Canva is one of the most popular photo editing apps these days. The program was released in 2012, and in 2019 the number of its users exceeded 20 million. More to come: in 2021, over 30 million people signed up for Canva worldwide.
It is clear that photographers could not ignore the new potentially handy tool, but after a cursory review, many were dissatisfied and preferred numerous Canva alternatives. Information on all of them can be found on Skylum’s blog. There are also many other interesting articles from professional photographers.
Indeed, this application is not designed for professional free photo editor. Even now, most Canva users are bloggers and marketers who need to create ad creatives and shape fashion brand visuals quickly. However, I believe that photographers, in vain, bypass this handy tool. In this article, I will describe five features of Canva that can be useful for professional photographers. Perhaps you will reconsider your attitude toward this software.
Whether we like it or not, today it is impossible to just engage in photography: you either earn it or mark time with your brilliant work, which, nevertheless, will be of interest to few people. Of course, you don’t have to shoot to order, but if we’re talking about self-expression, it also needs to be monetized.
In this regard, Canva can significantly help a professional photographer. The application gives you many tools for creating layouts for advertising posts on Instagram (and other social networks), designing your website pages, etc. The program includes many free templates that will help you quickly and effectively promote your creativity to the masses. You can also develop your own style, which will become another of your calling cards, in addition to your top photos, of course.
Text and watermarks on photos
I know that many photographers are ardent opponents of watermarks. However, think for yourself: while you are defending your principled position, someone boldly sculpts their name on a photo and becomes more recognizable.
Most often, the problem with watermarks in a photo is not that they are there but that they spoil the impression of the picture. There are enough options in Canvas to do this stylishly and unobtrusively.
You can also add text to the photo if needed. Thus, any of your shots can become something more and have a positive impact on your brand awareness.
Creating a cover design for your photo book
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use Canvas as a professional photobook layout tool, but there are still some possibilities.
Today, more and more photographers are opting for e-readers as it is much easier and the output is much the same. Using Canva templates, you can create a spectacular design for the electronic edition of your book.
Primary photo processing
Sometimes you just want to take a photo on your phone and post it on Instagram to share with your subscribers a beautiful sunset or an exciting scene that you witnessed quite by accident without being ready (perhaps even without a camera at hand).
However, as a photographer, you must consistently demonstrate quality and professionalism, even when shooting with your phone. Canva allows you to quickly process a photo, apply a filter, and adjust basic parameters such as brightness, saturation, contrast, and so on.
Design of additional materials and merchandise
Since you are creating images, you have many options for how to use them. This is not only an Instagram post or print for galleries. You can also make t-shirts, calendars, mugs, and more. With Canvas templates, this can be done in minutes.
Drawbacks of Canva
To be honest, Canva does have a couple of downsides.
- All your projects are not stored in the device’s local memory but on the server, which means that you will not be able to get them without access to the Internet. This is the problem, for example, for travel photographers who often shoot in the wilderness, where the signal is weak.
- As I said at the beginning of this article, Canva has tens of millions of users, which means the templates you use may not be as unique as you think.
- One of the main drawbacks, in my opinion, is that the mobile version of the application provides users with reduced functionality compared to the desktop version. I consider Canva specifically as a mobile app. Still, if you need features only available on the desktop version, Canva will seem like a waste of money since you most likely already have Photoshop or some other more advanced program.
Under the bottom line
Whether you use Canva or not is up to you. However, I said it was a very handy tool, first of all, to promote yourself as a photographer. Can you imagine a photographer without an Instagram profile? Here I can’t. And this profile needs to be run professionally. Canva helps a lot with this. Plus, it’s a basic processing and simple design tool that doesn’t cost too much to avoid buying. I think it’s worth it if you know how to use it and make the most of visual content to promote your creativity.