The Pinnacle

Stories and ideas from Big Blue Digital.

5 Photo Editing Apps That Will Up Your Instagram Game

Looking to stand out from the crowd on Instagram and turn your profile into an aesthetic wonderland? There is only one key process that you need to follow: shoot your photos, take a moment to breathe (don’t upload straight away) and spend some time editing to make your shots the best they can be!

Stand out from the rest!

Regardless of the subject or content, you should always take some time to focus on editing your photos. Here are a few of my favourite apps which I regularly use to get the most out of my shots:

1. Snapseed

I love Snapseed! It is my go to app for editing all of my photos before I upload them to Instagram. While still providing a range of creative filters, Snapseed’s focus and strengths lie in the fine detailed “tuning” controls. These let you adjust every aspect of your photo with an intuitive and touch friendly interface. It is a dream to use!

With a few minor adjustments to brightness, contrast and saturation you can instantly make any photo stand out! Snapseed also provides tools to apply selective adjustments, spot healing and lens blur to take your photos to the next level!

2. Foodie

I am definitely guilty of adding the endless stream of #foodspam on Instagram and Foodie has recently arrived onto the scene which is making it sooo much easier to make your food snaps pop! Foodie is a filter based app which offers a load of filters which are specifically designed for highlighting and enhancing different aspects of food. Need to make your fruit look vibrant and alive? There’s the “fresh” filter for that. Want to make add drama to your cup of espresso? There’s a filter for that as well! Currently Foodie offers around 27 food specific filters with the added ability to adjust the strength of the filter you are using

Bonus: If you love taking overhead shots of your food try taking them with Foodie, the bottom bar of the camera interface will turn yellow when your device is at the perfect level for an overhead shot!

3. Lightroom

When not snapping away with my iPhone i’m normally using my DSLR and Lightroom is my preferred desktop app for organising and processing my photos. With the power of the Adobe Creative Cloud I am able to import my DSLR photos into my desktop version of Lightroom and sync them directly to the Lightroom app on my iPhone!

Similar to Snapseed, Lightroom is a full featured photo editing app with a detailed range of adjustment controls to adjust your photos however one of the key strengths of Lightroom is that any tweaks you make to a photo are automatically synced with your Creative Cloud account and updated on all of your connected Lightroom libraries!

4. Layout

While not technically a photo editing app, Layout from Instagram has become one of my new favourite apps for creating “layouts” (collages) of my iPhone photos (particularly for weekend stories!)

Layout allows you to selectively combine multiple photos into a single image which you can upload to Instagram. Layout has an incredibly easy to use interface which lets you arrange, resize, mirror and flip the photos within your layout, it’s a breeze!

Bonus: Layout also has a fun photo booth feature!

5. Instagram

We can’t forget about the OG app which started the photo sharing craze and everyone has tried an Instagram filter at least once! Whether you are boosting colours with X Pro II or adding a dreamy feel with Earlybird, Instagram offers a wide range of filters which can be easily clicked through so you can find the exact one that suits your shot.

If you aren’t a fan of filters the Instagram app provides basic adjustment tools for brightness, contrast, saturation etc. as well as an auto-enhance feature which generally provides fairly decent results.While not as full featured as some of the other editing apps in my list I would definitely recommend that editing beginners start out with the adjustment tools in the Instagram app to see how minor adjustments can drastically improve your photos!

Honourable Mentions


VSCO was formerly my go to app before I discovered Snapseed. It is definitely worth a mention in this list as it is still a powerhouse when it comes to applying some truly awesome presets to photos (very similar to Lightroom style presets), although the interface falls a little short to Snapseed when using the manual adjustment controls.


I haven’t personally used FaceTune although I thought it would be worth mentioning due to its popularity and following. FaceTune is an editing app specifically aimed at portrait (and selfie) photos with tools to whiten teeth, smooth skin and remove blemishes. Like other apps FaceTune also allows you to add lighting effects and preset filters.


Boomerang is another offering from Instagram. Again, I personally haven’t used Boomerang (yet…) although it is definitely worth a mention purely because it looks like a lot of fun!

Boomerang allows you to shoot a series of photos which the app then turns into smooth timelapse style videos which loop continuously.


A video posted by Big Blue Digital (@bigbluedigital) on


So here are my favourite photo editing apps that I use for my Instagram shots (they are always changing!). How many of them have you tried? Do you have any others that you think are worth a go? Why not let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

If you would like to more information on how to improve your Instagram presence (or any social media channel for that matter) why not give us a call on 1300 721 481 and talk to one of our social media specialists!


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