Once you’ve planned your social media strategy, decided on a feed aesthetic and got content ideas ready to go, there’s only one skill left to master on Instagram: edit pictures like a pro.
As a primarily visual platform, it’s imperative to display high-quality, eye-catching photos on your profile to capture viewer interest. Attractive imagery bears higher engagement, potentially leading to more followers who are curious to see more.
If you’re a brand, it’s important to use this to your advantage. With 83% of Instagrammers discovering new products and services on the platform, it’s a high-traffic, online channel for free “billboard marketing”. Give your business a boost of free advertising through single photos or image galleries that endorse your product in creative, potentially viral ways.
But how does one maintain a feed of appealing, high-quality visuals? Of course, your first step is to invest in a high quality camera (whether standalone or in a smartphone) – then level up your photos with a handy Instagram photo editor.
These apps will help you tweak your images to perfection, adding just the right color, lighting, and airbrushing to make them look as share-worthy as possible. Gone are the days of dull, poorly-lit images; these top apps should turn you into a visual pro in no time.
Instagram Photo Editor #1: VSCO
While a simple photo editor, VSCO works wonders in making your images appear as professionally as possible.
By taking your photos through the app itself or uploading your media onto its studio library, VSCO treats users to a wide collection of preset filters. Simply tap on the preset you’d like to use, and tap again to adjust the strength of the filter.
You can also access a toolkit of basic photo-editing options, including sliders that adjust the contrast, saturation, brightness, and sharpness of the photo. Experiment with these until you achieve the desired look for your photo. When you’re done, you can instantly share it onto your feed.
This Instagram photo editor also allows you to explore other VSCO-edited works through their own “Discover” feed. You can filter through this section by searching image keywords, people, and even journal posts.
With a user-friendly interface and the ability to connect with other photography-inspired users, VSCO currently stands as one of the most popular go-to apps for Instagram users of any niche.
Instagram Photo Editor #2: Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a well-renowned holy grail for digital photographers. The software boasts plenty of advanced editing options, allowing users to fine-tune their graphics to every picture-perfect detail.
While a desktop option is available, the mobile version provides users with a much simpler, straight-forward interface that allows for quick and easy photo editing anywhere you go.
To get started with Adobe Lightroom, you’ve got to have both the desktop and mobile versions installed on your devices. Your desktop Lightroom then syncs all of your recently added photos and saved presets to your mobile app – and now the editing fun begins!
Simply through your saved collection of presets and select the one you’d like to use, adding any fine-tuning with additional photo-editing tools (i.e. exposure, contrast, brightness, highlight adjustments) to achieve the desired appearance.
When you’re done, tap on “Export”, and your newly-edited photo is now available for sharing on your feed or Instagram Stories.
Instagram Photo Editor #3: Snapseed
Snapseed has easily become an Instagram favourite in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. The app offers users a ton of unique editing tools, thus allowing them to design a feed with plenty of creative flexibility.
Along with your basic editing toolkit and collection of filters, Snapseed also offers selective retouching, perspective enhancements, and even the removal of certain image details.
Through their “brush” function, users can target specific portions of their photo and adjust certain aspects such as temperature, exposure, brightness, and saturation by dragging their finger along the desired area. Similarly, the “selective” function allows you to tap dots onto the image, enhancing only those areas of the photo via brightness, contrast, and saturation sliders.
The “perspective” function allows you to make objects seem further from the camera. Simply pinch at your photo until your subject is at its desired size, and Snapseed fills all the empty space around your photo for you. It works like magic, but should the edits look a bit choppy – this is where the “healing” tool comes in.
Snapseed’s “healing” tool is probably its coolest feature yet, allowing you to eliminate any unwanted subjects or details in the background of your photo. The app covers them up by reusing the surrounding image elements, consequently making these unwanted details disappear.
Snapseed is both a fun, powerful, and yet simple photo editor that’s sure to get any Instagrammer addicted. For some of the best editing tools on the market, this app certainly won’t disappoint.
Instagram Photo Editor #4: Prisma Photo Editor
If you want to add some artistic flair to your photos, Prisma Photo Editor is the way to go.
With a library of over 300 filters (and new ones added every day!), you can transform your Instagram photos into works of art with the tap of a finger. Quite literally, in fact – these aren’t your average filters found on Lightroom or VSCO. The presets offered by Prisma revamp your images in the style of a Picasso, Van Gogh, or Dali painting that’s sure to draw attention from modern art lovers on the platform.
Apart from applying general filters, Prisma also lets you refine your images with basic photo-editing tools. These enhancement options grant you control over the finer details such as sharpness, hue, and saturation.
Like with any artist, you can get inspired by other users in the Prisma community through their feed of other user works. You can also choose to follow or chat with these people, growing your network of online connections.
If you’re looking to add a quirky sense of style to your feed, Prisma may just be your app. Try out their photo-editing magic for yourself, and turn your Instagram feed into an art gallery of its own.
Instagram Photo Editor #5: Camera Plus
If you’re someone who’s into taking exquisite, high-quality photos with the least amount of editing possible, Camera Plus has got your back.
Snap shots like a pro through the convenience of your smartphone, with features that allow you to adjust shutter speed, sensitivity, and resolution. The app also provides options for “Burst” or timed shots, as well as the option to “stabilize” your image – leaving you with crisp, clear photos every time.
If you like getting up close and personal with your subjects, you can also take beautifully detailed shots through the app’s “Macro” focus mode. Flaunt your skills in being able to capture sharp images of flowers, insects, and even raindrops.
For those tricky group photos, Camera Plus also provides the option for remote-controlled photography. By hooking two devices onto the app, you get one as your camera, while the other lets you remotely trigger the shutter.
Similarly to all other quality Instagram photo editors, the app also provides its fair share of enhancement tools, letting you fine-tune the final image to your liking. It also comes with a generous set of filters that let you set the mood on your images, from melancholic to colourful and vibrant.
Sadly, Camera Plus is only available on Apple at this current time.
Instagram Photo Editor #6: Facetune
Though it’s conjured up a fair dose of controversy over the years for its social effect on young, impressionable users – Facetune remains as one of the most useful apps in making your photos look the best they can be.
It boasts array of editing features dedicated to your subject’s facial details, from the ability to retouch their skin, to their makeup, to even their facial structure.
Got eyebags in your selfie? No problem; Facetune can fix that right up. Want to show off a red-carpet smile? Simply use their “Whiten” feature to brighten those pearly whites. Makeup out of place? No worries; you can easily adjust your brows, lip colour, blush, and even eyeshadow – or apply new shades altogether.
As a result, the app truly is a game-changer for Instagram portraits, while remaining a simple photo editor that anyone can easily get into. With its overabundance of customization options, it doesn’t take long to get one addicted. It’s Photoshop without having to learn Photoshop and displays you (or your subjects) in the best light possible.
However, excessively fine-tuning your face to the point of obvious distortion is a practice to be wary of. Filtering your image to an exaggerated degree will not only sway the trust of your followers – it can also lead to high rates of anxiety and facial or body dysmorphia.
Still, it’s effective in creating gorgeous, picture-perfect portraits. For Instagram brands or influencers in the fashion or beauty industry, this app is definitely a popular go-to.
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Instagram Photo Editor #7: Afterlight
For the nitpicky photographers that love precision in their imagery, Afterlight can provide you with just that.
By importing your existing photos into the app (or taking new ones through their built-in camera), you’re given an advanced toolkit that allows for detailed color correction, lighting adjustments, and even “dust and light leaks” that add a vintage touch to your final image.
If you’re feeling especially fussy, the app also grants you “full quality zooming”, letting you edit fine details with maximum precision. Some tools also allow for “selective” editing. Like Snapseed, this allows you to adjust specific elements in your photo without disturbing the rest.
While the editing canvas provides a selection of filters to choose from, you can create your own, or customize existing ones.
If you’re feeling experimental, the app also has a “double exposure” feature. This allows you super-impose two images together for an interesting, artistic effect. You can additionally add text, stickers, or even a frame on top of your image.
It’s a simple photo editor, yet leaves your images looking as fun or as elegant as you’d like them to be. For those who easily want to spice up their Instagram feed with aesthetically pleasing photos, Afterlight’s got all the user-friendly features you’d need.
Instagram Photo Editor #8: Typic
Apple users wouldn’t want to miss on out this editing app – especially if your brand aesthetic involves eye-catching typography.
For Instagram profiles that love sharing text on images, such as memes, posters, quotes, or carefully designed ads; Typic flaunts a library of over 300 dazzling fonts to play around with. Couple that with the fact that they’ve also got over 500 design elements, 93 filters, animated stickers, and the ability to draw right on your images – and you’ve got the perfect app for creating an engaging, Instagram-worthy photo.
Additionally, you get access to a basic photo-editing toolkit that allows you to adjust colors, lighting, and ratio of your photo.
To be sure you’re adding a personal touch on each image, Typic also lets users add their own logo to the photos. The app lets you save up to four versions of your business logo, and you can easily sign off each image with your distinct, branded watermark.
If you’ve got a fun, artistic, quirky Instagram image to uphold, Typic is great choice to start off in building on your brand appearance. It’s easy to use, worth every cent, and you also get beautifully-designed images as a result.
Got All Your Editing Tools Ready?
Now that you’ve got a selection of top-notch photo editors to choose from, it’s time to pick one and start developing your Instagram feed.
It’s a no-brainer that images should be your number-one priority on the platform, along with establishing a distinct brand personality.
What better way to market your business charm than through a consistent, unique visual theme? With each of the tools listed above, not only will this be quick and easy to achieve – but you’re guaranteed a gallery of crisp, high-quality photos that’ll turn a newbie smartphone photographer into an instant pro.
So get to it; build a professional Instagram feed today with some of the addictive editing apps on the market. You’ll impress your followers, and potential new ones too.
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