The Only Two Apps I Use To Edit Images – and They’re Free

When I started with mobile photography a couple of years ago, the only apps I used were my iPhone’s native camera and Instagram to take and edit photographs.

As time went on, I downloaded various apps that I hoped would help me take better photos and create miracles with my editing. It never happened.

After spending a fair chunk of cash in the App Store, and creating ‘photographs’ that were overly saturated, had the highest dynamic range possible and had horrible vignettes, I figured apps couldn’t save me from myself.

So after much research and trial and error, I found these two gems on the App Store that are absolutely free.

Snapseed

This is my go-to app. I put all my images through Snapseed first. The interface is simple and easy to use.

I use it to build the foundation for my image edits before I wrap up in VSCO.

Snapseed has created a really cool YouTube channel, where they offer in-depth tutorials on how to master the app.

Snapseed is available for iOS and Android.

VSCO Cam

VSCO made a name for themselves with their incredible Photoshop and Lightroom presets. A few years ago, they developed VSCO Cam which made their presets available to mobile photographers and those of us that prefer to edit our images on our smartphones.

The app and a couple of presets are free, with the VSCO store offering a range of paid preset packs at reasonable prices.

I bought quite a few preset packs, but I use the free ones most often.

VSCO also has a great YouTube channel with some great videos of their collabs with some great artists, their desktop presets and new products.

VSCO Cam is available for iOS and Android.

Apps won’t save your ass

Improving my photography by learning the basics really helped me. I learned that apps will never save a bad photo. Get the photo right, then use apps to add a subtle edit to your images. You want to enhance them, not make them unrecognisable.