6 Great Photo Editing Apps To Use Before Instagram

photo editing apps

As the Instagram + iPhone super-fan I am, I have tested quite a few photo editing apps. Some apps are great, some to advanced for my taste and some are…well, not so good.

For me a great app is one that is intelligent in the way it´s set up. I want to be able to edit my iPhone photos fast and on the go. If I can create a look I like in just a few seconds I´m happy.

Today I´ll share with you my 6 favorite editing apps:

1. PicFX

I love PicFX! Maybe the app I use the most. It´s regularly updated with fresh new filters and overlays. PicFX has many options like film filters, retro filters, vintage style filters as well as light leak overlays.

Most importantly I find it easy and logical to navigate in. What makes me go back to PicFX again and again is that I can control how much or how little of the filter effect I want to add. That´s really great!

2. MagicHour

MagicHour is mostly for fun and play. As soon as you´ve uploaded a picture you can scroll through many pre-views of filters. It makes it easy to see how your image will look in the end.

I like the filters faded memory, snap shot and sx-70 8 (polaroid). I try to avoid the filters that take to much focus away from the image itself.

3. Wood Camera

Just like PicFX, Wood Camera let´s you control how much filter effect you want on your photo. That´s an important function in my opinion because when you apply a filter it´s very extreme, so often I choose to lower the effect.

If you´re into textures Wood Camera offers great quality textures, which you also can control via sliders.

4. Snapseed

What I like the most about Snapseed is the tilt-shift function which is excellent. You can add filters, grunge textures and frames one at a time, so it´s possible to make your own style.

Controlling the filters are a little bit more advanced in Snapseed because you get to control several options within each filter. Snapseed stores your photos in the app itself so even if you delete your photo from the camera roll it will still be available in the app.

5. KitCam

It was my son Marco who recommend KitCam to me. He is into videography and Kitcam is a super video app – even in low light situations. What´s fantastic about this app is that you get to set your settings before you take the photo or record a video.

What I love about kitcam is that I can easily set the white balance + it has exposure-control, so you can add more light to your photos in low light or lower it in bright sunlight. Very clever app.

6. VSCOcam

VSCO is a wonderful editing app with a great camera. I love the VSCO app mainly for it´s filters. They are subtle and don’t distract much from the image itself.

The filters are few but have a great variety. I´m especially a fan of their fade effect, which I use to create a matte effect in my photos.

What about you, do you have a favorite photo editing app you recommend? Then feel free to share in the comments area.

Have a wonderful day

Talk soon,

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About Christina Greve

Lifestyle photographer, stylist and life coach Christina Greve specializes in visual storytelling, fine art photography and editorial portraits. She is known for her elegant and bright photography and draw much of her inspiration from the Nordic countryside, travels, food and still life. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, blogs and books worldwide. After a decade of working with psychology and coaching, Christina´s passion for photography evolved into a full-time photography business. Today she runs a thriving + fast growing business specializing in professional, motivating and engaging training for female photographers + creative souls. She has coached thousands of fabulous female photographers from more than 40+ countries.

14 thoughts on “6 Great Photo Editing Apps To Use Before Instagram

  1. PhotoSplash FX, a very good photo editor on iphone/ipad . It is great app that works really well on both iPhone/iPad. It is easy to use, no lag in uploading on social media or when saving. Colors look great and selection of effects rocks.

  2. I use vscocsm and picfx myself. Vascocam adds a flat mat finish that really appeals to me. Lo-mob is another great one. You don’t have control over the filter but it makes bold photos. Have a beautiful day.

  3. I love snapseed! Some of my other favorites include, Afterglow and pictapgo. :) I highly recommend both!

  4. Great tips!
    I think Afterlight should defintely be in your list, great filters, easy to navigate and other options.
    For extra’s i use Typic, Phonto, Bokehful, Phoster and Squareready.

  5. Hi all! I was wondering if someone could assist in figuring out what app @brackiv uses on Instagram.. A couple of users have kindly asked the instagramer and he has chosen not to reveal the app. Not sure why he is so stuck on not sharing.. Could somebody assist?! :) thanks!

    1. There’s an android app named Picsart Well, in the Artistic section it has an effect called Fattal Effect. You could try that because it is somewhat close to what he uses. As well as, you can try some HDR apps. :)

  6. Dear Christina,
    I wonder how you succeed to give such a “clean” and “white” aspect to your photos,
    do you use any particular filter for that?
    I’ve downloaded all the apps you are recommending but I still can’t figure that out!

    1. Hi Sonia

      The best way to get the “clean” and “white” look is to use an app where you can control basic settings like exposure, brightness and contrast. The more you push those the brighter :-) Instagram has some good tools for this and so does VSCO.

      But always make sure you shoot your photos in good light first :-)

  7. This is a very good list, all the apps are very helpful. It’s great how third-party apps can easily cover almost any need one can feel. Editing apps were always the most widely used, and there was only one domain not covered. And i’m talking about follower management. But since instagram has implemented its following and action per hour limitations, the need has risen significantly. The best app i could find yet is fast-unfollow.com, it can quickly get rid of up to 5000 users not following back per day, so if your a fan of follow-to-follow method – it’ll help you a lot. First 1000 is free so check it out. Hope it’ll be of use for someone;)

  8. Hello Christina, nice list of apps you got here. Indeed, I like VSCOcam for its variety filters. It runs very great in my LG2 and …. it’s free! Thanks

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