Our 4 Best Photo Editing Apps for Instagram

If you regularly use social media — for work or personal reasons — you’ll know how hard it is to stand out. Image is everything — literally. Therefore, you need to make sure that your photos look their absolute best. There are thousands of photo editing apps to choose from but don’t fret we’ve done all the hard work for you. I’ve come up with a selection of photo editing apps that I think are the best to edit your photographs for Instagram.

Our 4 favourite photo editing apps

VSCO — Free (iOS, Android)

I love VSCO – it is one of my favourite photo editing apps. Weirdly enough I first got it a few years ago but I couldn’t understand how it worked so I forgot about it and deleted it off my phone. After my trip to Thailand and Australia, I was looking to edit my photos and I rediscovered the app. Once you understand how it works it is really easy to use and amazing. There’s a feature that allows you to make your own recipe, so you have your settings saved. My recipe is: filter C1 +2, then exposure +1, contrast -1.1, saturation +0.8, and grain +2.6. I absolutely love the grain picture because it makes the pictures look like they were taken on a film camera, even though I actually took them on my iPhone. VSCO recently added a feature where you can also edit your videos!

Afterlight — £1.99 (iOS, Android)

Afterlight is a really good app that has so many features. I don’t like to pay for apps but I first discovered this one is 2014 because my friend from drama school was using it. She used to post really cool pictures with white borders and 16 years old me obviously wanted to be as cool as her, so I paid for it. I don’t use this app for the white borders feature anymore but I really like the dusty filters because it adds a different touch to a picture – it can make it look like it is old or has been folded. There’s also light leaks filters which are really cool – it looks like you used a film camera. Obviously, these features don’t look good in every photo but it can add a different edge to your photographs.

photo editing app

After & Before


InstaSize — Free (iOS, Android)

I’m not going to lie I don’t really use this app to do my heavy editing. I only use it to get the white borders on my photos because unlike VSCO this feature is free and it has more options and is more flexible than Afterlight. Just by zooming in and out on the picture you decide how big you want your borders to be. The best thing about it is that there are different patterns and design for the borders such as glitter, marble, cosmic etc … It’s a really cool feature. As you can see I used a glitter border for my sunset picture.

Snapseed — Free (iOS, Android, Google)

This one is really good if you want to brighten up your pictures. All you need to go is go to tools then curves and use the curve graph to change the way it brightens the photo. You play along with the curve until you’re happy with the results. I took this picture in Brussels when the sun was setting. There was almost no light because the sun was behind a building, but from the edited picture you can’t tell – it looks like it was taken in broad daylight! It is a really useful app if you want your feed aesthetic to be bright and white.

There you have it! All the apps I use to edit my pictures. I think you’ve gathered that VSCO is my favourite. From travel to outfit pictures, it allows you to do a lot of things and can take your pictures from mediocre to amazing in a few taps. Although I am sure that the payment version of the app is even more amazing, I am not willing to spend money on editing my apps as I only use social media for personal reasons.

In my opinion, Afterlight and VSCO are similar in a lot of ways. They are very good for editing your photos and allow you to do more things, while Snapseed and InstaSize are better to use for a specific feature. The best way to know what works for your photos is the play around with the apps and see which one you prefer!


Post Author: Morgane Glain

Morgane Glain
Originally from France, I now live in England. I am an English Literature & Film graduate, and lifestyle and fashion blogger. If I am not writing, I love travelling and taking pictures. Catch me on Twitter @morganeglain

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