Top photo editing apps

Peta Serras

by Peta Serras

Apps we swear by to edit our photographs for Instagram on our iPhone.

We aren’t talking about slimming your face or changing your hair colour to be brunette for the weekend. Sometimes a picture just needs editing. Whether it’s the exposure, temperature or contrast, sometimes a little tweak can make the world of difference.

Photo editing can make a picture go from eh to amazing.

Long gone are the days of editing your photos in photoshop to adjust the colour balances. These days we can adjust the settings via our phone and post the pictures instantly.

This is especially important for business people and those who use social media to display their business. Time is money and it’s important to edit your photographs in a quick way.

I go over the fundamentals about creating an amazing photo of yourself in my ebook, but for now? Here are my top photo editing apps with some examples of how they work.

“Well-edited consistent photographs are essential for a cohesive brand story.”




Before we start, here is a look at my photo editing apps I use including some we will talk about today.Here is also my main Instagram incase you’d like to stalk and follow! 

1. Instagram

Back in the day Instagram used to only have preset filters. But now you can edit fully edit the image without the need to use other applications. Nine times out of ten, this is my go-to way of editing photos because it’s easy. In the new settings you can edit the warmth, fade, contrast and brightness of an image (plus a lot of other settings as well!). I prefer bright, white and warm photographs. You can adjust the opacity of the preset filters as well. Basically you can now control how strong the filter is – just click it twice to adjust.

TIP – Put your phone in airplane mode to edit images and go to post them. The image won’t post but will save to your phone. Then cancel the image by pressing X so it doesn’t post to IG.


Before and after editing in Instagram. As you can see we changed the cropping of the photo, made the photo a bit brighter and added a fade. To add warmth, the Reyes filter was used at approximately 50% opacity. 


I find the settings on VSCO now are quite similar to Instagram. This used to be my go to photo editing app before you could control the opacity of the filters on IG. What I like about VSCO is it saves your images so you can easily get idea of what your Instagram feed will look like. Well-edited consistent photos are essential for a cohesive brand story. You’ll find that most of the popular Instagrams with a well-engaged audience have a consistent feed with a similar colour tone of the images. I use VSCO for to ensure this by adding the photos to make my IG photo album.


My photos in VSCO for the @PetaSerras + @ProfessionalBabe_ Instagram accounts. Posting my photos this way makes it easy for me to see if a photo I could potentially post will stick out on my feed. We want a cohesive brand story.

3. Squaready

Before Instagram changed it’s settings so you could upload portrait and landscape images, this is what I used to use to turn my images into a perfect square with white space. I still use this app as it’s perfect if you want to add text alongside an image and would prefer to upload it onto a plain background. It’s also good to add a white or coloured frame around a photo. This can look quite striking when all images on a feed have this.

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Slightly hard to tell, but we’ve added white space to images including a panel and a border in Squaready.

4. Over

Perfect for adding text to images. It’s a paid app but in my opinion it’s definitely worth it. I used to have to open my images on my computer to edit and add text. Although I love photoshop, it’s time consuming to transfer my images across to edit and add text. I find it similar to Adobe photoshop and indesign. You can add artwork or text over the top which includes a variety of fonts, colour choices and editing tools.

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Using our Instagram edited photo we then uploaded it into VSCO to ensure it kept with our brand story. We added white space using Squaready and then finished it off in Over with some beautiful text! 

“Play with photo editing and notice the difference it makes. Adding brightness, warmth and a slight colour filter can convey a completely different mood to the original image taken.”



Peta Serras

Editor of Professional Babe, Peta has a penchant for pretty things, Tom Hardy and ginger kittens. You can find her sipping a long black, creating killer content or making sure her winged eyeliner is even. Peta is a writer, model & Pilates Instructor based out of the Hunter Valley.

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