One thing you’ll notice when you visit any influencer’s Instagram page is that they all edit their photos to ensure their style is cohesive.
There’s no right or wrong way to edit your photos, but what you’ll find is that most influencers don’t actually use Instagram filters. This is because they realize that Instagram’s filters are quite generic, and there’s a variety of easy to use apps out there that can enhance your photos at set them apart from the rest.
Below we’ve listed some of the best photo editing apps for beginners, intermediates, and experts.
If you’re new to photo editing, the easiest apps to use are Adobe Photoshop Express and Colourtone. These both have a wide variety of pre-programmed filters.
Adobe Photoshop Express is basically a condensed version of the software that professional photographers use. The app contains the usual tools like crop, straighten and rotate but it also includes features such as white balance, red-eye removal and texture smoothing which are all essential for creating a perfect image easily. Beyond these basic tools, the app also includes free filters that you can use to boost the overall effect of your image.
Colourtone, like Adobe Photoshop Express includes contrast, brightness, and exposure settings, but also has great filters that look a lot like some of the Lightroom presets which I’llget to later.
Once you’ve got the hang of the basic apps you’re ready to up your editing game.
Afterlight again has all the editing tools you’d expect, as well as a load of filters you can stack to create your own visual aesthetic. Afterlight is also great for adding light leaks and instant film effects that creates a really cool vintage look to your images.
VSCO is one of the most popular photo editing apps on offer. Not only does it offer a huge range of filters (with the option to buy different packs) but it has its own VSCO photo community. This community allows creatives to connect and share their interest in photography, and encourages people to showcase their edits in a platform other than Instagram.
The programs in the Adobe creative suite are some of the most used software by professional photographers, but also by influencers who are dedicated to editing their photos with their own creative flair.
Unlike the previous apps I’ve mentioned, Adobe Lightroom is a desktop program which is renowned for its user-friendly interface. The program is an easier and faster version of the desktop Adobe Photoshop, and has everything you need to edit one photo or a whole album in no time. Of course, it has the basic editing tools that the apps have e.g. crop, red-eye removal and brightness adjustments, but what it’s best for is its ability to allow users to create their own presets and filters.
A popular business venture that many influencers are embarking on is using Lightroom to create presets that they then package and sell. So when their followers see images they particularly like, they can download and install the same filter themselves. If you’re creative and good at Lightroom, this is a great way to monetize your account. Here is an example of @emdavies__ who has 186K followers on Instagram and created three preset packages to sells on her website for $69 AUD.
If you think of photo editing in the old, traditional sense, then it may seem intimidating, and something that only a professional can do. But apps have come so far now, that anyone with a smartphone can create beautiful photos. We suggest starting small with some of the beginner apps, then working your way up once you gain confidence. Before long you’ll be wondering why you ever used Nashville or Low-Fi!