10 Instagram photography apps that won’t hurt your wallet


A quick search for “Instagram photography apps” will return hundreds of results on Google. So how do you weed out the good from the not-so-good in hopes to find the best photo editor(opens in a new tab or window)?

Photo by Zach Meaney

These days, having a beautiful Instagram(opens in a new tab or window) aesthetic is just as important as posting individual eye-catching photos. And as Instagram has matured, so has the quality and creativity of the people who use it.

That’s why photography apps are so handy! Finding the right tool can really help level-up your Instagram game and set you apart from your competition.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. In this post, we look at 10 of the best Instagram photo editing apps for photographers!

01. Canva

Thanks to its library of customizable templates, Canva(opens in a new tab or window) has become one of our favorite tools for designing unique and eye-catching Instagram Stories! Whether posting a casual shot or trying to drive traffic to a website, you can use the Instagram Stories templates in Canva to create eye-catching designs using your brand’s colors and fonts.

Of course, you can use Canva to enhance(opens in a new tab or window) regular Instagram posts with the ability to edit photos(opens in a new tab or window) and easily overlay them with text(opens in a new tab or window), graphics, and other design elements—including your brand’s fonts and logo—to create content that truly resonates with followers.

You can also make complex edits simple with Canva's AI Photo Editor(opens in a new tab or window). Simply add or replace something in your image, use a brush to get rid of unwanted elements, put in new elements, or click to change a specific area of the image. Another AI feature in Canva would be Magic Eraser(opens in a new tab or window). which helps you in cleaning up unnecessary objects in your photos.

Photo by Canva

Download: Free (web, iOS, Android)

02. VSCO

VSCO(opens in a new tab or window) is consistently ranked by photographers as one of the best Instagram appson the market—mainly because of its high-quality filters. The app is actually so popular that its branded hashtag #vscocam(opens in a new tab or window) is now one of the most-used hashtags on all of Instagram!

Photo by VSCO

VSCO filters are particularly good for outdoor and nature photography, as they have a mix of moody and bright tones that can help balance out scenes to match your overall Instagram aesthetic. This is great if you’re going for a consistent look on your feed.

Download: Free (iOS and Android)

03. Later

One of the hardest parts of making your Instagram feed look amazing is figuring out how to make all your individual photos look good beside each other. Thankfully, Later’s(opens in a new tab or window) visual Instagram planner shows you exactly what your feed would look like before photos are posted.

Photo by Later

All you have to do is drag and drop your photos onto the Visual Instagram Planner and rearrange them until you find the perfect balance for your feed. Once you’re happy with how everything looks, posts are scheduled, so you won’t have to worry about it later on.

Download: Free (web, iOS, Android)

04. A Color Story

A Color Story allows users to achieve a consistent look across individual posts. Let’s say that your brand color is millennial pink, for example. You can download specific filter packs that perfectly suit that color palette or customize your own filters to add a cast of millennial pink to any photo you’d like!

A Color Story

Another great thing about A Color Story is that it partners with a ton of Instagram influencers who create custom filter packs and effects, which can be accessed in the mobile app. You can also use the desktop version of A Color Story in collaboration with Photoshop or Lightroom for even more fine-tuned editing.

Download: Free (iOS and Android)

05. FaceTune

This app tends to get a lot of flak for being the “pretty app,” but it’s really so much more than that! Unlike VSCO and A Color Story, which are more general photo editing apps, FaceTune is specifically designed for editing and perfecting portraits and selfies.

Photo by FaceTune

Most photographers use FaceTune to blur out colors and tones that don’t match their Instagram aesthetic, but it offers many other features from subtle effects (like skin smoothing and color correction) to more dramatic, full-on digital makeovers.

A word of caution: use this app sparingly at first, as it can quickly turn your aesthetic into something more candy-coated than you may want!

Download: US$3.99 (iOS) or US$1.99 (Android)

06. Snapseed

Made popular by the good people at Google back in 2012, Snapseed is one of the simplest and most versatile photo editing apps out there.

Photo by Snapseed

Like VSCO, Snapseed offers a number of unique fade filters and effects, but most photographers use it for its Photoshop-like tools, such as ambiance, selective adjust, and brush tool—which can be done directly on the phone instead of having to transfer photos to and from a desktop computer or laptop.

Editing preferences and custom filters can also be saved and applied to photos later, which makes creating a consistent aesthetic super easy and quick.

Download: Free (iOS and Android)

07. Camera+

Camera+ is a great app that comes with features to improve the camera on older phones. Some of these handy features include a front-facing flash and camera grid.

Photo from iTunes

The app is best for those who like to snap photos directly from their phone, thanks to features like touch exposure, digital zoom, and various shooting modes. Camera+ also comes with a ton of basic and advanced photo editing features and filters to fine-tune photos that are not taken with the app.

Download: US$2.99 (iPhone) or US$4.99 (iPad)

08. Photoleap by Lightricks

With powerful editing tools like brushes, layers, and masks among a few, photographers will have a blast with Photoleap by Lightricks(opens in a new tab or window). Transform your photos into art — create double exposures, blend in graphic elements, or cut and paste one photo to another to create the perfect Instagram post.

Boasting a comprehensive toolkit, the app opens a whole world of creative possibilities, allowing users to produce incredible images such as the ones below, submitted and featured in Enlight Photofox’s Instagram account:

Photoleap by Lightricks

09. Foodie

From the makers of Line Camera, SNOW Corp., Foodie is an amazingly easy-to-use camera app for people who love to eat and share about it on Instagram.

The Foodie camera has a smart feature that indicates the best perspective — considering angles and lighting — from which to click the shutter. Its filters are tailored to best present the food you’re eating, from bright colors for desserts to gritty tones for barbecue sessions. Throw in direct social media sharing, and you get one of the best companions you can take with you on every gastronomical adventure.

Download: Free (iOS) or (Android)

10. Storeo

If you’re one of the many people who find the 15-second Instagram Story limit too short, Storeo is the perfect tool for you.

Photo from iTunes

Rather than recording several 15-second videos separately, Storeo lets you record or upload a single long video and then slices it up into neat little 15-second packages for you!

All you have to do is upload a video from your photo gallery or record a new one. From there, you can either upload directly to Instagram Stories from the Storeo app or download the video and post it manually later.

Download: Free trial (iOS(opens in a new tab or window))—upgrade for US$9.99 to remove watermark

More from our list

11. Colorcinch

Elevate your Instagram game with Colorcinch(opens in a new tab or window), the one-click photo app for turning your images into captivating sketches. Transform your ordinary photos into artistic masterpieces and stand out with a unique and eye-catching feed that reflects your creative flair.

The web-based tool comes with a user-friendly interface, editing your photos can be done in a breeze. You can also change/remove backgrounds, stylize with creative masks & overlays, recolor your images, and add vignette, tint and more.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry—all of the Instagram apps listed above can easily be integrated into your content creation and management flow. Try out a few so you can decide which works best for you. Just remember, keeping a consistent Instagram(opens in a new tab or window) feed is important if you want to grow your follower count and keep them engaged.

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