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Must-Have Photo Apps for Instagram

Must-Have Photo Apps for Instagram

List of great photo apps! I love every single one of these

If you’re like me, you take the majority of your pictures with your phone. And you share them with family and friends over the social network app, Instagram.

You start out just uploading and sharing your favorite photos, but as time goes by you find Instagram is also a great outlet for self-expression and your photos can be edited to create mini works or art. My refrigerator is covered in Instagram magnets!

Sure there are filters built into the app itself, and those will satisfy you for a while. Eventually, you’ll want to personalize your photos just a bit more. Develop a signature style that is unique only to you. Thankfully, there are HUNDREDS of neat photo editing apps out there to help you do just that.

You could spend hours editing photographs on your phone … and make some truly beautiful pieces of digital art, but today I’m going to share 6 apps that will get you in an out of editing mode in a jiffy so you can get back to enjoying your life and the moments worth photographing!

My Must-Have Photo Apps Are:

My favorite photo editing apps, use at least one of these a day

Pic Tap Go

Pic Tap Go ($1.99) is hands down my favorite editing app. Besides the fun names and tons of ready-made filters you can use straight out of the box, you can also control how much of a filter you want to apply to each photo. Layer multiple filters on top of one another for a truly custom effect.

Pic-Tap-Go is my favorite photo editing app! I love that it learns my style of editing and allows me to save my favorite recipes for fast processing next time

Save your favorite styles as custom “recipes” so you can use them over and over. Once you’ve saved a few, you’ll have a one of a kind edit to your photos with just a few clicks of a button.


When I first stumbled onto the #VSCOCAM hashtag on Instagram I thought it was something only professional photographers could use. VSCO CAM (FREE) creates photos that look as close to actual film photograph as I have seen. The power of professional photo edits right at your fingertips.

Note: This app stopped working on my phone some time ago and I learned to live without it, after researching for this post I see why, They have done some MAJOR updating and it is basically a whole new app. I can’t wait to download and fall in love all over again.

P.S. I could get lost and live forever inside of VSCO Grid.


If Instagram and VSCO CAM got together and had a baby, it would be Afterlight (.99). Filters familiar to those you use in Instagram, plus frame and texture capability so you can crop photos into hearts, letters, stars and much more. Lots of fun to play with.


OVER is my favorite app for adding text to photos

There are a lot of apps out there that will let you add text to your photos. None of them are as sharp as OVER ($1.99).


Like OVER, there are many apps that will let you child collages. What makes PicFrame (.99) so great, you can add video inside your collages! A dream for those who love to scrapbook and a handy way to share personal updates with family and friends.


I read in a review for Waterlogue ($2.99) recently, it was “The app you never knew you wanted” and I wholeheartedly concur. Be amazed as the app paints your photos right before your eyes just like a watercolor painting. The detail is uncanny and there are several options to choose from to create just the look you want. Matter of fact … I bet Mom would love a painting for Mother’s Day!

A Great Series of Simple Photography Tips for Everyday ParentsThis post is part of a series of smart phone photography tips I have created for Melissa & Doug. While not an exhaustive list of apps, I think these are particularly well-suited for moms trying to capture childhood on their smart phone.

For more great tips on all things Instagram, be sure to follow these Pinterest Boards, Insta-Love and Capturing Childhood.
Follow Stacy of KSW’s board Insta-love on Pinterest.


Stacy is seeing the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of her children. She writes about the little things, the big things and all the “stuff” in between at Kids Stuff World.

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10 thoughts on “Must-Have Photo Apps for Instagram”

  • This is so great Stacy! I use Pic Tap Go and LOVE it! Can’t wait to check out all the others. Just downloaded VSCO Cam. Kind of intimidating but hoping to get into it. Thanks for all these great suggestions! Love this post. Obsessed with instagram. xo

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  • Great recommendations! PicTapGo used to my goto app as I’ve used TotallyRad products on my desktop for photo processing, but I love VSCOCam on my iPhone so much more just for the reason you mentioned: it most resembles film. So definitely give it another shot. Afterlight seems to be the only photo app out there that offers white balance control on the fly. It’s the one thing I wish I had more control over with the native Camera app, but the post-editing with VSCOCam works perfect as well to get the right white balance (something I could never achieve with the PicTapGo). I’ve been looking for the app that allows you to incorporate videos into frames. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

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