5 Mobile Apps I Use to Edit my Instagram Photos

In this photo you can see a few editing options using including a preset, clouds and sparkle added, as well as a pink flare on a Crate and Barrel wine glass.

5 Mobile Apps I Use to Edit my Instagram Photos

January 10, 2021

I do it for the gram. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this said to me over and over again. I mean let's be honest I've bought a $6 cappuccino just so I had a prop with my outfit, and a cute coffee design. Don't you do that for your photos if you're a content creator? Just me? Something I see a lot of people struggle with when it comes to starting out with social media is an aesthetic. Oftentimes I get the question of "how do you edit your photos?" and then also "what apps do you use to get the same aesthetic or edit for each image?" That's why I found that this post was a nice place to just round up all that information in the hopes it can help some of you. I used to use so many photo and video editing apps, but I've really condense it down because I got frustrated with how many subscriptions I had and how a lot of the apps started to overlap one another. Don't get trapped in paying for 10+ apps in the App Store and then you realize you really only like to use 1 or 2 of the apps. There's a few options I recommend, all with subscriptions based on a month or a year depending on your own preference. Let's jump in.

Adobe Lightroom

When it comes to an app that's been the pinnacle of my aesthetic success (truly a lifesaver) it is undoubtedly Lightroom. I learned about this program and app a few years ago from a professional photographer who would adjust the brightness in seconds from too bright during a midday shoot outside, and make it look like it was sunset. Around the same time, I noticed some creators were coming out with their own presets and editing tools for Lightroom (Tezza included; you'll see why I mention her now after you read down below.) A few of my favorite creators had darker edits, and then some with pink hues making the entire photo more feminine and soft. Others still had a few edits with more color; think vibrant blues for the ocean and vibrant greens for the forest. After I found the perfect preset, with a slight pink tint to it, I knew Lightroom was going to be the most useful app to me because I wanted to make sure I had cohesiveness in my editing and in my feeds. This app allowed me to do so, but also gave me so much control with the lighting of each photos because as much as I'd love the camera settings to be exactly the same, you're usually fighting with the brightness of the sun. These images below were edited with the preset I use daily to keep up with my aesthetic, and honestly after almost 2 years I still love my slightly pink aesthetic. I adjust the settings on an ongoing basis to make sure the green in a photo is still green so colors aren't tainted or lackluster, so it is a constant work in progress but I don't stray too far from this slightly muted pink tint. There's something about it that I still love.

The Tezza App

I've been using the app from the moment it launched, so I've seen it from the early stages. When it came to editing photos, I always trusted Tezza and her husband, Cole, because their photos were incredible. Seeing the orange, the dust speckles, the vintage vibe, and so forth... it all made me drool when I saw how dreamy their photos were. Originally their app was specific to photo editing. Over time they added the ability to edit video which was more than Lightroom. Just recently, templates were added (over 100 templates) which is definitely a huge addition to the app which gives creators the ability to go super cute stories but also utilize those templates for their stories and other thumbnails (think Pinterest, blog, etc.) 

If you're looking for just photo editing, the app is $19.99 per year. When you add in video editing too, it is $39.99. I love savings and since I know I use the same apps over and over I did the annual to save $$ but if you want to test it for a month, you can do the video monthly for $3.99 or $1.99 for just photo editing. Since I have tested many apps, I find this one truly one of the most helpful and I love the stop motion feature, the templates and of course the presets which are so easy to apply to any image. UI (user interface) is so easy and efficient making photo editing a quick process and little to no fuss. At this price point, I do think the app is more than worth it especially coming from two professional content creators with some major photography skills.

Vimage App

Video Image Graphic is also another term for Cinemagraphics which means having a moving motion picture photo. If you don't know what I mean, you can take a peek at this post here. In this post, I took a photo of a candle burning. With the photo, I wanted to have the candle fire burning and moving in the photo which is what I did with using this app. I added the flame (you can adjust the size and motion easily) which made my original photo into a video. Obviously the video isn't anything super dynamic, but it gives a little motion to the screen making a simple photo (now video) much more interesting. While this is one example with a flame burning on a candle, there are a lot of other actions that can be added to photos (think water, wind, air, lights, heat, etc.) so it's possible to use this app in a lot of different ways. For $15.99, you get a year's access to the app.  

The Pink Papaya Photo + Video App

A recent add within the App Story is the Pink Papaya app, which was the inspiration of this blog post. When it comes to editing, I find that this app takes photos to a whimsical, fun and easily editable level. Anyone can be a content creator with this one, and that's the beauty of it. Sarah has always been a big advocate of inclusivity, which I love since a lot of what creators do is soooo exclusive. The unique elements of this app include the ability to add clouds, shadows, sparkles (on stretch marks or any other part of a photo) making this a unique editing app. Buuuut it also gives more noticeable editing capability that will make a difference in people's lives.

For $24.99, you get photo and video editing in the app. If you're only interested in photo editing, you can get the app for a year for $19.99. With the small difference between pricing, you might as well purchase video editing too since $5 a month is negligible. Depending on your preference though, you can test the app for 1 month with photos only for $2.99 or the photo and video for $3.99 a month. 

Facetune 2 by Lightricks

An oldie, but a goodie. I originally used the original Facetune but the second app is much more effective and useful. When it comes to a quick "Photoshop" style edit, this is the app I use. If you'll remember one of my bathtub photos last year, I had use a Lush bath bomb and the blue color got everywhere. It was impossible to clean it all in the moment, so I had to do some damage control once I got to editing the image. I also had to smooth a part of the tub once I managed to remove the blue stains from the bath bomb. It's the perfect app for doing quick fixes like this, mattifying the skin, and so forth. I don't use it to change my appearance like some do, but it really helps to fix trash and other items you want to conceal or hide in the image.

What's your favorite photo (or video) editing app?

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Similar to you, I swear by Lightroom (I created my own presets a few years ago and have been tweaking them ever since) and I also adore the Tezza app. It’s a lifesaver for quicky edits on IG stories! Aside from that, I don’t use much else. I mean… do Canva or Unfold count? Probably not because those are more graphic-based, but I love them all the same!

I love the Tezza App too! And I also love VSCO and InShot for videos! I’ll have to check out some of the apps you mentioned!

Xo, Steph