My 5 Top photo editing apps

Updated: Aug 23

Hi guys! This week I've done a lot of photography, and while I was doing that I looked at the little 'photography' folder on my phone and something occurred to me: that a lot of people are not really sure a) to what extent they can edit their photos and b) what software to use if they did. Also compounded by a group chat on Instagram which featured a lot of 'How to I put text onto a photo?' type questions.


Never fear, I am here to help with a non-photographer's tips on intuitive apps which make photo editing a simple thing.



1. Snapseed

So my number 1, top, and generally all round favourite editing app is Snapseed. It's completely free and has an innocuos little green leaf as it's logo, but don't let either of those things fool you. I have never found a free app more full of intuitive, easy-to-use photography tools than this one. There are literally hundreds of things you can do with it, from lighting up certain parts of your photo, to adjusting contrast and adding filters, vignettes, frames and 'vintage' elements. I'll be honest, Photoshop should take a leaf (see what I did there) out of its book on ease-of-use. Download it now and have a play. You can even use it to write that text on that I was talking about earlier.



2. A Color Story (deliberate American spelling)

While this app does have a few other functions, it doesn't have the same easy functionality as Snapseed, so I primarily use it for filters and effects. I downloaded it while I was searching for a white filter that made my whites brighter and found so much more. A Color Story is free to download and offers basic packs for you to play with, and an instant upload for Instagram option. As far as I'm concerned, its filters are first rate, offering (my choice of) warm, clean, bright filters as far as the eye can see (you might want to go for a different look depending on your brand). They also offered paid packs, that aren't very expensive. These packs offer even more filters and textures to make your photography magical. A definite must-have if you're looking to make stunning photographs.


3. TouchRetouch

While not one of the main apps I use (they're above), this little app is super handy for when you have the perfect photo - but there's some white dust on your black paper and you didn't notice! That's right, TouchRetouch allows the user to remove those little bits and (not always seemlessly, but more often than not) papers effortlessly over the cracks. Very handy to have in your tool kit.



4. Layout

If you're in the producing products biz, you might find this one rather help you. Offering different ways to lay out multiple photos, I find this app very useful for when I need to get several products in one Instagram group. Most recently I used it for an online craft fair: I used Layout to create sets of products (as I only had 10 images allowed), then edited text over the photo using Snapseed. Honestly, I only use this once in a blue moon, but when I do, it more than proves its worth.



5. And the final app I consider an essential in my tool kit? I ummed and ahhed over this one: I use Boomerang, which allows you to film a second's worth of footage and then replays it back and forth like a boomerang, but I really hardly ever use it, and only ever in stories. I also use Planoly (as of yesterday anyway), a tool that can help you to schedule social media posts, which takes a while to set up, but I'm hoping will help with consistency and the overall look of my feed. However, one thing I'm slightly unhappy with on Planoly is that they don't give you much before you're required to pay, and you have to pay in a lump sum, they don't offer monthly payments, which makes it difficult to find out if it's useful and pay if you're a small business. So, finally, I've settled on some video editing software that I discovered recently and has been hugely helpful. It's called simply Video Editor and is free to download, but does run off ads, so there are a few of those to get through. However, for someone who doesn't know the first thing about editing videos, this does all the very simple things I need for nothing: cuts videos, runs videos together, allows simple editing of the 'look' of the video and allows me to create time-lapse videos. It's perfect for the beginner and I highly recommend adding it to your social media editing software kit. And best of all? It's super simple to use.


As an aside, I also highly recommend the book Hashtag Authentic by Sarah Tasker of @me_and_orla on Instagram. It's packed full of the most amazing tips and beautiful photography: a joy to own and useful too.


So there you go, hope this helps! Let me know if there are any others that could be useful in the comments below!


Thanks for reading,


Nx

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Artist working out of Godstone, Surrey, United Kingdom

nicola@howellillustration.co.uk

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