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7 Best Photo Editing Apps

7 Best Photo Editing Apps

*Updated: February 2017

If I had to pick only one form of social media, Instagram would win. I love being able to see what a my friends see and follow along with their adventures. Instagram is also a great way to keep track of your own trips. For example, I always use #TravelTromp so that I can easily look back on my travels. And since I don't always have my DSLR with me, I've done my best to figure out how to take the best pictures possible using my phone. These are the apps that I use to edit the photos before sharing them.
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7 Best Photo Editing Apps


VSCO is hands down my favorite photo editing application. Almost every photo that goes on my instagram, twitter, or facebook is edited with VSCO. I actually bought every single filter (I know) so that I could really figure out which one worked best for my photos. I now use the same filter and editing process on every single photo to create a more cohesive look for my instagram feed (VSCO makes it easy to copy the editing steps you took on a previous photo and copy to your new photo). The filter and editing process also compliments the process I use to edit my blog photos. Also, you can automatically sync your VSCO feed to your Photos app on your Mac. Overall, VSCO is a powerful app with a similar workflow.
7 Best Photo Editing Apps -

A Color Story

Depending on the photo, sometimes my normal editing process doesn't quite work. If that is the case, then I typically edit the photo using A Color Story. Similar to VSCO, A Color Story has a lot of awesome filters (I love The Flashes of Delight filters). My favorite part of the app, however, is being able to adjust the the curves of the photo to make sure that the colors pop (settings –> adjust –> curves).
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - A Color Story


Afterlight was once my favorite photo editing app but not longer my go-to. When I do use it, I love to use the clarifying, brightness, and contrast tools. Afterlight also has some filters that you can use as well.
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - Afterlight


Snapseed is a really fun app that gives you a lot of control over the photo editing process. Similar to A Color Story, Snapseed lets you control the curves. One of the best parts of Snapseed is the Selective tool that allows you to selectively brighten parts of your photo. Snapseed is great if you want to have a lot of control over your editing process.
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - Snapseed

Lightroom for iPhone

Lightroom actually has a lot of the same editing properties as Snapseed and A Color Story (i.e., adjusting curves). The added bonus is that you can sync it to your Lightroom account on your PC if that is how you edit photos (like I do).
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - Lightroom App


My previous review talked about how I use this add to add a white border around photos. If you like having a border around photos then you can absolutely use Whitagram. It also has some cute stickers or text messages that you can add to your photo. Beyond that, it offers some pretty basic editing tools but is a good option if you're looking for free apps.
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - Whitagram

Capture – GoPro App

Probably the coolest app on this list. I can use the app to control of (take pictures / videos with) my GoPro. It also lets me browse through all of the photos stored on the memory card. If you have a GoPro, make sure you download Capture immediately!
7 Best Photo Editing Apps - Capture GoPro

Honorable Mentions

The follow apps were either on my original list that was published in 2014 or are other cool apps that I use occasionally.

  • Facetune – Does your photo have a lot of white space? You can use the Whiten tool to make the white even whiter so that the rest of you photo pops.
  • Repost – Repost your favorite grammers' photos.
  • Diptic – Need to make a collage? Diptic has got you covered.

What are your favorite photo editing apps?

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7 Best Photo Editing Apps

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Nicole is a treasure hunter and pup mama located in Seattle, Washington. Loves travel, politics, lifestyle, TV, & wine. She's an unapologetic SJW & feminist AF.

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  1. Andrea
    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your favorite apps Nicole. I constantly use VSCOcam and Camera+ for photo editing on my phone, but will have to check out AfterLight now as well. :)
    Also I’m glad to read something about A Beautiful Mess app. I read their blog daily, but wasn’t sure about taking the plunge into their app since the other two work so well for me.

  2. Jamie | ink + adventure
    3 years ago

    these are some of my favorites too – afterlight, vsco and beautiful mess specifically. did you know that in afterlight they have a “borders” option that will fill out the white space for you a la whitagram? I always use that instead of another app. also, the one thing I dislike about ABM is the photo size is kind small… the quality doesn’t always come out great when you repost it to your blog or Facebook.

  3. Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki
    3 years ago

    I am going to have to check out afterlight and beautiful mess, they sound like perfect apps that I need!

  4. Jamie @ Gunters Abroad
    3 years ago

    Trying afterlight and beautiful mess today! I only have VSCO right now….thanks for sharing!

  5. Trish @ The Trish List
    3 years ago

    Ohh such a great post! I needed some new editing tips! Thanks! :)

  6. Kerri F
    3 years ago

    VSCO Cam and Afterlight are definitely staples that I like to keep on my phone at all times.

    3 years ago

    Great tips! I will check them out and install them on my phone! Thanks for sharing. :)

  8. Kari Holtkamp
    3 years ago

    These are all great apps! I love Afterlight!

  9. Chelsea
    3 years ago

    Afterlight is seriously amazing!

  10. stephanie court
    3 years ago

    I pretty much just use VSCO Cam and Afterlight. Both are awesome apps. You can add the white border to horizontal or vertical photos in Afterlight, too. (That’s one of the main things I use it for, actually.) :)

  11. Kayte Demont
    3 years ago

    Thanks for this! I’m obsessed with VSCO but maybe I’ll try my hand with AfterLight


  12. Hsiao-Ting
    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing these apps! I just got an iPhone so i’m looking for useful apps to download.

  13. Tina
    3 years ago

    I need to try these apps! Very informative, and useful information… Thank you for sharing and for hosting this great link up! T.

  14. Teawashere_
    3 years ago

    is A Beautifull Mess worth paying for? I am a sucker for VSCO

  15. Yalanda_Meshell
    3 years ago

    Oh, I’m so excited for Whitagram. I must have been living under a log!

  16. Carina
    3 years ago

    I LOVE afterlight! I’m so glad i bought it :) Now I’m tempted to get the ABM app. Wished you talked more about it in this post. But thanks for sharing!


  17. Sarah Shumate
    3 years ago

    Ooooh – thanks for this! Instagram is my fav form of social media, too. From your list, I only use VSCO and that’s very rarely. I normally just take a photo and edit it in Instagram, but the current set of filters on there have gotten a bit dull. I’ll have to check out some of these!

  18. Megan C. Stroup
    3 years ago

    Oooo I did not know about Whitagram! I actually put a photo on my computer the other day so I could add a white border in Photoshop and send it back to my phone to post on Instagram. Lame! This would have been so much easier haha. ;) I also love Snapseed for easy, fairly comprehensive photo editing.