lets you add cool split toning color effects for cinematic images:
And Luminar’s Portrait tab so that you can fine-tune every aspect of your portrait photos.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about outgrowing Luminar.
As you advance, you’ll just be able to take advantage of more and more of Luminar’s tools!
In fact, I know plenty of pros who love Luminar, and who use it all the time.
So don’t worry. Luminar is with you for the long haul.
Why Luminar Is Great for Beginners: The Next Step
Now that you’ve finished this article, you know all about Luminar–and why it’s fantastic for anyone getting started in photo editing.
You can use Luminar to take your photos to the next level, fast–with no training required.
So if you’re ready to pick up Luminar…
…grab it right here:
But one more thing:
I’m such a big fan of Luminar that I asked the people who make it for a special discount, just for my readers.
And they delivered!
So, if you want an extra $10 off, just enter the code “JAYMES” at checkout.
That way, you can get Luminar for even less than the (very reasonable) normal price.
So just click here to grab Luminar:
And if you’re not sure that Luminar is right for you, that’s okay!
Instead of paying up-front, go ahead and grab a 30-day trial, which is absolutely free. If, at the end of the 30-day period, you decide Luminar isn’t for you, you can cancel Luminar, no questions asked.
What do you have to lose?
So grab Luminar while you still can:
But don’t stop there!
If you’re looking to keep take your photo editing to new heights, I recommend you sign up for my email list, where I send all sorts Luminar tips, tricks, and secrets that I don’t share on my blog.
I’ll also send you my Luminar workflow checklist, free of charge:
The 7-Step Luminar Workflow to Create Stunning Photos
Just enter your email below:
Then check your inbox!