Whether you enjoy taking selfies or are more artistic with your photography, once you take your photo, your next step is editing it so it really pops. With the entire world at your fingertips, you have endless amounts of photo editing ability in the app store. From getting the perfect portrait to making your landscapes look award winning, there is a free or cheap app out there that millions of users (and photographers) swear by! Check out this list of some of the best photo editing apps in the app store and let us know which one you swear by in the comments below!
1. Snapseed: FREE
If you are new to phone photography or new to editing photos, this app is perfect for you! It is known as the perfect all-around photo editor with precise control over colors, exposure, and filters. Once you’ve adjusted the photo to the right levels, get fancy and try the cool filters, blurs, double exposures, frames, and text. If you want to try more than one edit, you can stack filters (like in Photoshop) and create a masterpiece! This app will give you professional-grade edits all while being incredibly easy to use!
2. PicsArt: FREE, In-App Purchases
If you are into re-designing your images instead of just applying filters, PicsArt is a great app to try. This image editor also features the ability to make collages and draw on your images. You can add word art, overlays like sparkles or dust, snowflakes or custom drawings. You can even take an image from one photo and overlay it on another photo! Once you’ve created your new image, make sure to share it with the PicsArt community!
3. Photoshop Express: FREE, In-App Purchase
This app rivals the computer application but you have all of the photo editing abilities at your fingertips. This app boasts all the tools of the traditional Photoshop with the addition of SmartFilters that automatically fix things like lighting, exposure and temperature. If you are already familiar with how to use Adobe applications, you will find this app easy to use and you will be impressed by the quality.
4. Enlight Pixaloop: FREE, In-App Purchases
Bring your photos to life and add motion in one easy app! Create animations out of your still photos. Use arrows and anchors to create your own motion paths or use the presets to create motion. With presets for skies and water, you can make it look like a beautiful sky full of clouds moving or a calm body of water moving softly with waves. You can also add an overlay with motion like butterflies, steam or glittery snow. I’ve used this for social media jobs and it is a great way to add interest to an image without just using a plain ‘ole filter!
5. VSCO: FREE, In-App Purchases
You don’t have to be a VSCO girl to us this app! If you want photos that look professionally edited, this app has presets to make your photos look stunning. The app’s filters, which allow you to either shoot with the filter or edit a photo at a later time, give the look of classic film, giving all your photos a retro feel. The filters are specifically designed to be subtle so your photos will just look ~slightly~ better than everyone else’s!
6. A Color Story: FREE, In-App Purchases
If you are looking for on-trend filters and edits that you’ll love, this app should be your go-to. With numerous packs of filters that come on the app for free, you can easily edit your photos in this app! If there is a specific look you are going for, they also offer special filter packs for around $1.99 each. The cool thing with this app is that you can save your custom edits and filters so your photo editing can be consistent, which is important if you are building a brand on Instagram. I use this app for my IG account and I found that once I started using this app, my number of followers increased. It may not be magic but your photos will be!
7. Afterlight2: $2.99
This app is great for creatives who want an all-around photo editor with options for additional creative options. Along with a hefty amount filters, the app also includes double-exposures, layering tools, artwork and lettering, dust and light leak overlays and more! It may seem a little overwhelming when you first open the app and see the sheer number of options, but it is incredibly easy and simple to use once you get the hang of it. Also, once you buy the app, there aren’t additional fees and there are updates for new features all the time.
8. PIXLR: FREE, In-App Purchases
With 2 million combinations of free effects, overlays and filters, PIXLR is the perfect app if you like having options and switching it up from time to time. Create collages, use preset filters and overlays and even add borders. This app is perfect for marketers or those who run social media accounts and just want to add some subtle changes to their photos before they post. It has a super simple interface and quick and easy to get started.
9. Enlight Photofox: FREE, In-App Purchases
This app is created by the same creators of Pixaloop but with a different intention! If you enjoy being ultra-creative with your photos and creating art, you will love this app! Play, explore and create art using effects and presets. With the QuickArt feature, you can make a masterpiece easily using their filters and photo add-ons. The app also has fun options like double exposures, tiny planets and other advanced edits you won’t get on any other app.
10. TouchRetouch: $1.99
Finally, this app is perfect if you are a traveler. Declutter your photos with this app that allows you to erase unwanted items from your photos. Whether it is other tourists, signs or trash cans in the background, all you have to do is select the item then let the app do the rest! Even if the item is small, (think telephone lines) the app uses recognition to erase the proper item for a perfect photo every time!
What are your favorite photo-editing apps? Tell us in the comments!
Emily Bell is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism with a Public Relations concentration. She currently lives with her husband and dog on the coast in Florida.