I like to start with Snapseed to do any basic corrections and light edits. Though it takes some time to get used to the interface and settings, it’s a very useful and powerful app. First I start with the ‘Tune Image’ tool to play with options like brightness, saturation, warmth, and my favorite, ‘Ambiance’ which makes everything pop.
After that I like to use the ‘selective’ tool. This lets you edit brightness, contrast, and saturation on select areas. Pinch in & out with two fingers to change how much of the area you want edited, and drag the selective dot to change where you are editing.
The ‘brush’ tool is ideal for ‘painting’ on settings like dodge & burn, exposure and temperature. My last trick is ‘healing’ which works in a pinch for small touch ups. On the main screen of the app, press and hold your picture to see the before and after. If you change your mind about any of your edits.
Bonus! Unlike most photo editing apps, Snapseed lets you see all the steps you have made and go back and change any edits step by step.
::::: Example with selective brightness (in red) :::::
Once I’ve made some basic edits in Snapseed, I usually use PicTapGo next. I like how easy PicTapGo makes it to preview their filters and change the intensity of the filters. My favorite filters are ‘lights on’ for brightness; ‘sweet tooth’ and ‘sugar rush’ for making color pop; and ‘air’ if you are looking for an airy feel.
Tap and hold the left side of the picture to compare the before and after of all of your edits, and tap and hold the right side to compare just the filter you are currently using.
::::: Example with original & two different edits :::::
For making your food shots look more appetizing, Foodie is a fun and easy to use app. They even name the filters appetizing names such as ‘Yum’, ‘Sweet’, and ‘Chewy’. ‘Yum 5’ is my favorite for a bright clean edit. I especially like that Foodie has an option to have the flash on constantly while you are taking a picture, which can be more helpful than the iPhone flash in certain situations.
No list of photography apps is complete without VSCO, but I’m putting them at the end of my list because they just released a huge update that no one is really happy about. VSCO is known for their trendy filters, I usually use them at about 50% intensity or less, because some of them are quite dramatic at 100%.
VSCO used to be a great app for using as a preview for your Instagram grid until the new update came out, which leads me to #5.
UNUM or Snug for planning https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unum-design-perfection-for/id1057252115?mt=8 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snug-for-instagram-preview/id1025000402?mt=8
This one is a tie for #5 because I’m still debating between these two apps for planning my Instagram grid. UNUM is free and Snug is $1, both have similar features. I prefer Snug right now because you can preview what just your next one image will look like in your grid. UNUM is relatively new (and could come out with a new update anytime) but right now you can’t see what just your next picture will look like, it’s better for planning multiple pictures. Both apps let you move around your pictures to see what would look best in your Instagram grid, and have options to remind you to post your picture.