If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love taking photos of my travel adventures and daily life. Visuals are such a fun way of sharing updates as well as providing a source of inspiration for others. I’ve played around with a bunch of editing apps over the years (I seriously LOVE discovering new ones!), but the ones listed below are my all-time favourites and my go-to tools for creating images that pop! Soon I’ll be sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how I prepare my photos for uploading to Instagram, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, these are my top apps for creating killer Instagram photos along with example images from my feed from each. Go on then, get downloading, and up your Instagram game instantly!

1. Snapseed

The first step of my editing process is to always import my photo into Snapseed. You can do a bunch of things in this app, from adjusting perspective, altering tonal contrasts to healing imperfections. I find that I use the ‘Tune Image’ function the most and in most of my images I will increase the brightness, highlights and ambience and might boost the saturation levels a little to bring the photo to life.

Price: FREE

2. Mextures

Mextures is a great app for adding that little bit of magic into your photos. It contains hundreds of light leaks and textures that you can overlay your photo with. I love that you can also adjust the intensity level and layer the textures on top of one another to make the effect as subtle or as intense as you like. Not every photo is right for Mextures, but sunset, sunrise and landscape scenes all work really well.

Price: $1.99

3. VSCOcam

VSCOcam is widely hailed to be the best photo editing app out there because of its extraordinary range of presets with a really simple editing interface. There is an in-app camera you can use to take your photos that has a bunch of extra controls such as shutter speed, white balance and exposure compensation. I have purchased quite a few additional preset packs to give me greater control over the look and feel of my images and these are all very reasonably priced (you can also buy all of them for a special bundle price).

Price: Free (additional preset packs can be purchased at a low price)

Salty skin and sandy toes 🐚☀️

A photo posted by Rachel Bale (@departmentofwandering) on

4. ColorStory

I have only recently discovered ColorStory by A Beautiful Mess and I have to say, that it is my absolute favourite photo-editing app I’ve ever used! I’ve been editing all of my Instagram photos with ColorStory lately and I seriously can’t get enough of it. Over 100 fresh and colourful filters are available that replicate colour-balancing techniques in Photoshop. This app really makes your images pop with colour and vibrancy, which I love for Instagram. There are also light flares, bokeh as well as a heap of custom editing tools including curve and exposure adjustment and colour toning.

Price: Free (additional filter packs can be purchased for a low price)

A full tank of gas, your favourite person and nothing but the open road ahead ✨

A photo posted by Rachel Bale (@departmentofwandering) on

What about you? What are your favourite apps for editing for Instagram?