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5 Best Photo Apps

By on January 15, 2016

One of the coolest things about smartphones is the ability to carry a tiny camera in our pockets in order to capture the best, most memorable parts of our lives in an instant.

It’s crazy to think that in future years people will never know anything different. They will have missed out on Polaroids and taking rolls of film to the local Walgreens to have them developed in as little as an hour! (What a technological marvel one hour development was back in the day.)

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for photographing my life, even if the boring bits, or moments captured in poor quality lighting, out of frame, or with a shaky hand (thank god for the invention of image preview).

Even so, it was so much fun to bring a throw-away Kodak on vacation or to the final day of school to take pictures of all my friends (Now I have a stock pile of photos of people I barely remember and fish from a school trip to the aquarium when I was 13.)

In may regards, I haven’t moved on. But today my camera roll is filled with everything from pictures of One Direction concerts I’ve attended to my dog attempting to steal candy canes off the Christmas tree. So why does all of this matter?

Well, with the ability to point, shoot, edit, and share photos with our inner circle and the world almost instantly, there’s so many apps to choose from. I’ve chosen to share the ones I use most frequently to curate my online scrapbook, and share them here just in time for all of the photos that are about to be taken over the holiday season.

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Instagram, Free

This is truly a no brainer and odds are, if you’re reading this, you already have Instagram. If not, Instagram is the most popular photo sharing app on the planet and has millions of users sharing over 40 billion photos in total and over 80 million per day. Instagram is really great and allows users to connect with friends and other interesting people through their explore feature. Explore trending and popular tags as well as see the pictures their friends are liking. The app allows users to edit photos and 15 second video straight in app with filters and dials to change the saturation, contrast, and brightness. When done photos can be shared seamlessly on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

You can follow me on Instagram if you fancy by clicking here!

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Boomerang & Layout, Free

Made by Instagram, Boomerang and Layout make sharing your creations even easier. Boomerang creates moving photos in seconds by shooting a series of photos without much effort of the user. The completed moving photos fit perfectly into Instagram, and both the front and back camera can be used to create fun GIFs. So yes, that means living selfies (#blessed). Layout creates photo collages with up to 9 photos effortlessly. Users can select from the camera roll or use the in app camera function to take photos. After selecting the photos the layouts can be resized, mirrored, and flipped with the touch of a finger.

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Afterlight, $.99

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of Instagram it’s time to step up your filter (and edit) game, enter: Afterlight. Afterlight offers image enhancement features including 27 filters which range from seasonal selections to the ability of the user to create their own unique filter. The app contains textures, frames, and other photo editing capabilities which allow the user to create their own interesting aesthetic.

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Aviary, Free

Aviary is a bit more complicated than Afterlight, but provides many more photo editing options. The app makes achieving the perfect shot even easier with enhanced photo settings specifically for scenery, food, portraits, and nighttime. It does contain default filters and has many more available for purchase. What makes Aviary great for photo editing is the ability to remove red eye and blemishes as well as adjust tint, highlights, shadows, and contrast among other things. Aviary is a really creative photo editing program with available stickers to add to photos and the capability to draw on photos as well.

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VSCO, Free

VSCO is my favorite photo editing app and what I use to curate photos for my Instagram. I’ve developed a pretty strict editing routine with this app (just ask anyone who is frequently annoyed with just how long it takes me to get a photo posted), but they make it so easy to get the look and mood I want. It comes preloaded with basic filters, but offers a store filled with filters available for purchase including special ones created as part of collaborations. It is an all in one editing suite which allows users to choose the resolution quality of images they plan to export and share. The best part is being able to shoot, edit, and share photos directly from the app because the in-app camera offers so many controls that allow for the perfect, unique photo. Sharing ability extends to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google, the users camera roll, and the VSCO unique photo sharing service, Grid. Grid is amazing for seeing photos of extremely creative photographers and gathering inspiration for your own photos.

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