Rebecca Peterson Studio
Graphic Design + Art Direction


Creativity. Design. Life.

My Favorite Apps for Collecting & Editing Photos

If you're follow any famous bloggers on social media, you've probably seen #AColorStory floating around Instagram and Pinterest. The sisters behind the blog "A Beautiful Mess" created A Color Story app to edit photos for stronger colors and brighter whites. I was really excited about the app initially, but after using it for a few days, I decided it wasn't for me. There's very few "free" features and the interface is really confusing and hard to use. I realized that I already have several photo apps that do exactly what I need, so I thought I would share them with you. 

Below is a list of my favorite photo apps and all their pros and cons. I've included screenshots of each of the apps in progress so you can get an idea of how it really feels to use them. 

If you want better looking photos (and better access to them), check out this guide to collecting and editing photos!

If you want better looking photos (and better access to them), check out this guide to collecting and editing photos!

Google Photos

After going through 3 different phones in 9 months, I was frustrated by the lack of accessibility I had to photos from my old devices. I wised up and downloaded the Google Photos app, and I've been grateful ever since! Here's what you need to know:

Totally free
Unlimited storage
Works on desktop, mobile, and tablets
Automatically uploads photos and videos
(I even have mine set to delete photos from my phone after they're backed up, which is great because I never get notifications saying "There is not enough storage to take a photo" or anything like that.)
Easy to make collections and albums of your photos
Easy to share with anybody on Gmail

Google sees all my photos and probably uses that information to advertise to me
Photos are compressed (I'm super picky about bad quality photos and the compression doesn't bother me at all, even when I print my photos, but it's still a con).
The app can run slowly when you want to access photos from 2013 or something



This app is $1.99 on the iTunes store, so even though it's not free, it's a great deal because it unlocks EVERYTHING for you. Pic-Tap-Go is my number one recommendation for editing photos because it's so easy to use. I like that you don't have to actually apply the filters to see how they will change your photo. The app gives you a little sample preview, which is great. Here's the other details:

Not free
Can’t make general photo adjustments like sharpness, brightness, or saturation
oesn't do a lot for portrait photos, this app works best for product/nature photography

No advertisements
Extremely easy to use
Easy to undo actions
Variety of filters
Ability to adjust the strength of filters
Ability to add filters on top of each other
Save your "recipe" so all your photos can have the same style (I love this feature)
Easy to save your photos from the app


This app is a great resource for anyone who wants to edit their photos Instagram-style. The interface is a little funky but it's relatively simple to use, especially considering how many features there are. Here's everything else you need to know:

Some ads
The app can be kind of glitchy
Can't undo actions
Confusing interface

Lots of features
Pretty easy to use
Ability to adjust the strength of filters
Easy to save your photos from the app


As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I edit my photos to make myself look prettier. For photo retouching, this app does it all. You can soften the photo (give yourself that glowing look), slim your face, make your eyes bigger, anything! I try to use all the effects sparingly because I don’t want to look like something I'm not, but it's nice to know that I can look decent in any picture.

Lots of ads
Only works for retouching. There aren't any filters or adjustments available.
Large file size (takes up a lot of storage on my iPhone)

It really works! Obviously the retouching can be overdone, but the app does what it's supposed to and I think it looks good!
Fairly easy to use
Automatically saves pictures to your camera roll when you're finished
Easy to see what you've done and compare it to the original picture

Note: I've heard really great things about the app FaceTune for photo retouching and brightening photos, but it's $3.99 so I haven't purchased it yet.

I hope this is a helpful guide for anyone who's interested in improving the quality of their photos. Obviously, not every picture needs to be edited in all (or any) of these programs, but they do offer some amazing services for very little cost. If you know of any other cost effective, easy-to-use photo apps, I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks for reading!



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