Wednesday, 18 April 2018


There are so many photo editing apps on the market nowadays, it can be kind of stifling to know which ones are the best for which specific purpose. I used to do a lot of my editing on Photoshop, even when it came to Instagram photos, but I always found that once they posted on the app the quality was just terrible. I'm not sure if that was my fault by the way I edited, but it wasn't the look I was going for. Now that Instagram is such a huge phenomenon - despite certain algorithm issues, people can still craft an entire career out of it - it's much more difficult to stand out in a crowd. Therefore, I want my photographs to look clear, sharp and all around beautiful.

Believe it or not, the quality of my photographs is actually better when I use my iPhone 7 as opposed to my Canon DSLR. It goes to show that you don't need expensive equipment to take great quality photos! As long as your lighting is nice and natural, and your content is interesting and unique, you're more likely to see the likes rolling in. And, of course, it does help to hashtag (as annoying as that is to some people).

So after you've taken that Instagram-bound photo, what apps should you use to tweak it?

VSCO, or VSCO Cam, has got to be my go-to editing app. Sleek, stylish to look at and super easy to use, you upload the desired photo you want to edit to your "studio" (basically a gallery) and from this you can do all sorts. There are preset filters, but I've also bought a few filter packages as well because I use it so much. The variety is great! A few of my favourites are Clarity 4, New Modern 1, Alchemy 5, Clean 1, Clean 3, and B&W Classic 1. You cycle through filters, holding down on the photo to compare it to the original, and can also alter the effects. They include exposure, contrast, crop, sharpen, clarity, saturation and fade - all options that I have used to edit. You can save the new edited photo to your camera roll (in various sizes, too) or you can upload it straight to Instagram from the app.

This app is a favourite of a lot of bloggers, I've noticed. Again, easy to navigate and quick, Afterlight comes with less preset filters but much more editing options. Adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure, highlights, shadows, sharpness and clarity. There are also effects you can add on like light leaks, instant film, and dusty overlays. You can flip the image you're editing as well as rotate and crop. Basically, this app provides the user with everything they need in order to make their photo Instagram-ready. 

I mainly use Colorstory for their gorgeous filters. There are so many, and you can save them to a favourites box so you're not cycling through every time you edit which is a convenient feature. Again, like all the other apps, you can buy other filter packs to give you more options, but the originals they provide you with are a great starting point. You can also add flare and bokeh effects (remember when everyone was obsessed with those on Instagram?!), crop/frame, adjust curves, blur/sharpen, and a whole bunch of other editing sliders. I don't use this one as much but, having looked through it again while making this post, I might have to give it a proper go!

Not so much photo editing apps, but if you're looking to use Boomerang in a broader sense (i.e. not in your IG Stories) get the app that's dedicated to it. You can post them as a part of your grid in one step, instead of saving them from your Stories and losing the quality. Hyperlapse is the sister app to Boomerang where you can take a video and speed it up or slow it down. The options are 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, and 12x normal speed; and the good thing about these is that you can see how long the original video is, and then it compares it to how long it would be should you change the speed. I find these are good for time lapses such as speed cleans and yoga flow - which I'm really into at the moment by the way!

And do you know what? If you don't have time to faff about, Instagram itself has some great editing tools. We all know what the interface looks like. I always edit further in the app before posting to the grid - it's kind of like my "final checklist" but I don't go mad. One thing I have never used is the filters. I do, however, like to use the sliders to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, lux and sometimes the warmth of my photo. I also like how you can save to drafts if you don't want to post that perfect photo just yet. When is the right time to post though?! I don't think there is one anymore - thanks algorithm...

All of these apps are completely free (unless you're buying extra filters in-app) and are available on the app store. 

What are your favourite photo editing apps?


  1. I really want to try out Colorstory, it looks like such a cool app, and the filters sound beaut!

    Anika |


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