Using Instagram Efficiently: Photo Editing Apps

Instagram Tips

I am obviously a fan of Instagram, it’s by far my favorite social media tool. One of my favorite things about using Instagram is that i’s such an easy way to catch up with friends, family, and other bloggers, but also fill my wanderlust, help me dream of a larger closet, and encourage me to read more. I love being able to aimlessly scroll through photos and feel captivated, inspired and intrigued. Other social media outlets turn into drama, posts that get to me, and things I am honestly not totally interested in.

Instagram is curated and perfect for those few minutes between emails or while waiting in line at Target. With that being said, the need/want to be creative and share beautiful photos is important. Even with life happening, a pretty square can make things seem so exciting. Some people think this is terrible, but I find it kind of inspiring. Seeing the good in the chaos.

Making photos even more beautiful often comes to the apps you use to edit each square, but also being sure you don’t over edit. I have talked about other ways to make your blog and Instagram photos work, like choosing the right background, using the best lighting, and gathering the right props, but apps right off our your phone can make a huge difference as well.

I have a collection of photo apps, but use each of them for different types of photos and in different ways.

A Color Story: The gals from A Beautiful Mess have done it again! This app actually just came out, but as soon as ABM announced it I knew I had to have it. They had a cute video to go along with the announcement, and then it came out a few days later. I downloaded it right away and even purchased all of the extra preset kits. I haven’t been able to test this out too much yet, but I love it so far.

Facetune: I mainly use this app for whitening things like my desk, or prints. It’s super easy to use and you can even whiten smaller details by zooming in on the photo within the app. There are several other tools in this app, but the whitening function is my main use.

VSCO Cam: I love this app because of the photo-enhancing filters and the fact that I have the ability to edit simple things like brightness, exposure, etc. The app also saves all of your photo edits within the app itself, so if I ever wanted to go back and find a photo I previously edited, I can look for it on the homepage of the app.

Instagram Tips Photos app on iPhone: This is my last step after using other apps and before I put the photo on Instagram. I have a folder of Instagram photos in my phone to compare what each photo will look like next to each other, before I upload it. If you like to have a “theme” of photos, or stick to a certain color pattern, this works really well. Since I decided to start a business Instagram account, I don’t know if I will still use this method for my personal/blog account, but we’ll see.

Instagram: Over the years, Instagram itself has added some great photo editing options. Everything started with general filters, but then the #nofilter life became all the rage. Once I have edited the photo to 99% of my liking, I upload it to Instagram and edit the brightness, contrast and tilt to make sure everything looks great.

Mastin labs has created a new Instagram app called Filborn that will be launching soon as well. I’m not sure how it will compete with the apps that are already out, but it’s worth a try! You can sign up to be a beta tester here 


  • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

    I am loving a color story for editing my photos!

    • Macy Volpe

      There are so many awesome things you can do with it!

  • Anne @ Love the Here and Now

    I just found a Color Story last night and love it. I’m also a huge fan of Afterlight to brighten my photos. Off to check out Facetune now. Thanks for the tips.

    • Macy Volpe

      I will have to checkout Afterlight, I keep hearing great things!

  • Ashley LaMar

    VSCO drives me crazy as I found it kind of complicated at first but as I’ve started to get in to it I’m finding that I love it.

    • Macy Volpe

      I totally know what you mean, it takes a while to get used to it.

  • Annie

    Awesome! I just saw the new Color Story app and it’s awesome! I’m a fan of Afterlight too!

    • Macy Volpe

      I really need to try Afterlight. For now I am obsessed with Color Story!

  • Christine Everyday

    The idea of the folder for Instagram is BRILLIANT I am trying so hard to make my Instagram a little prettier to get more followers but I don’t want to totally curate it. That seems like a great way to preview everything and make it work a little better!!

    • Macy Volpe

      Until Instagram lets your preview what your photo will look like on your feed, it’s a great way to test it out. I just have to remember to add it to the album before I post it.

  • Allycia Lee

    I LOVE PicsArt!

    • Macy Volpe

      I will have to try that one out!! Thank you!

  • Alexandra Stacey

    Facetune is my Jam. I know people knock it, but I love to use the in-app editing tools too.

    • Macy Volpe

      Facetune is amazing, it seriously works wonders!

  • Meg Taylor

    Womp womp. I have an Android so I can’t use A Color Story yet! I do a lot of editing with my phone, then a little final work with Insta, but I’m still so excited for ACS to come to Android soon!

    • Macy Volpe

      Hopefully soon!! A Color Story is seriously awesome, you will love it!

  • Ashley @ Wandering Weekenders

    I’ve always used Instagram to edit my photos, but I think that I might have to download a few of these apps. VSCO Cam sounds awesome and so does A Color Story!

    • Macy Volpe

      VSCO has a ton of features, but I have to admit, A Color Story has my heart right now. It is amazing.

  • Emelia @ Dream Big & Buy the S

    Nice! I use Afterlight a lot to brighten. I am loving Color Story even though I haven’t made any in app purchases (YET) there are still so many great features! Instagram is definitely my favorite–good point about the drama other outlets bring. I can’t take Facebook drama or Twitter fights…haha

    • Macy Volpe

      I LOVE all of the filters (paid and free) in A Color Story. ABM has posted some great tutorials too, and Elsie did a Q&A on Snapchat about it. I can’t wait to play more when it gets nicer outside 😉

  • Megan

    A color story is amazing. I also downloaded it when it came out and bought all the filters #noshame. I used it on a few of my New Orleans photos and love it so far! I’m currently checking out facetune, thanks for the tip 😉

    • Macy Volpe

      Absolutely no shame in supporting the ABM gals, can we be them? I am loving everything about the app, I can’t wait to use it some more!

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