6 photo editing and effects apps you should try today

photo editing rawpixel unsplash

With hundreds of photography apps out there all claiming to give you the best editing experience, it’s no surprise that we sometimes end up downloading dozens of photo editing apps hoping to find exactly that we’re looking for, only to feel a bit frustrated at the outcome.

There are, however, some photography-related apps among the many that can truly take your pictures to the next level.

For me, it all depends on what vibe you want your photography to portray. I usually prefer true, clean editing over all the filters, stickers and manipulations. However, creating little pieces of your own art with those photo effects can be quite fun and rewarding as well.

Here are some of the apps I have found to be both creative and useful for my photography.

Photo editors

While you can download free versions of Adobe’s professional editing software on your phone, these tend to be very limited compared to the desktop versions. Therefore, I find these apps much more useful for my smartphone photography:


Snapseed by Google is an all-rounder professional-style editing app with a multitude of features, including support for RAW images. In this app you can fine tune your photos, use pre-sets and even manipulate images with themed filters and overlays.

I enjoy using this app for black and white editing. My photos retain a certain clarity that can often be lost when changing a colour image to monochrome.

This app is a must if you’re looking for some real control over your editing process without having to pay for professional software.

Polarr Photo Editor

Another all-rounder, but with some added creative features, Polarr Photo Editor is a very versatile editing tool that’s also available as a desktop app.

You can use this app whether you are a beginner or already understand the complexities of photo editing. The app offers the choice between a “Pro” and “Express” workspace depending on how skilled you are.

I find the text and shape tools most exciting in this app as I can import images and create professional looking posters or other graphics. The app can be upgraded to Polarr Pro for a monthly fee.


Instasize by Munkee Apps is not as powerful of an editing tool as my previous two mentions. However, if you are a beginner with an idea of how you want your photos to look, this app is certainly helpful.

Like the name suggests, Instasize resizes your images to fit the old Instagram square. While this is an unnecessary tool in 2018, the white bordered images are a style many still use.

Borders aside, this app allows you some fairly simple editing and a number of great filters. Its my go to app for editing profile pictures simply because it eliminates the need to crop my images to fit the 1 x 1 standard.

Photo effects

Turning standard images into interesting and memorable pieces is simple when you’ve got tools like these:

Polaroid Fx

If you love polaroid pictures but don’t actually have a polaroid, or simply just have a ton of pictures you wished were polaroid prints, this app is great. You can import pictures into Polaroid Fx and turn them into polaroid-like print outs. You can even add text, with a variety of fonts, and change the texture of the traditionally white Polaroid border.

If you want to turn your pictures into sentimental memories, this app is great. Unfortunately, pop up ads can get in the way.

LightLE filter

With many filters, overlays and a few editing options all dedicated to giving your photos a vintage look, this app by Pink Analog Look is all about nostalgia. The editing process is simple and does not reduce the quality of your pictures or leave them washed out and flat (as many filter apps do).

This app will definitely give your photography an old-fashioned look, but pop up ads are quite rife.

Prisma Photo Editor

This app turns your photos into colourful paintings, drawings, mosaics and other patterns. You can choose from all sorts of styles, further manipulating the filters to customise your images.

It’s easy to use and has great results.

If you love the idea of turning moments into colourful art, then this app is just right.

At the end of the day, it’s all about your needs and wants as the photographer. These apps are a great place to start exploring the vast world of smartphone photo editing.

Feature image: rawpixel via Unsplash

Shereesa Moodley


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