The Best Apps for Creating Beautiful Photos on Your Smartphone

Recently, I’ve been trying to focus on vamping up my social media, which means taking and editing pictures of myself constantly. I also manage multiple social media accounts for others, so I’m well-versed in the content creation process on all levels. I figured I would share my favorite apps to use that help me upload high-quality photos and graphics with ease.

  1. 1. For simple photo adjustments: VSCO, Tezza, Lightroom

    If you want a consistent look to your feed, editing your photos is crucial. Some people prefer presets that you purchase from influencers/artists, but you can also create them yourself. You might not like using any presets and prefer to adjust each photo as needed, so explore the options to find your style. Apps like VSCO, Tezza, and Lightroom are free and available on the App Store, but they do have certain features that require in-app purchases. I recommend adjusting the highlights/shadows, exposure, and crop of your photos to polish them up before posting.

  2. 2. For creative effects: PREQUEL, PicsArt

    Do you ever wonder how content creators upload beautiful and unique stories to Instagram? Chances are they’re using apps like PREQUEL or PicsArt to add a creative flair to their photos. These apps allow for different features, including collaging, fisheye effects, stickers, color-blocking, and well as frames and borders, depending on which app you’re using. These two are also free for users and have certain elements that you can upgrade to use with purchase.

  3. 3. For templates: Canva (& Canva Stories)

    Canva is one of my all-time favorite apps and I use it almost daily. I turn to this app when I’m looking to post informational graphics, but it’s also very helpful for using and/or creating templates. If you’re in charge of a club, organization, or business’s social media account, Canva will be your best friend. If you’re into making collages and funky Instagram Story posts for personal use, Canva Stories might be useful to download as well.

  4. 4. For taking pictures: LensBuddy, Photo Timer+

    Taking your selfies can be a super tedious task. Instead of using your phone camera’s timer, check out apps like LensBuddy or Photo Timer+ that will be your virtual cameraperson. These apps allow you to set up how many pictures will be taken within a specific amount of time, meaning you can move around and pose freely without having to click the camera button each time. Some people even claim that the photo quality is better with apps like this versus the generic phone camera.

  5. 5. For a retro feel: Huji, Dispo

    If you’re feeling nostalgic for an era you weren’t even part of, you can give your photos a throwback feel by taking them in apps like Huji and Dispo. These apps bring the disposable camera look and feel to your photo-taking by adding light leaks, time stamps, and even a waiting period for the film to “develop.” It’s something worth checking out if you’re into that style!