You don’t need an amazing camera to take the perfect Instagram worthy photo. All you need is a smart phone, a good eye and most importantly, some great editing apps. Because the app store offers so many different editing tools, it may be overwhelming to decide which to download and where to start. Well, you’re in luck. Here are five amazing, and free, editing apps you need to know about to make your photos the best they can be.


VSCO itself is a two part app. Just how you can edit an Instagram photo right in the app and then post, VSCO works very similarly. Within this app, you can edit your photo, add filters, and all that jazz. Then you have the option to post to your profile. You can follow other accounts and they can follow you back. VSCO doesn’t show likes or followers, but does allow you to see new followers and how many people liked or republished your photo. But the relevance of VSCO for your Instagram is for its editing tools. Within the app, you can edit and store as many photos as you like, without posting for the public to see. All you have to do is import the photo you want to edit and from there you have plenty of filters you can add to your photo. VSCO has a bunch of free preset filters to choose from, with the option to purchase more. You can control the intensity of each filter and also edit the photo’s exposure, contrast, tones, saturation and more. Putting a similar edit on all of your photos will make your feed more cohesive, and also makes the editing process easier for you. On the photo below, the filter “S1” was applied, which is meant part of VSCO’s “light + clean pack.” The photo below on the left is before and right is after the filter was applied.















2. Snapseed

Snapseed is a free app that offers basic editing tools that are easy enough for beginners to use. A useful feature on Snapseed is its “heal” option. Take the picture below for example, see how there were are two people in the frame? You don’t need to be a photoshop wizard to remove them from your picture. Snapseed’s “heal” option makes this a seamless process. Just slide your finger over the objects you want to remove and highlight them blue. Then choose another section of the photo you want to be used to cover that section. This feature can be great to use when you want the focus of your photo to be prominent without any background distractions.



Afterlight is similar to VSCO, but has different features to offer. Afterlight has the option to add preset filters, edit brightness, contrast, and clarity just like VSCO. But, if you tap the circle on the bottom of the screen, you will see the unique filters this app has to offer. The circle button allows you to play with two interesting features- “dust” and “light.” The “dust” feature will make any photo you took look more grainy, almost like an old photo or a mirror.  The “light” feature allows you to add light leak to your photo, which you can choose the color of, which also adds a unique effect. Although using both of these features together may look too overwhelming, when used on their own, these two effects can make your photos pop. These effects might not fit everyones feed esthetic, but can be a fun way to spruce up photos for your stories.


4. kirakira +

Kirakira + is the perfect app if you want your photos and videos to really pop! This app takes any reflective or light emitting material and makes it shine. You can record straight in the app or upload a previous recorded video or photo. You can alter how much reflection and sparkle you want the app to apply to your video. You can use a little for a less noticeable look, or slide the slider all the way up for an over the top, eye-catching effect. The video to below to the left in the original video, and the video to the right is after being edited on Kirakira+. Although the difference isn’t huge, this small change really makes the video pop.


5. A Design Kit

And now the best for last- A Design Kit. This app reminds me of an arts and crafts kit you would have had as a child. You can choose from many free brushes, fonts, stickers and designs to paste onto your photo. This app offers in-app purchases to unlock more styles, but the free features are great too. This app in particular is great for adding fun fonts and stickers to stories, but also has great features to be added onto regular posts. In our last blog post, we predicted that heavy fonts will be a huge trend for 2020. This app is a great way to put this trend to work! The photo to the left is an example of how you could use this app to edit a story and the right is how you could add bold text to a post.