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Top 5: My most favourite photography apps in the Universe

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What App is that? If someone would have muttered those words 10 years ago we would have been like, “What on earth are you on about?” But now I hear it almost daily on Instagram when sharing a photo or the photo a day list. There’s an App for everything {or almost everything}. I use my phone as a camera more than I use it for a phone. In fact my phone company called a few weeks back and said I should try and make more calls, “You should call a friend or two overseas to use up your credit.” Please. It’s a camera first, phone second.

You know when you have shoes and your favourites get worn out because you wear them so much? Imagine if Apps were like that. Instagram would be my well-worn app. I’d have to buy a few pairs in that style in size it’s that much-loved. I haven’t included it in my favourite photography Apps because I thought it was too obvious and I wanted to show my other favourites.

Here they are. Make friends with my favourite Apps. And if you’re only going to get one, make it Camera+.

1. Camera+

This is my all-time favourite app, and definitely my most used. I use this camera to take all of my photos, whether I edit them in the app or not. So instead of opening my iPhone camera or even Instagram to take the photo – I take them with this. It can be an expensive outlay – to pay for the app and then some filters but if I put it down to cost-per-use, I’m killing it. The best things about this app are that if I take a good photo but with crappy lighting – I just go to scenes and adjust it. My favourite filters are Magic Hour and Diana.
Get it here {it’s on sale right now}: $0.99

2. Snapseed

Sometimes filters can ruin a good photo. They’re too much, they take away from the subject of your picture and that’s when Snapseed is handy. It lets you create subtle changes to your photos, so you can tweak and keep it naturally beautiful. I found it a little hard to use at first, but once you get it – you’re good to go. My favourite feature is the ‘tune image’ function where you can adjust brightness, ambience, contrast, saturation and white balance. Snapseed even got itself the mobile photo app of the year award for 2012.
Get it here: $4.99

3. PicFrame

Whenever I want to put two or more photos into one picture, I use PicFrame. There are a handful of Apps that will do this for you but I’ve always used PicFrame and liked it. It’s easy to use, and has loads of templates to choose from so you can really get creative.
Get it here: $0.99

4. Montage

If you want to get a little more creative, meet Montage. It can turn your photos into various shapes, add text and more. It’s easy to use too {bonus!}.
Get it here: $1.99

5. Hipstamatic

It’d feel wrong to share my 5 favourite photo apps and not talk about Hipstamatic. It’s the one reason I desperately wanted an iPhone in the beginning. So with all the apps I’ve shared below it’s all about altering the photo AFTER it’s taken, with Hipstamatic it’s all about messing with the settings before you start shooting. You can choose your lens and your film and start shooting away. I love the Betty XL Lens and the Big Up film {it’s created by Naomi Watt’s brother Ben who is a killer photographer}.
Get it here: $1.99

What’s your favourite photography App?

P.S. I don’t have an Android and I would so dearly love to share some info for apps on Android, so if you have an Android phone and have a few favourite photography apps please share below so others can learn from your loved apps. 🙂

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  • Gaz

    Mine is ProCamera for iPhone and iPad. It allows you to really get the light balance right as well as specific areas to focus. Like Camera+ I use it all the time for Instagram.

  • I can’t seem to find the Magic Hour filter in Camera+? I already had the app, so bought the extra package that the Diana filter is in (it’s great!), but could you please point me in the right direction for the other filter, Magic Hour? Thanks!

    • For me, it’s under the first lot of filters – under COLOR.

      Let me know how you go. 🙂

      • Thanks ladies! I don’t know where I was looking, but yes it was under COLOR, perhaps I was still half asleep when first looking! Thanks again 🙂

    • Hi Elisha. The Magic Hour filter is in the color tab in the effects section. If you’re using an iPhone/iPod Touch, it should be in the middle row 🙂

  • All this blog made me do is want an iphone even more! I can’t wait until it fits our budget. For now I’l be happy with finally being able to get instagram to work on my crappy Android phone, and for my wonderful camera LOL

  • caz h

    On Android : Camera360, Pixlr-o-matic to overlay effects, add filters & frames (also available as a chrome extension or on the web), Photogrid, Pudding Camera, Retro Camera.. Also Quickpic to loads much faster than the default picture gallery for viewing your pictures & albums. 🙂

  • My fav on Android (besides Instagram, of course):
    Camera ZOOM FX, Vignette, FX Camera, Photoshake (for collages), Pixlr-o-matic, Phonto

    Those are my favs 😀

  • Like some of you I really want that iphone!! So for you out there like me, and want some cool software to imitate all these apps, have a look at Topaz Labs and Perfect Photo Suite 7….easy to use and standalone, but they are expensive … I use them all the time so for me they are worth it

  • I have an Android. Pixlr-o-matic is by far my fave for overlays and effects. Photo Grid for collages. Retro Camera is also good. All free in the Google Play store.

  • I have an iphone and had no idea all the apps that were on offer! I’m still playing with vintique which is free and can add a real retro touch to photos. I’m definitely going to check out some of your recommendations Chantelle, thanks!

  • Raquel Bebbington


  • charmaine

    For something different (and then i upload via instagram) i like magicHour and Vintage Camera. I think photo toaster and befunky were my first two photo apps:) For frames i like frame your life and frame magic.
    I also have camera FX+ which ive not played with yet:)

  • Emma

    camera 360 has some fun features for android. I also have a panorama camera which was free.

  • oskandoly

    Camera awesome is one of my faves,it is a little pricey to get all the features £6.99 I think but I love the seemingly endless varieties of effect,frames and textures you can add to your photos. I also love the fact you can share straight to Instagram from it without losing any of your photo quality and size!

  • Leesa

    Instagram {of course 🙂 }, Picfx (you can overlay several filters on the one photo), MonoVu (great B&W app), Slow Shutter, Pano, PicFrame and SuperPopCam just to name a few!!

  • These are my favourites on Android – Pixlr-o-matic, Retro Camera+, Camera ZOOM FX and Photoshake for collages. Touch Retouch is also good for editing out things you don’t want in the photo.

  • Well…this post just cost me $10.95 🙂 thank you so much for aharing these…excited to play with all of them!

  • I have Android and I LOVE Vignette – you can get the Vignette Demo for free, but it just makes you want to buy the proper version. Fabulous.

  • I love Afterglow. So many great subtle filters and you can edit and crop in the one app. Plus there are cool circle and triangle boarders!

  • pjmorum

    There’s a great app for iPhone called Apps Gone Free, and every day it offers up about 7-8 apps that developers have released to be free for a day or sometimes for a weekend. I have downloaded heaps of free photo apps because of this app. There’s not always a photo app available, but I usually find something interesting each day! Some of my favorite photo apps: Pro HDR, Photo Toaster, Photo Blender, CP Pro, Fisheye Pro, just to name a few!

  • faye-amy

    {Ooo} after reading this and downloading lots of new photo apps i feel like a day trip out with my phone..only thing is i’d need to charge it half way through the day!

  • Diane Herman

    I just discovered InstaFrame…not sure how I missed it before now. It offers same layouts as PicFrame but has the added bonus of adding text in same Ap…and really cute banners for text too 🙂

  • unable to buy the lens and film in hipstamatic your recommended – well i can’t as says no longer available 🙁

    • They come up every now and then so you can keep checking 🙂

  • katie z

    Afterglow is a new .99 app that is pretty awesome! it has TONS of editing options from basic to advanced, and there are way more filters than Instagram has–it also allows people to share filters they’ve created to. super easy to share to your preferred social media as well!

  • loopylu

    Thanks for sharing. I will take a look

  • littlemissairgap

    You mentioned Hipstamatic about 2 years ago & it’s still my fave photo app. Love the filters … makes the most boring & lame photo look all arty.

  • Angela Vogt

    thank YOU for posting this, I’m always looking out for peeps fave photo apps….. am getting photo NOW…

  • snapseed is free right now, 12/6/12 🙂

  • I use Android, and I love Pixlr!

  • rachel

    I’m really loving Afterglow: great PS style editing and I can’t resist the circle frame!

  • Great news … Snapseed is now available on Android too! I’m a happy camper 🙂

  • I love my Android and the couple photo apps that work great. I have used many of the ones mentioned, but these are by far the best for Android. PicsPlayPro and PicFrame. BTW, probably going to the darkside in March and getting a iPhone5. :/

  • Have you seen the new ‘a beautiful mess’ photo editing app?

  • EverShrinkingDiva

    bokehPic for Android is also a really great one. Free in the Google Play store 🙂 Joining the July Photo-a-day challenge now 🙂

  • Amrit

    Please follow me on instagram @_amritsenghera_ . I’m new with photography and stuff. Does anybody know any FREE photography apps?