When Instagram first came out, everyone was raving about its filters, that could give a photo a completely different look and feel, as well as make selfies look better.

It’s been 6 years since Instagram first launched and things have changed since then. People who take their Instagram feeds seriously are no longer satisfied with Instagram’s range of filters and are getting help from 3rd party photo editing apps.

These apps enable users to edit photos from their smartphone to a next to professional level.

There are so many different apps out there, but only a handful are worth trying out. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to share the top 3 photo editing apps, because we take your Instagram feed seriously:


This app is our personal favourite, because it’s so easy to use and has superior photo editing tools.

VSCO offers 10 free filters (3BW and 7 coloured) and if you can’t find the right filter, you can always adjust the saturation, brightness, contrast, temperature and more. Moreover, you can crop and add perspective to your images all in the same app.

Oh, you can also take photos using the camera in the app, and share them directly with the VSCO community.

Here’s a quick tutorial:

We’re total VSCO fans!


Is a self-described ‘perfect image editing app’. It has an outrageous amount of features, but is simple enough to use.

Similarly to VSCO, there are adjustment tools (15) and filters (59). In addition to this, it also includes a range of textures, or ‘light leaks’, as can be seen below:

You can also crop, rotate, flip and straighten photos using Afterlight.

As if this wasn’t enough, they have thrown in a casual 77 adjustable frames integratable with Instagram.

Afterlight would be our favourite recommendation if it were free, but it comes in at a steep price of $1.16. We think that is a reasonable price to pay if you think you will use it to its full capacity.


Is another great little tool to get your Instafeed looking better.

It has all the usual features: filters, adjust exposure, sharpen, crop, rotate etc, With an addition of a few features that make it stand out from the rest:

  • Brush – this one allows you to selectively apply effects to specific areas of an image. So you could apply a filter to just half of your photo!
  • Selective adjust – this one is similar to Brush and it just allows you to enhance specific areas in your photos.
  • Healing – a little spec of dirt ruining your otherwise perfect photo? Not a problem anymore. Snapseed allows you to remove dust and dirt from your image.

Here, the Selective Adjust tool was used to add a blur effect to parts of the image

The Snapseed interface is super easy to navigate through

We love the additional features Snapseed offers and the best part is – the app is free.

If you’re as excited about these amazing apps as we are, no doubt you’ll be keen to trial them ASAP, but before you do so, we have a couple of tips:

  • Try to stick to a style – whether you like a highly saturated or an enigmatic aesthetic, try to keep your feed colours and filters looking consistent.
  • Don’t overdo it – don’t go overboard on the contrast – it can often look odd and will evoke a negative rather than a positive reaction in viewers.
  • Use Adjustment Tools – If you can’t find the right filter, use adjustment tools. Pump up the contrast, sharpen it etc. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do with these little tools.


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