Editing pictures is seriously an art. Before Instagram, no one other than photographers and like editors knew how to edit pictures.

We thought we knew what editing was on Myspace… yea that wasn’t it. <rawr>

We really thought we were doing something until we finally got to Instagram circa maybe 2013. I am speaking very generally, so if you have been posting fire content since 2011 then, by all means, own it. 👏🏼

I think in 2013 we really started caring about our “feed” and how everything looked together. The white borders around every photo. The beginning of posting photos of our food, an era that won’t die.

Anywho, you are here to find out how I edit not a history lesson. So let’s get into it.

If you are looking for the best of the best content it all starts with HOW to take the picture. If you want some of my tips and tricks on that then shoot me a DM or leave a comment!

This is generally the course of action I take whenever I am about to edit a picture.

1. afterlight

This app is good for filters and overlays.

I pretty much always start by editing with this app. If I don’t plan on adding any other layers or don’t want those layers to be affected by a filter I always start with this.

This app costs $1.99 or $2.99, I can’t remember but totally worth it. I use it for filters (they have a bunch), overlays like dust or light leaks and general tweaks in lighting/ contrast. I totally get wanting to use only free apps and it took me a minute to finally buy one- and yea still the only one I have bought so far. Pretty sure I will be buying more in the near future to elevate my content. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

In general, with all my photos, I just slap a filter ( my fave is Fable) over it and adjust the intensity. In some cases, I will add dust or a haze or something along those lines.

These photos have a light leak overlay.

This one has a dust overlay.

2. darkroom

This app is good for presets and saved hashtags.

This is an honorable mention. I don’t personally use the app anymore since switching to Afterlight. I will say, I kept the app just in case and to keep my hashtags easily accessible.

I used to use this app for saving my own presets. I could create my own preset so that all the pictures I edited looked the same. I don’t think there was a limit and you could name them and it made it super easy if you want a perfectly cohesive feed in terms of filters.

I have about 10 sets saved already and it comes in handy when posting on the go. You can add it as a shortcut on your iPhone and it copies it to your clipboard. Obsessed.

So for this app, I mostly use it for the hashtags rather than editing but nonetheless it has great free features.

3. snapseed

This app is good for erasing objects, blurring objects, brightening/ darkening specific parts of the photo.

I found out about this app from @taramilktea on Instagram. I instantly became obsessed. I honestly only really use two tools: healing and selective.

It is entirely free and pretty easy to use. It is perfect for those pictures with a background way brighter than your subject.

In this picture, I actually got rid of a couple of people behind me. I wish I still had the before on hand but I don’t. Flat areas are especially easy to edit because you don’t have to worry about curving everything around the area you are erasing.

Before & After

This is my cousin Emily in Hawaii. I basically lightened just the background behind her so that the photo wasn’t so overexposed. I was able to focus it directly on the spots I wanted.

4. adobe draw

This app is good for drawing your own graphics, writing text or layering one image onto another image.

I don’t use this app very often just because it is a little difficult to draw anything intricate on an iPhone. Nonetheless, I think it is a great free tool.

One thing that I will use this app for is layering my pics. They save high quality and there is no watermark.

You can layer photos like this or add cute little doodles.

5. bazaart

This app is good for adding layers of graphics, text and cutting out sections of a photo.

This app right here is sort of my new holy grail. I am obsessed with it for nearly everything. They have hundreds if not thousands of templates to work with.

I love the cut feature to perfectly cut out different parts of a photo.

Go from simple smize to butterfly glowing moment.

I also really like it to add text because it allows you to add shadows, outlines and even has transparent backgrounds.

If you have the free version there is some watermarks and restrictions but if you use it enough it is totally worth it. I think it’s like $54 a year or something like that. If you are just using it here and there the free will totally work.

that’s it!

These are my top 5 apps when it comes to editing pictures from my phone. You can basically get away with editing your pictures for free. Photoshop is taking it to that next level but it costs more than an app in most cases and requires a bit more time with a learning curve.

If you guys have any other apps or tips please leave them in the comments below. If you are looking for a really specific editing tool leave it the comments and let’s all figure it out!

Let’s catch the wave 🌊

Recent Posts

See All

We have been hit with quite the year, haven’t we? Well, I’m here to offer some things to take this crazy year off of your mind. I hope everyone is staying inside as much as possible and staying safe ❣

2020 is flying. How is January already over and we are 1 week out from Valentine’s Day?! Since this holiday hit us quick I am sure you might be scrambling for gift ideas. You are in luck, I got some c