Start a freelance editor journey & make money with Photoshop and Lightroom.

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Katty Ros

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Hello, guys! Katty is here.

In this article, I’m going to share with you how you can monetize your hobby and transform your love for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic into a full-time job.

We are going to explore five of the most popular ways of earning with Photoshop and Lightroom, and it will cover photography editing and retouching, product photo manipulation and editing, portrait retouching, graphic design services, and creating content for social media. This article is based on my recent Youtube video, where to prove my words, I will used a worldwide popular freelance platform and provided you examples of real jobs that exist right now, today, at this moment, on this day. So please don’t hesitate and click on the video to watch it!

By the end of this article, you will learn five ways how you can monetize your love for Photoshop and Lightroom already today. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into it.

Potential of Freelance Photography Editing and Retouching

So, the first category will be a huge one, and this is photography editing and retouching that you can perform using Photoshop and Lightroom. If there’s any type of photography that you’ve heard of or learned about, it’s exactly in this category. And let’s name just a few popular fields that you can easily find already today on freelance platforms.

Diving into Real Estate and Interior Editing

The first one will be real estate and interior editing.

This kind of photography editing requires enhancing property images to make them more appealing and beautiful for potential buyers. It includes adjusting lighting, color of the image, adjusting composition, and making the shot more even and straight for creating stunning property images and highlighting the best features of the property. So, if you’re interested in such kind of editing and would like to earn from editing interior and real estate photography, you would need to know what exactly clients are looking for.

And from this request, the most popular are:

  • adjusting the brightness and contrast of the property photo to make the shot more vibrant and brighter;
  • color corrections of the photo to ensure that all objects correspond to their real-life colors;
  • removal of any unwanted objects to avoid any kind of distraction;
  • sky replacement, one of the most popular requests in this field because everybody wants to present their property under a beautiful blue sky on a shiny, beautiful sunny day;
  • and visual staging that requires some advanced photo manipulation techniques. For example, you will need to place some sofa, chair, table in different rooms, or remove sofa, chair, or table.

You can easily find such type of work if you type in the search bar on a freelance platform “real estate editor” or “interior editor.”

Mastering the Art of Fashion Editing

The next huge subcategory in photography editing and retouching is fashion editing.

And this includes editing photos for different magazines, for online platforms, social media, advertisements, e-commerce platforms, and so on. The most popular request for such editing work is:

  • skin retouching, which means creating a beautiful, natural-looking appearance for the skin, removing blemishes, making even skin tone without losing skin texture;
  • color grading, which means applying a preset for creating a specific mood or style of the photography;
  • body reshaping that requires adjusting posture or, for example, the look of the cloth on the photography to make it look more beautiful or symmetric;
  • background editing or complete background removal, which means creating a new background for the photography, for example, a solid color, some neutral color, or a completely new backdrop for the photography, or just removing different objects or details that just distract the eye;
  • accessories adjustments, which means highlighting one or another detail on the photo from the cloth just to make it more catchy and more vibrant.

To find such type of work, you will need to type in the search bar something like “fashion editing” or “fashion retouching,” and so on.

Key Skills for Lifestyle Editing

The next subcategory in this huge photography editing and retouching category will be lifestyle editing, which means editing any kind of lifestyle photography that includes wedding photography, newborn or maternity photography, love story, business, sport, art. Of course, every such type of photography requires some specific set of skills, but the most common clients are looking:

  • color correction of photography to fix the white and black balance, to apply some preset to make the photo fit a specific mood or theme or topic;
  • background blurring or removal will make the viewer focus exactly on the subject on the photo or just remove different details from the background that distract the viewer’s eye;
  • skin retouching and body adjustments; and the last one I would say is composition and cropping of the shot to create some balance or symmetry on the photography;
  • art techniques of editing, as creating a motion blur effect or double exposure effect on the photo.

To find this exact work on a freelance platform, you need to test different keyword sets to find something that you’re interested in, but I would recommend you to try with “photography editing” or “photography retouching,” which is the main category that we just discussed, or for example, something specific like “newborn photography” or “wedding photography editing.”

Freelance editor for Beauty and Business Portrait retouching

Our next category will be beauty and business portrait retouching. So, as it sounds, it’s directed at creating beautiful retouching of portrait shots. In the beauty field, it will be more cosmetic brands and different skincare brands, and in business, it will be shots of employees or team co-workers that businesses place on their websites just to create a beautiful, professional look of their brand or their company.

This set of skills, of course, will require:

  • skin retouching techniques that will require creating beautiful, natural skin without any blemishes, without under-eye bags, without any redness on the skin;
  • eye enhancement that will require creating a more bright and vibrant look of the person without any red lines or any other signs of tiredness that, of course, obviously everybody has;
  • teeth whitening or correction if the person smiles. of course, everybody wants to see a beautiful and bright smile;
  • hair retouching, which will require creating a more accurate hairstyle, remove any hair that flies out, or adding more volume to the hair and shine;
  • background replacement or editing, which will require creating a blur background or removing different distracting moments from the background;
  • adjusting all photos to one style, which means applying one preset or one color grading.

To find such type of work, you will need to type something like “beauty portrait retouching” or “business headshot retouching,” that will lead you to the work that will require exactly such type of skills.

How to become a freelance photo editor for product photo editing and manipulation.

The next category in the set will be product photo editing and manipulation, which means creating a beautiful, appealing product for us, for different businesses, for e-commerce platforms, and for online use. The type of this editing requires creating a product photo that captures attention, that inspires potential buyers to make a purchase only from one view of the product.

This kind of editing will require the next set of editing skills:

  • background removal and replacement, which means that most of the time clients ask for completely removing the background from the product photo and creating a solid background color as white or different colors that answer to the brand style;
  • color adjustments of the photo, as every product photo requires presenting the real-life color of the product, which is very important for potential buyers to make a decision to purchase the product and of course to not be disappointed after they will purchase it and will get something in a completely another color;
  • creating natural shadow and reflections, which, in my opinion, are a bit advanced editing skill and requires creating a natural-looking shadow of the product which it may have in different lighting conditions;
  • detail enhancement, which will require highlighting different small and big details on the photo;
  • size and shape correction of the product because due to the photography from different angles and due to the different lenses that may be used during the photoshoot, of course, the product may appear a bit differently, that is why it’s important to adjust the shape;
  • retouching imperfection, which means deleting different dust spots or any kind of dirt from the product;
  • inserting products into different lifestyle photos;
  • color replacement, so it means creating a new color for the product and adding or deleting different parts of the product, for example, if there are some parts missing or for example if some specifically additional item just hides some part of the product it has to be recreated.

To find such type of work on the freelance platform, you just need to type in the search bar something like “product editing” or “product image,” or you can use different e-commerce platforms’ names just to understand that exactly sellers from this e-commerce platform are looking for this type of editors. It can be Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, and other e-commerce platforms that you know.

Earn money with graphic design using Photoshop

Another category that I would like to highlight is creating graphic design using Photoshop. This kind of editing might be different from the previous we discussed because this kind of editing will require using not only images in the work but also texts, shapes, icons, and other different visual elements that will help to create an engaging and catchy look of the future image.

The most common request in this kind of field is:

  • creating a banner design that can be used on social media or on the website;
  • creating product advertisements that can be used in ads on Facebook or in Google;
  • creating informative infographics, product images that highlight the strong benefits and characteristics of the products;
  • posters and flyers designs that can be used as well for printing demand;
  • packaging design or creating different illustrations and icons for the website, but in my opinion, for this kind of work, as creating a design for the packaging, this is better to use Illustrator from Adobe and not Photoshop, that is why I just highlighted it a bit.

To find such type of work, you just need to type in the search bar something like “graphic design image” or “graphic design” or just “graphic” or “design” and just play with these keywords, and I’m sure you will find the best option for you.

Make money creating content for social media

And the last but not least category on my list is creating content for social media, as in Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube. I noticed that lately, I see many such requests on freelance platforms. If you enjoy editing or creating designs, you will definitely find work that will be not only interesting for you but also will bring you very good money. In my opinion, this editing work requires a mix of different skills, as photography editing and retouching, to creating graphic design.

But the most popular request that I see on freelance platforms is:

  • creating engaging images for Instagram, which requires creating not only beautiful lifestyle photos but also keeping one style for all photos by using different shapes, text, icons, and so on to keep a brand style across all photos.
  • creating stories or reels, but if reels are something from the videography sphere that we don’t touch in this video, then stories are exactly something that might be interesting for you if you’re interested in creating designs and like to play with different polls, quizzes from Instagram. This will be a very easy and interesting task for you.
  • creating thumbnails for YouTube and other different platforms that people use for creating thumbnails by using different already prepared templates. But as I see, many creators would like to have something unique and individually; they’re looking for a person who can feel and understand their field and create exactly the thumbnail for their business with their needs.

This kind of work will require advanced photo manipulation, as probably, and most of all, will require:cutting out different objects, placing them on a new background, and creating a beautiful, balanced look of the YouTube cover to not only look beautiful but also engage and spark interest from potential viewers. But this kind of work is very popular today on freelance platforms, and you can easily check it if you will go on any freelance platform that’s preferable for you and type in the search bar something like “content for Instagram” or “Instagram post” or “YouTube thumbnail.”

Freelance editing jobs for beginners

Also, as a little bonus at the end of this article, I would like to share with you an additional sixth category that, in my opinion, is very interesting for those who only start their journey in photography editing and, for example, don’t have a lot of skills, but you already would like to try yourself in photography editing and earn on it.

So, for such people, on freelance platforms, there are a lot of different works that require quick edits or quick adjustments of the photos, as for example, crop a photo to a specific frame or, for example, removing watermarks from the photo, or for example, removing tiny details, which nowadays is super easy with Photoshop and Generative AI.

So, this was five ways plus one little bonus how you can earn on your photography editing passion today by using Photoshop and Lightroom Classic. But be sure, this is far not the end of the list, and there are really many different opportunities that you can use already today and start to earn money with!

Thank you very much for reading till the end of this article. Hope to see you in the new one!


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Katty Ros

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