Check out our photo a day

How to create beautiful iPhone photos: my favourite photography apps

Fat Mum Slim /

One of the best tricks for taking better or more interesting photos is using an app to give it a little boost. I could spend up big on photo apps, but have sensibly only taken to a few. Today I’m sharing some of my favourites:

This is my favourite of all the apps I use. It has loads of different filters that each work their own magic. My favourite filters are Diana and Toy Camera. It also has some neat fixer-uppers. So if you’ve taken a photo at night or under fluorescent light, you can fix up the photos easily. The app also crops and adds frames. You can cross-process (use two filters or more) by saving to camera roll, re-uploading and running another filter across it.
Download it here

ShakeIt! Photo is a simple app that lets you take polaroid photos on your iPhone. I like that it has no options, just polaroid photos. Because sometimes there can be too much to choose from. You know?
Download it here

Tadaa is similar to Instagram in that it has a photo sharing option, it also has an array of great filters, frames and editing tools. The filters that Tadaa has are a lot more wild and interesting than any of the other apps {think technicolour!} but it also has some not-so-crazy too. This one’s for free.
Download it here

This is a new favourite of mine. Last week this app {which usually costs a whopping $5.49} was available for free, so I snapped it up. It’s a great app that can boost your photos without them seeming too unnatural. It also allows you to control how much contract, saturation, exposure etc you want to add to your photo.
Download it here

This is an oldie that I’ve written about before {read: 12 ways to take beautiful photos on your iPhone}. I think apps have come a long way since then, but this is still a goodie. You can choose from a variety of filters, add text, change frames and loads more.
Download it here

Just like the ShakeIt! app this doesn’t give loads of options for editing your photos, which is really a blessing. You can have a bit of cross-processing, and that’s it. Take a photo with your camera or upload one you’ve taken before and give it a little cross-process treatment. Their tagline is, “Normal colours are for babies!”
Download it here

Out of all the apps I’ve shared today, if you were only to buy two, I’d say Camera+ and Snapseed are the ones I’d suggest. They offer a lot of great options from extreme to subtle.

What camera apps do you love best?

Read other posts in the series

(Visited 540 times, 1 visits today)
  • thank you! πŸ˜€

  • I am also a huge fan of the ShakeIt App! Another one I've been playing with lately is Camera Awesome. And there's always my standby, Instagram. Thanks for sharing these. xo.

  • Thanks for the great reviews!

  • Camera+ is hands down my favorite. It's made me a professional photographer. πŸ˜‰ Ha ha!

  • Anonymous

    Pixlromatic is another great app that I use alot!! Heaps of filters and frames…

    • Anonymous

      I love that app too!

    • i love pixlromatic too. it's pretty complete..
      and it's on android too. πŸ˜‰

  • Tenille

    I adore camera + as well! I take all my iPhone photos with this app and I am happy every time. Going to go and download snapseed now πŸ™‚ thanks for your advice love reading it all!

  • How brilliant, thanks Chantelle!
    I'm getting straight onto those apps to see which of them fill the gaps I have in my photo app collection!

  • thanks heaps for this πŸ™‚ I am always looking for new apps. What I want to know is if there is an app to put all different photos together in a frame… like you do for the round up of your photo of the month challenges…. x

    • Anonymous

      I use PicFrame, I think there others out there though.

  • My fav at the moment is Lens Light!

  • Thanks for this! I also was luck enough to acquire snapseed for free the other day! :]] I know what you mean about some of these apps having way too many options. Some days I feel overwhelmed and just stick with instagram, but i'm excited to spend a little time getting to know some of these other apps! :]] You're the best!

  • I love Camera Awesome. I 'snapped' up snapseed last week too and am very impressed.

  • Camera+ and snapseed are my favourite, but I also like playing around with the colours of 'qbro', the quick editing of 'Dynamic light' and if i feel like making a vintage or old world scene I use 'VintageScene'.

  • Lisa J

    I love the befunky app on my android, allows you to control saturation, hue, contrast, brightness, it has some clever adjustable sharpening tools, multiple filters, cropping and frames.
    There is a free app and a paid version that has a few more bells and whistles (not sure what exactley as I only have the free one). It also allows you to save into your phone photo gallery or to publish on fb etc.
    Not sure if you can get this app for Iphone too but I highly recommend it if you can πŸ™‚

    • Jen P.

      Lisa J…thanks for chiming in as a Droid user. I'm one too and absolutely LOVE Befunky! I also really love Vingnette which has some cool features like double-exposure (use it to make very ghost-like, haunting, images!)It takes a while to figure out how to get the hang of it but it's worth playing around with! Other Droid loves are Pixlr-o-matic, Pudding Camera, Multilens Camera and Magic Hour. For filters I absolutely LOVE Little Photo since it lets you layer filter upon filter which is really amazing (Little Photo doesn't have a crop feature though, which really bums me out!)

  • This is awesome! I only have Snapseed, so I'm excited to try out these other ones!

  • Thanks for this post. I've been exploring with my iphone camera a lot lately. Perfect timing. I'm finding the photo a day challenge really inspiring and wrote a whole post about my evolving relationship and experience of photography on my blog yesterday:

  • Anonymous

    I love coloursplash, photowonder, and for fun, marblecam!! Nat πŸ™‚

  • How do you find out when apps are on sale or free? Are there particular sites you follow, ie to find out that Snapseed was free last week? Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Thank you, I have been looking for a polaroid app, I used to have one but it just disappeared one day and nothing comes up when u search for polaroid so I will be downloading Shake it! πŸ™‚ Photo apps that I love are of course Instagram, Photoshop, LemeLeme Cam has cool filters but one that I use religiously and I think you might like it 365 – its like a photo journal – u take a photo a day for the year and it puts it into a calendar of photos.. You can share with the 365 community like Instagram or you can just keep it private for yourself. I have a 3 year old daughter so its cool to document everything we do in the year πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting this topic, its great to see everyones suggestions. I, like you, LOVE Iphonography.. Your blog is awesome!

  • Great post – thank you! I also use Picfx – great app which has loads of filters and frame options. I have to agree with you though – Camera+ is fab! Nicky x

  • I have to say, I paid the full (exhorbitant) price for Snapseed, and have never regretted it. It is now my first stop in editing my photos on my iPhone, and it almost always gives me what I want. Thanks for sharing these, Chantelle, there were some I haven't seen yet. πŸ™‚

  • I love Camera+ it is the camera app I use, that or pro camera. I also LOVE snapseed and Magic hour.
    I use Diptic for collages and Phonto to add text to pics.
    Seems like quite a few but I have a really good routine for editing down and usually know how I want to edit a pic when I take it or even before I take it.
    Thanks for the Photo a day challenges! I love having it all laid out for me! πŸ™‚

  • I actually just discovered Snapseed for both iPad and iPhone a couple weeks ago. I've used in on my iPhone more as that's what I usually take pictures with when I'm out and about. But I'm going to download some photos for editing to the iPad and test it out there too.
    I also use and really like Camera+.
    I will definitely be looking into the other apps you mentioned.
    Another favorite of mine is Picfx. It's great for adding a little dramatic flair to pictures, like textures or bokehs or grunge details. It just spices things up a little when you're feeling artsy.
    Thanks for sharing these and the tips!

  • And Camera+ is only 99c. Can't go wrong. Thanks for sharing. xToni

  • I have all this amazing camera equipement for my Cannon and I can't remember the last time I pulled it all out—Most of the time I just snap and share using apps. Camera + is my favorite. I also like snapseed. i really like a more natural picture unless I have really screwed it up. I am always looking for features that help shoot quality pictures of my client dogs but so far those pictures have to be done with my cannon if I am serious about a good shot–If anyone has any ideas tho–I am all ears. Thanks for the reminders about some of the other apps–I have them but forget to use them…

  • I like pixlromatic, diptic and big lens as well as snapseed. I almost always play around with my photos in other apps before sending them through to instagram.

  • You're such a generos soul, Telle. Thanks for the great reviews. x

  • Thanks for the great recommendations! I take surprisingly good photos with my iPnone, at least 'I' was surprised! I'm glad of the opportunity to play with them πŸ™‚

  • You're the second person today to recommend Snapseed (the first was SometimesKaren)so imagine my joy when I went to download it on my phone, which is linked to Husband's iTunes, only to discover he already had, so it was already there! Winner.

  • Jay

    Thanks for sharing – I've really only used Instagram but have now added Camera+.

  • Great post!! I have been trying to figure out how people get the “bubble” look on their photos and cannot figure it out! Any thoughts?

    Not Exactly What I Planned…

    • ME TOO!! I want that like bubbly glitter app I cant find it!!!

  • The smugmug camera app rules too! Camera awesome! Check it out!

  • Downloaded the first and second one! Love them so much! Thanks for this post.

  • Thank you… Looks like I'll be spending the morning testing them out

  • Thanks for sharing – actually have most of these. I love Camera+ but my favourite is the VSCO app x

  • Susan C

    Putting my hand up for Camera+ and Snapseed but am also a big fan of Phototoaster for additional editing when I'm feeling too lazy to Snapseed but want to take my Camera+ pix too the next level.

  • Two I like besides Camera+ and Snapseed are HDR Fusion for good HDR shots and a very fun edition app called SwankoLab. With this one you can create chemical formulas and then take your shot to the “dark room” and let the picture rest in the chemicals for few seconds, to see the end result at last. I like the different concept.

    Two advanced apps that I have but still learning to use are 645 Pro and Filterstorm.

    My instagram name is manuelup if you want to see can you can do with these apps.

    Thanks Chantelle

  • Jen

    I use and love all of these as well. how about hipstamatic? And Vscocam Magic Hour? Love those!

  • Thanks for this blog! I just downloaded camera+ and picture show I love them!! I'm just gonna post some pics onto my blog now Yay

  • Danielle Douglas

    My Fav is Camera+ also! Like you I am a photo-app junkie so I have quite a few apps on my iphone. I also really like Photogene2 and KingCamera comes in 3rd πŸ™‚

  • Photoforge 2 is quite literally like having Photoshop on your phone – you can adjust exposure, white balance, sharpness, contrast, levels, you can edit using layers, and it exports to a number of formats.
    All my iphone pics go through this first, and then into Instagram:

    It's the most professional photo editing software I've used, but there is a learning curve – it doesn't do 'quick fixes'…

    Toby. x

  • Wood Camera is my current favorite editing edit! Lots of lens, textures, borders & a wonderful interface! Absolutely love it!!

  • aha, FINALLY someone who can explain this to me! Thank you!!!



  • Vi

    Chantelle, you should join β€œCapture the colour” contest
    you have so many nice pictures

  • Question, with pictureshow can you put text anywhere you want on the picture? For example… I write my blog name at the bottom corner of the pic. I do my daily pic from my iPhone but I haven’t found something that will write the text where I want.

    Thanks πŸ˜‰

  • I love Snapspeed and MagicHour. MagicHour has all different kind of filters and you can even create your own filters. I believe is $1 or $2 but if you like to edit your photos then it’s worth it. πŸ˜€

  • Danielle

    I love Snapseed. My other favourite is Instaplus, but basically because I prefer the frames in this app over Instagram’s frames. 100Cameras is another good one.