JC Tech: Top Apps for Editing Instagram Photos

May 29, 2016

Top apps out there for editing instagram photos with before and afters!

I feel like I’ve turned a corner with photos. Not only in the whole, I went on a photography course and finally know how to use a DSLR. But also, on the whole I can now no longer put a photo on instagram, or really the blog, without giving it a good edit first.

To be honest, I was quite anti editing for awhile, I’m not sure why but I wanted my photos to be real. But then I realised that actually, you can still edit your photos to make them slightly better without totally changing the feel of the image. Plus, you can really start to get a kind of style with your photos. I always like my colours really popping, with a cool shade. I can usually tell a blog based on the photos alone and the kinds of filters and editing they use on all their images.

With that in mind, I’ve been investigating some photo editing apps and picked out the highlights of the bunch for you to give a go! I’ve tried to edit the same photo with different features in each app to give you an idea of what you can do.

Original image:

Photo 08-05-2016, 12 40 33


Photo 08-05-2016, 12 40 33 (1)

VSCO is one of my favourite for sure, and usually my initial go to for any editing. It is free and comes with a heap of filters, but you can purchase to buy an extra set on top of those. The editing can be a bit complicated but in general, once I’ve entered the editing area, I will crop the photo then amend the exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation and temperature to get the desired effect. Sometimes I will use a light filter on top as well. You can really find your style using this app!


Photo 08-05-2016, 12 40 33 (3)

Snapseed is a new favourite, it offers similar features to VSCO but in a different way to apply. You simply select the feature you want then slide left to right on the photo to get the level of effect you are wanting. It really depends on how you want to interact with your photo as to what will be your favourite. I think this has less filters compared to VSCO but does have some cool effects which it doesn’t – such as the ambience tuning which I loooove and the ability to spot adjust, so to adjust the exposure in only one part of the image.


Photo 08-05-2016, 12 40 33 (2)

As it says on the tin – one of the foodie bloggers and instagrams. It has some basic photo editing features but the real highlight is the filters – they are all designed for different types of food and what you want to pull out of the image. They have some totally gorgeous filters, sometimes I will apply one on here then do some minor tweaks either in the instagram editor or within VSCO.


Photo 09-05-2016, 22 18 44

I probably find this one the hardest to use out of the bunch but once you get your head around it then it is ideal. It offers the same features as VSCO and snapseed for the basic editing. It then has a heap of filters, most of them you do have to buy, but it offers different kinds of filters compared to the other two. As you can see in the image, this is where you can get the watermark and real film kind of effects on the photos rather than a colour filter like the other two. This can be a really good option if you like them to be able to really give your photos a unique brand.

A Beautiful Mess

I’m not gonna lie, A Beautiful Mess is really popular app but I still can’t get it! It is more of an image creation app rather than a photo editor and allows you to put backgrounds, annotations and other little stickers onto the photos themselves. I don’t often do these to my pics but if that is up your street then give it a try (plus, here is a little tutorial all about it!).


And finally instagram itself! It offers a heap of editing now right in the app itself. I don’t like this editor as much as the others, as sometimes the changes can feel a bit harsh. However, I usually do a few tweaks once I pop the photo in instagram – I sometimes use the brightening area within the app itself. I also always use the lux filter which is available as the little sun on the front screen – ideal for balancing colours. I rarely use the instagram filters, though clarendon always does look a bit dreamy.

So there we have it, some handy apps which you can use to edit not only instagram snaps but any snaps which need a bit of loving.

Tell me, what photo editing apps do you use?

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