My Top 3 - Photo Editing Apps

Today, I wanted to share with you my top 3 apps for editing photos on my phone. It's something I find myself repeating when I'm talking with people about Instagram so thought I'd jot them down here. If you follow me on Instagram already (@joannehawker if you don't) you'll know that I absolutely love it. I take 97% of photos for my feed on my little iPhone SE and edit them on there too. I'm not really a fan of the standard Instagram filters, so I sought out new ways of getting the photo quality I wanted. The photo above was also taken on my phone, (well, it had to be because my camera was in the picture!) and edited using the apps I talk about below. So, here we go, what's on my phone?

1. Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom has a whole ton of editing options and you can quickly brighten up that dull, dark, poorly lit shot with its range of editing options. There are also plenty of presets/filters to play with, although, I don't use these as much. My favourite thing about this app is how easily I can whiten images and pull up the exposure without completely killing the rest of the image and that the shadows and blacks are two different things. I do like really bright shots and this my little secret weapon for that. It takes a bit of experimenting to learn what you can get away with but it's most definitely improved the quality of my images by far. This is my number one go to app for fixing photos.


This is my go to if I feel there is something missing from my image or if I feel it needs a filter of sorts. There are a variety of free filters and then there is the option of buying even more if you're after something very specific. There is also a whole range of editing options here too, some of which I'm still experimenting with. The skew one for sure. I love that this is an option, I just haven't found a reason to properly use it yet. And straighten! (although you can do this in Lightroom too) I'm very good at taking wonky pictures if I'm in a rush or being impatient. Best of all, this app is completely FREE. You can also post your images to a VSCO feed, which is pretty cool and isn't something I've properly explored yet but it seems to be a good way of discovering some great new people to follow.

3. Layout

This app is by Instagram itself and in my opinion, one of the better apps for creating a collage of images. One of things that really make me cringe is badly formatted collages or ones with ugly backgrounds and weird shapes. It's all about clean, well put together, good fitting shapes for me and layout definitely delivers on this front. You don't even have to do much. Just select all the images that you want from your camera roll and layout shows you all of the different arrangements you could have with your photos. Once you have selected your arrangement, you can then move the images around inside of their boxes so that the right parts of the photos are shown. If you're not happy with that image you can just tap replace and swop it out for another, or mirror or flip it. My favourite bit and this is going to sound really silly, is the simple white borders that you can add to divide the photos. If you've ever tried to do that in photoshop then you know how annoying it is to get that dead right. This app does it perfectly at the tap of a button. I actually used it to make all the collages above. Again this is completely free and I wouldn't use anything else.

Quick recap!

So, these are the little icons that you need to be looking for if you wish to have a closer look at any of these apps in the app/play store. These are just the apps that I personally use and who knows, there might be better out there, but I just wanted to give you an insight into how I create the images for my Instagram feed. If you've read this far, thank you and I hope that some of this might be useful! If you've got any good app suggestions for creating content I'd love to hear about them.