Aesthetic Pictures - 11 Best Software for Editing Images and Stock Photos

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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7 Best Graphic Makers for Social Media

If you want to gain followers on Instagram or other social media sites, there has to be something that draws people to your content. A strong aesthetic in your images is essential for making yourself stand out. 

What aesthetic your pictures have and how you achieve it is up to you. But two typical ways of generating aesthetic pictures for social posts are downloading stock photography or editing your images to look their best. 

To help you, we have rounded up the best photo and graphic editing software, some of which include a built-in stock library. So no matter your skill level, you should be able to find a program that is right for you.

Top 3 Aesthetic Pictures Software

PhotoDirector 365 Logo

1. PhotoDirector – Best Editor and Stock Photo Library

With PhotoDirector, you can choose from millions of professionally shot stock photos to download and use or edit your own photos with powerful guided edits to create stunning aesthetic pictures. Detailed Review >

Photoshop Logo

2. Photoshop – Best for Professional Designers

Photoshop is a professional tool synonymous with photo manipulation and graphic design. It has a wide range of photo editing tools and access to Adobe Stock for downloading aesthetic pictures. Detailed Review >

Adobe Lightroom Logo

3. Lightroom – Best for Professional Photographers

Lightroom is a picture editor and organizer. It is notable for its extensive editing features and sophisticated image cataloging system. Detailed Review >

What are Aesthetic Pictures?

The term "aesthetic" can be defined as something immediately visually appealing to a viewer. Color, composition, lighting, and subject matter are examples of aesthetic photography. Capturing visual beauty within an image is said to be an aesthetic picture.

11 Best Aesthetic Pictures Software

1. PhotoDirector - Best Editor and Stock Photo Library

PhotoDirector 365 Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 10/10

Key Features

  • AI Sky Replacement
  • Photo Animations
  • Numerous photo touch-up tools

PhotoDirector is the best photo editing software and offers a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom features in one application. But unlike Adobe products, you can jump in and start editing immediately, even if you are new to editing. In addition, its AI tools make it so even beginners can produce incredibly stunning aesthetic pictures. From instant sky replacement to unbelievably powerful deblur and denoise tools, your photos will never have looked so good. 

If you’re not a photographer, no worries. The software has millions of royalty-free stock images to browse and download. So no matter the subject matter, you’ll be able to find professional-level images to use. No other solution makes it easier to find or create aesthetic pictures.

  • Auto color enhancement
  • AI object detection for background removal
  • AI content-aware removal
  • Lacking some lens profiles
  • No geotag maps

For the best photo editing and access to millions of aesthetic stock photos, download PhotoDirector now.

2. Adobe Photoshop - Best for Professional Designers

Adobe Photoshop Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 6/10

Key Features

  • Quick selection tools
  • Advanced layer editing
  • Filters

Photoshop is used to create artistic effects, graphic design, and professional marketing content by combining several photographs, removing or transforming photo parts, and combining multiple photos. Non-destructive tools and filters enable you to swiftly test many creative ideas and reverse the effects if they do not match your objectives.

  • Collaboration tools
  • Content-aware fill
  • Less intuitive to learn
  • Expensive subscription

3. Adobe Lightroom - Best for Professional Photographers

Adobe Lightroom Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 7/10

Key Features

  • Adjustment brush
  • Crop overly tools
  • Graduated filters

Lightroom has a collection of default settings and tools that may be used to alter photographs with a single click. There are add-ons that provide additional tools for improving your retouching process without requiring you to change programs. They function similarly to a customizable filter and are ideal for batch editing and defining a consistent style across multiple projects.

  • Photo organization
  • Batch processing
  • No blend modes
  • Minimal graphic design tools

4. GIMP - Best Open-Source Editor

GIMP Interface

Image from Davies Media Design on Youtube.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 8/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 5/10

Key Features

  • Digital retouching
  • Photo enhancement
  • Customizable interface

GIMP is one of the best photo editors, which includes tools for color correction and image retouching for aesthetic pictures. GIMP is a multi-platform image editing and creation program. It contains a lot of features. It can be used as a primary paint software, a professional photo retouching program, a tool for creating digital art, and an image format converter.

  • Well-developed tools for working with masks and layers
  • Free
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Cropping isn’t overly difficult.

5. DxO PhotoLab - Best for Lens Corrections

DxO PhotoLab Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 7/10

Key Features

  • Metadata tools
  • HSL adjustment tool
  • Histogram

When it comes to image enhancement, DxO PhotoLab provides a significant advantage. DxO’s lens and camera-calibrated corrections automatically produce outcomes that are difficult to attain in other applications. With raw format support and layer editing, you’ll have no problem getting professional results.

  • DeepPrime processing
  • Geometry corrections
  • Few workflow tools
  • Noise reduction is a bit slow

6. Luminar Neo - Best for Portrait Retouching

Luminar Neo Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 8/10

Key Features

  • AI tools
  • Auto sky replacement
  • Noise reduction

Luminar Neo is a photo editor and plug-in for Lightroom, Photoshop, and the Apple Photos app. The software with lots of AI-powered tools. Enhance AI analyses your photographs and quickly improves the color quality, details, and tone by choosing the appropriate color balance. Accent AI is a magical slider for shadows, highlights, contrast, tone, saturation, exposure, and detail adjustments.

  • Portrait bokeh tool
  • Simple interface
  • Limited layer capabilities
  • Missing vital features

7. PhotoPad - Best for Beginners

PhotoPad Interface

Image from Softonic.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 9/10

Key Features

  • HDR and 3D art
  • Lasso tool

PhotoPad Pro image editing software is a Windows and Mac photo editor. You may edit and apply effects to photographs and other images with it. When editing images, you may crop, rotate, and resize them, apply effects like sepia tones and red eye removal, and modify the color, saturation, and brightness levels, among other things.

  • Easy interface
  • Quick for compressing and resizing images
  • Lacks advanced tools
  • Processing time can be slow

8. ON1 Photo RAW - Best Camera Support

ON1 Photo Raw Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 6/10

Key Features

  • AI-powered tools
  • Powerful Masking

On1 Photo RAW is a great picture editing software with fantastic raw processing that includes everything a photographer requires in a single program. You can browse your photo collection, add effects, create HDRs, touch up portraits and make adjustments like resizing. It includes newer technology and features like Sky Swap AI, No Noise AI, Time-Lapse, and Panorama.

  • Ultra-fast browsing
  • Lens profile adjustments
  • Some operations run slowly
  • No face - or geotagging

9. Exposure X7 - Best for Presets

Exposure X7 Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 6/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 9/10

Key Features

  • Crop and transform
  • Masking tool
  • Overlay tool

Exposure X7 is a RAW image editing software that allows you to retouch your camera’s RAW images to make them appear even better. This software is versatile and features a wide range of creative and powerful image editing tools, as well as a plethora of fantastic presets to save you time in front of the computer.

  • Great customization options
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Slow loading
  • No image layer support

10. Pixelmator Pro - Best for Aspiring Digital Artists

Pixelmator Pro Interface

Compatibility: Mac

Overall Rating: 6/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 8/10

Key Features

  • Templates
  • Photo effects

Pixelmator is a macOS photo editing and digital painting program. This means you may use the software to modify color tones, transform photographs, and perform other image modifications. It's a bitmap software with no vector graphics capabilities.

  • Simple interface
  • Variety of effects beyond image adjustment
  • Non-destructive effects
  • Lacks design tools such as CMYK or RAW support

11. Affinity Photo - Best for Intermediate Designers

Affinity Photo Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 6/10

Beginner-Friendly Rating: 6/10

Key Features

  • Panorama stitching
  • Unlimited layer
  • Stunning HDR

Because of its speed, power, and precision, Affinity Photo has quickly become a top choice for photographers and creatives worldwide. Ultra-smooth brush engine and sophisticated dynamics of Affinity Photo provide the most fluid and realistic painting experience possible.

  • Massive image support
  • Great UI layout and time-saving tools
  • No auto trace
  • Lacks import and photo management tools

Best Aesthetic Pictures Software Comparison Chart

Software OS Beginner-friendly Photo Management Layer Editing Stock Content Download
PhotoDirector Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes Yes
Secure Download
Photoshop Windows, Mac No No Yes Additional Cost Download
Lightroom Windows, Mac Yes Yes No Additional Cost Download
GIMP Windows, Mac, Linux No No Yes No Download
DxO PhotoLab Windows, Mac Yes Yes No No Download
Luminar Neo Windows, Mac Yes No No No Download
PhotoPad Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes No Download
ON1 Photo RAW Windows, Mac No Yes Yes No Download
Exposure X7 Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes No Download
Pixelmator Pro Mac Yes Yes No Yes Download
Affinity Photo Windows, Mac No Yes No No Download

PhotoDirector vs


Windows, Mac





Photo Management



Layer Editing



Stock Content



How to Edit With the Aesthetic Pictures Software

With PhotoDirector, you can rapidly modify your photographs by adjusting, retouching, adding effects and even layer editing.

  1. Import your pictures into the PhotoDirector Library.
  2. Open an image you want to edit in the Adjustment tab.
  3. PhotoDirector - Adjustment

    Here you use Regional Adjustment Tools like crop or Global Adjustment Tools to improve the overall look of your image. Or use Presets to change the look of your image in one click.

  4. Open your image in Guided.
  5. PhotoDirector - Guided

    Here there are editing modules to walk you through eye-catching edits. From beauty touch-ups to photo animations. Simply find an effect or tool and open it. You will then be walked through how to use it via the UI within a few easy steps.

  6. For more advanced users, click on Edit.
  7. PhotoDirector - Edit Tab

    Here you can use advanced layer editing to turn your photos into aesthetic pictures. You can access both adjustment tools and guided features via the toolbar on the right.

  8. Once you are done editing save your image via File and Save as

How to Download Stock from the Best Aesthetic Pictures Software

You can quickly download stock content via PhotoDirector from Shutterstock and iStock.

  1. Under the Library tab, open Stock Photos.
  2. PowerDirector Business - AdDirector
  3. Search and browser for a royalty-free image you would like to use.
  4. You can select as many as you like to download all at once.
  5. When you have made your selection, simply click Download, and the images will appear in the PhotoDirector Library.

Download the Best Aesthetic Pictures Software for Free

If you are in need of aesthetic pictures there isn’t a better solution for helping download or create your own than PhotoDirector. It is an all-in-one photo organizer and editor with built-in stock libraries with millions of images for you to choose from. No matter if you are an influencer, marketer, or just someone who loves creating aesthetic pictures you can’t go wrong with it. 

Download PhotoDirector now for free to see what you can create.

Aesthetic Pictures FAQ

1. How do you make photos look aesthetic?

Using asthenic backgrounds, themes, textures, graininess, vintage, or color filters.

2. What does aesthetic mean?

Aesthetic means to be concerned with beauty.

3. What does aesthetically mean?

Aesthetically means in a way that gives pleasure through beauty.

4. Is aesthetic a style?

Fashion evolves over time, and one trend that has not been ignored this season is 'aesthetic' style. This new movement's foundation is based on aesthetics, which means that it considers the nature of beauty, art, and a taste for all that is attractive to look at.

5. What are types of aesthetics?

Cottagecore, Light Academia, Dark Academia, Soft girl, Artist, and Grunge are some types of aesthetics.

6. What is aesthetic beauty?

Aesthetic beauty refers to the quality, beauty, or art of something and people's admiration of beautiful things.

7. How can I find my own aesthetic?

Your aesthetic can be found by defining yourself, finding inspiration, creating a mood board, curating content, and presenting it digitally or in real life.

PhotoDirector is a photo editing program that includes various tools for enhancing your photo's quality and providing an aesthetic value. It is an excellent program for both novices and pros to help find their own aesthetic.

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