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The 10 Photo Editing Apps You Need for Instagram

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

I’m on Instagram a lot, as I’m sure every other college girl is too. Here are my top 10 favorite apps to use when posting to my feed or stories in order to achieve that curated feel!


I’ve been using VSCO for a really long time and still use it to this day. The filters are cute, it’s super easy to use and copy edits, and it’s free! 


I’ve been using Afterlight even longer than VSCO. Yes, you do have to pay, but I think it’s worth it. There tons of filters, film effects, and frames you can use. I also like that you can edit the photo with even greater depth than VSCO. The only downside of this app is that you do have to edit pictures one at a time.


This app is timeless—literally. All you have to do is take or import photos (I believe you have to pay extra for this feature) and it will automatically take you back to 1998. It adds a timestamp and light filters if you feel like. It’s super cute!


Unfold is hands down the best app for Insta stories. You can use a bunch of different story templates, ranging from simple collages to polaroid, film, and digital ones. You can store every single story you want on there, which is awesome.


Storyluxe is my next go-to when it goes to install stories. Like Unfold, it has a lot of filmy and cute collages to use as story templates. Although not as accessible and handy like Unfold, sometimes I like its effects more than Unfold’s.

Palette Republic

If you’re feeling artsy, this app is for you. Essentially it’s just a way to add a color palette to your photo. You can pick any part of the photo and create whichever scheme you want.

A Design Kit

This is another super artsy app! This app lets you add cute stickers, and draw all over your picture. 


One of the best collage apps ever. If you ever have a ton of photos and want to smack them all together, this is the one for you. You can use it online on your desktop too, which I sometimes use for my YouTube thumbnails!


FreePrints is not exactly an editing app, but this one is awesome. By just having this free app, you get 85 prints for free every single month. All you gotta do is pay to ship and it’s not even expensive! I use this one for my wall collages and absolutely love it. It’s super cheap and the pictures come out in such great quality.


Last but not least, Lightroom— which is every photographer’s favorite. Available on both the app store and on your desktop, this app lets you edit photos in the greatest depth. You can also import others or create your own presets, copy all the edits, create albums, and pretty much do anything. If you want the most control over the way your picture turns out, then use this app.

All these apps are either free and affordable, super fun and easy to use, and will make your Instagram stand out!


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Caele (pronounced Kay-lee) is a senior at Boston University studying Advertising and Spanish. She loves books, film, music, photography, food, traveling, fashion, and beauty. Before COVID-19, you could usually find her on the MBTA or in a coffee shop.
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.