With more than one billion users on Instagram, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
So here’s a little secret.
You don’t always need the latest camera equipment.
Or even professional gear to begin with.
Today anyone with a smartphone, great lighting, and a good photo editing app can take stunning pictures like the pros.
So If you’re keen to start, we recommend experimenting around with different photo editing apps.
A photo editor will help ensure your Instagram feed remains consistent, beautiful, and well-polished every time.
It’s no secret that having a thoughtfully curated feed is one of the keys to growing your Instagram organically.
So, are you ready to up your Instagram game and start attracting quality followers?
Here are my top 11 favorite Instagram photo editors I believe everyone should try.
1. Crello – wow your followers with creative Instagram effects
Crello is a simple-to-use graphic design tool.
But it also comes with an online photo editor with a range of color effects and filters to set the right mood.
Check this out.
You can vary each of the effects, choose-ready made filters, or even create your own.
Here’s an example below.
By playing around with light and shade, and combining many different filters, you can radically change an image.
Or even elevate and create a warm mood.
It’s super simple and easy to get started.
All you need to do is:
- Select a template
- Use an image
- Add color effects
- And then save and use your image
Best of all, you can edit and upload your videos for free!
2. Enlight Photofox – create stunning surreal photos
One of my favorite things about Enlight Photofox is its tagline.
“You’ll never believe what you can create on iPhone.”
The slogan is super interesting, but what you’ll see next will amaze you.
It’s pretty cool how the app can take different parts of two pictures, superimpose them, to create this final result.
Not impressed yet?
Here’s another one.
If you’re keen to get a bit creative with your editing, Enlight Photofox is the way to go.
It’s an iPhone app.
You can begin by downloading Enlight Photofox on the app store to get started.
3. Preview App – the one-stop-shop Instagram photo editor
If you’re looking for an app that can help you plan your feed and perform all the essential edits, then Preview App is the one for you.
The key feature of the app is previewing how photos would look in your feed, but it is also a surprisingly great photo editor.
There are 18 different features.
From adjusting different effects, cropping, enhancing, and sharpening your images, the list just goes on.
But don’t worry.
It’s simple to use and only has the essential features, so you won’t get bogged down by the different options and details.
It’s a tool I’ve used to brighten and enhance my Instagram posts in the past.
4. PhotoSplit – create Instagram “split pics”
If you’re often on Instagram, you’ve probably seen this.
Photosplitting is a super cool technique you can try out.
But instead of calculating when to upload what picture, PhotoSplit for Instagram is an app that will take care of all the heavy lifting.
To use the app, all you need to do is:
- Choose a Photo
- Move, Zoom or Rotate
- Tap and Post to Instagram
With Photosplit, you can ensure high-quality photos after splitting.
You can also rotate your images, upload pictures directly to Instagram and even split an image into 3×1, 3×2, or 3×3 grids.
Photossplit is also available for Android users on Google Play.
5. FaceTune – the best photo editing app for selfies
If your Instagram features a lot of selfies, then you need to download FaceTune right away!
The FaceTune app has many features to enhance your face.
- Creating flawless skin
- Removing blemishes
- Reshaping, refining, and resizing your face
- Replacing background
- Magic filters that can enhance your complexion
It’s great if your skin isn’t feeling its best, you’re breaking out, or you’ll dealing with some uneven skin tone.
Sometimes I also like to use FaceTune to blur certain aspects of an image, like this one below from Lyfe Accounting:
FaceTune truly goes beyond just selfies. You can use the ‘smooth’ feature to get a blur effect as seen above.
6. VSCOCam – the go-to app for vintage photo filters
You can definitely edit your photos on VSCOCam.
But it’s not a stand-alone photo editing app.
Instead, it’s photography software that allows you to take photos, edit on the app, and share with other VSCO users and on social media sites like Instagram.
I use it daily as a way to gain inspiration when it comes to my photos.
Sometimes, I’ll even edit the photos in the app while I’m at it.
The VSCO app offers:
- Advanced presets
- Professional editing options
- A comparison table of different looks
- A way to discover new techniques
What VSCOCam really excels at is creating that effortless, vintage-inspired look that you might have seen recently on Instagram.
In fact, VSCOCam is so popular right now that the term “vsco girl” is now used by a certain demographic (I’m looking at you, Gen Z) to refer to a certain kind of aesthetic.
What’s a vsco girl, you ask? For an answer, look no further than this meme:
When a photo editing app becomes a meme and term, you know it’s hit it big.
7. Snapseed – a great overall tool to edit Instagram posts
If you’re going for a complete all-in-one professional photo editing tool, then look to Snapseed.
Snapseed is great for editing your Insta photos or even pictures for your blog.
If you’re just starting a blog and not quite ready to splurge on Adobe just yet, you might want to give Snapseed a shot (no pun intended).
It is truly multi-functional and has over 29 tools and filters.
- Enhance color, exposure, and details
- Clean your photos for a flawless edit
- Modify specific parts
- Improve composition
- Leverage selective editing tools
- Change the mood with filers
- Apply a certain look to your edits
As for the editing process, it’s intuitive, easy, and simple.
It’s also free to download and use!
8. Venngage – an unexpectedly great Instagram collage maker
You might think…Venngage?
Isn’t that an infographic tool?
But within their tool, there are many other features as well.
There’s a collage maker that you can use to change up your Instagram posts.
So instead of just posting one super awesome picture of, let’s say…your dog.
You can now post your dog and four other furry friends, as well.
Alternatively, you can also use Venngage to add some text to your images.
Check out how GetVOIP combines a collage with text in this stunning graphic about video conferencing software:
You can even ask your viewers a question to get them to engage with your posts.
For example, Housecall Pro captures this perfectly.
By asking a question, Housecall Pro received more engagement in this post than their regular images.
Venngage is a tool I’d highly recommend for businesses on Instagram.
It’s nice to add text and mix things up once in a while.
9. A Color Story – for perfecting your Instagram color palette
If you’re big on color, then you A Color Story could be the app for you.
Instead of forcing a moody look on your pictures, the app can help you gain fresh photos with nice bright whites and colors that pop.
AColorStory does so by giving its users:
- More than 300 carefully crafted filters
- Over 100 different effect
- 20 free tools
- Custom filters
10. Adobe Lightroom CC – home of the professional Instagram presets
And here we come to the heavy hitters.
I love easy-to-use and simple photo editors.
But sometimes, they don’t give me as many options as Adobe does.
Instead of jumping straight in Photoshop (like most people do), I recommend trying out Adobe Lightroom CC.
Photoshop is king for detailed and complicated editing.
But if you want to make some local adjustments and further edits on your smartphone, iPad, laptop, or even desktop computer, then go for Adobe Lightroom.
Lightroom can work wonders for your images.
You can do virtually anything.
Image too dark? Bring up the shadows.
Not enough detail? Lower the highlights.
Professional bloggers love Lightroom.
Just look at the photos from travel blogger Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) as an example.
Lightroom brings out the best in your photos and gives you full control over the editing process to develop amazing colors and detail.
If you’re thinking Lightroom is only good for Instagram, think again.
It’s useful for any type of photo, whether it’s for your website or social media.
If you want to know more about Lightroom, here’s a comparison table you can check out.
11. Adobe Premiere Pro – the next-level Instagram video editor
Before you tell me Premiere Pro is an editing tool for video…let me explain.
The title says ‘11 Best Instagram Photo Editors You Need To Try.’
But posting a fun, eyecatching video on Instagram can seriously help your profile stand out.
Just ask BuzzfeedTasty.
Uploading videos onto social sites like Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram is the core of their content strategy.
According to Footage Fixer, Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing tool out there.
It’s not exactly for newcomers.
But once you know the basic functions of each tool, you’ll soon get the hang out it.
Plus, it doesn’t have to be all about the video.
With Adobe Premiere Pro, you can even create some epic thumbnails from your videos like the one below from VPN Reviews:
And there you have it!
Great Instagram photos generally begin with a smartphone and great lighting. But they always move onto an amazing photo editor that can enhance the image.
If you’re not sure which photo editor you should download, we recommend writing a list of things you want to improve first.
If you want a general-all-purpose tool, then look to VSCOCam. But if you’re looking to improve your selfies, FaceTune may be a better approach.
Either way, there’s no right or wrong. There’s also no order you need to try or download these tools in.
Experiment and play around to see which photo editor works best for you!
Once you’ve got your photos edited and ready to go, try using a social media scheduling tool like Falcon.io to publish your posts to Instagram.
Hungry for more? For even more photo editing apps that can turn your photos into works of art, see this article here.
And for a complete guide to social media image sizes, see our ultimate guide here.