Let’s get real for a moment, your phone is probably by you at all times during the day (and night). I’ll admit my phone has basically become another limb. From checking in on social media to looking up recipes on Pinterest, I use it a lot.
It’s comes in handy throughout the day, but from all the things it can do, I love its ability to capture life’s moments – the beautiful ordinary moments that would have otherwise passed me by if I didn’t have my camera with me.
iPhones and other phone cameras might not be as on par as DSLR cameras, but damn are they getting better and better. And with the ability to take a photo anywhere without having to lug around extra equipment, my iPhone has become my go to camera of choice.
And while most phone cameras can capture a pretty decent photo (to get the best quality photos take them in natural light) I almost always do a little editing afterwards. With iPhone photography on the rise there are more and more editing apps to choose from and choosing one can be a daunting choice. I’ve narrowed by editing options down to five – some I use more than others, but each can produce amazing results.
– V S C O –
This is my number one go to photo app mainly because of its straight forward, easy to use editing tools as well as dreamy filters (I’ve bought one too many, but I can’t help it, they keep releasing such gorgeous filters). It’s a very well-rounded app and with the latest update you can fine tune your photos even more.
One of the best things about VSCO is that you can see your list of edits you’ve made to an image, and copy/paste those edits to a new image. This is a wonderful time-saving feature especially if you are posting to social media and/or want to create consistency with your photos. Your images are stored in your personal library and unlike other editing apps, you can go back and readjust images over and over again without having to start from the beginning.
VSCO is free to download and comes with a good variety of starter filters (you can purchase additional filters in-app). Sara over at Me & Orla has a great tutorial video for those wanting to learn the basic use of the app and get some tips on editing your photos using VSCO. You can watch the video here.
– A F T E R L I G H T –
Afterlight is another popular editing app, right up there with VSCO and Snapseed. It’s most unique feature is the ability to apply multiple filters to one image. It takes a little more time to get used to all its features, but once you do you can edit your photos quickly.
This app isn’t one I use on a regular basis, but there are those out there that swear by it. It’ll cost you .99 cents, but it offers a large range of filters, textures, light leaks, frames (various shapes), and borders. It can do simple tasks such as color adjustments and exposure while also being capable of taking on more complicated edits like double exposure.
Emily from Jones Design Company edits most her photos using the Afterlight app to create slightly dreamy, washed out photos. She graciously shows her step-by-step process to edit photos here.
– A C O L O R S T O R Y –
Probably one of the funnest editing apps to use and it creates the most cheerful photos with its ability to make your colors really pop! It has all your basic editing tools (crop, clarity, brightness, contrast, etc), but has some fancy add ons like light leaks and flares. If you’re wanting to take your editing skills up a notch try out the curves, hue shifts, or tint tools.
A Color Story is free to download and comes with starter filters and effects, although I recommend purchasing additional filter packs such as the Flashes of Delight or Weekend packs. This will ensure you’ll have a filter to suit whatever look or mood you would want for your photo. And just like the Afterlight light app, you have the ability to layer filters – simply apply one filter, hit the tick, and then add another filter straight over the top. All these fancy editing options can seem difficult to get the hang of, but the A Color Story Blog has a series of tutorials to teach you how to get the most out of your edits. Start reading the tutorials here.
– S N A P S E E D –
Snap Seed is the most difficult to master, but if you take the time to learn and master how to use it, your photos will thank you for it. This app can act as an all-in-one editing tool and is superior to other editing apps for two reasons – the spot repair and selective editing options. The selective tool makes backgrounds bright and light while the spot repair makes anything that isn’t supposed to be there disappear.
This app truly can take your photos to the next level, you just need to invest the time in fine tuning them. Sina from Happy Grey Lucky teaches you how to use Snap Seed to edit photos for a crisp, clean look. Get the step-by-step instructions here.
– L I T T L E M O M E N T S –
Created to capture all the small (and big) moments in life, the Little Moments app is user-friendly with its easy to use editing options. This app doesn’t offer as extensive editing options as the other apps, but it’s perfect for those just starting out or just want to make a few slight edits that will result in a simple, clean image.
The app allows you to adjust the strength of each edit and filter, but it also gives you the option to add text and cute overlays (think hand drawn hearts and fun sayings). If you really enjoy adding text to your photos check out their sister app Adorable (geared towards those with newborns/toddlers, but really anyone can use it).
Little Moments is also has a photo a day challenge that you can participate in all from app. They have a list of each month’s prompts and you can set a daily reminder. See how you can edit your photos quick and easy by using the Little Moments app here.
Editing photos, which app do you choose?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question – it all comes down to what you want your image to look like and how much time you are willing to spend editing. I personally use VSCO most of the time because of the copy and paste feature, but I’m looking to elevate my images more so I’m gravitating towards Snap Seed because of the selective feature. Don’t get me wrong, each app allows you to create beautiful images, but some have more capabilities than others.
Bottom line – invest your time in finding what editing process works best for you (the more you do it the faster you’ll become). You’ll end up with a collection of beautiful images that showcase your everyday moments – some you just might want to print, but more on that later.
I would love to hear if you have any other go to apps or tips for editing your images!
Let me know in the comments.
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