Must-Have Photo Apps for iPhone

Though my heart will always belong to my Canon DSLR, many of the photos on my blog are actually taken with my iPhone 4s. Not only is it the camera that is always with you, with the ease of Dropbox and/or iCloud, sometimes I’m just too lazy to go through the work of using my real camera.

Here are my must-have apps to make sure my iPhone photos turn out beautiful. 

Must-Have iPhone Photo Apps

1. Camera+. This is one of only two apps I have ever paid money for in many years of owning a smart phone. Though the stock camera on iPhone has improved over the years, I almost always use Camera+ for taking pictures, and for 90% of my editing. They update frequently and are constantly adding new features.

Then, of course, there are plenty of filters. What I love most about Camera+ is that you can quickly adjust how strongly the filter is applied. You can also layer multiple filters over the top of each other to get the perfect effect. You can get easily achieve either very natural looking photos, or over the top in-your-face Instagram style filtering.

2. Snapseed. I mentioned this app in a previous Monthly Obsessions post and for good reason. Before Camera+ made some important updates, I was relying on Snapseed to edit important things like brightness/contrast and warmth. Now that Camera+ has those options, I haven’t used it quite as much. But, I still love it for the ability to spot correct – eg. brightening just the face of black pug in an otherwise bright enough photo.

   snapseed before snapseed after

Those are my two top apps for getting a good, clean photo. But, most of us also need some help optimizing said photos for Instagram and other social media. The following apps are how I achieve that (and I’m still working on stepping up my Instagram game).

3. Pic Jointer. There are countless collage apps out there. This is my favorite free version, even though it doesn’t offer a hundred different collage layouts (I generally only ever use the same two layouts anyway) . The main reason being it allows you to adjust the size of the frames to best fit the pictures you’re trying to squeeze in. In my experience, at least with free apps, this isn’t always possible.It’s simple and does the trick.

Pic Jointer Pic Jointer

4. Labelbox. I don’t use this app very often, but I like to have it on hand. With a swipe of your finger you can apply a label to your photo. The label patterns can look like anything from ribbon to washi tape, or my favorite, old-fashioned label maker tape.


5. Phonto. This is another one I don’t use very often at all, but is nice to have on hand for certain occasions. It’s mainly a way to quickly add text to your photos, and it comes with a huge number of fonts to choose from. It also has a few basic shapes and thought bubbles you can add too.


6. BokehPic. I almost hesitate to call this must-have… because to be honest it isn’t the best looking or most user-friendly app out there. But, it’s free and it actually is quite functional once you get the hang of it. It’s pretty clear that whoever created the app is not a native English speaker… nor consulted with one.

I know there are other apps out there that can add bokeh and they are probably much better. But, it’s something I use so rarely I was definitely not going to pay to get one of the slicker apps. BokehPic allows you to add bokeh of different shapes, sizes and colors, and adjust the intensity. Again, not something you want to use all the time, but can add a little something once in a while.

bath and body works snow day candle

8. InstaSize. I actually just downloaded this a couple of days ago after finally researching how to post a full photo on Instagram with white sides instead of cropping. People have been doing it forever and I always wondered how, but didn’t have the sense to you know – Google it.Of course there is an app for that. Lots of them.

I chose InstaSize and it instantly became my favorite because it offers Caviar Dreams font which just so happens to be my new fave (and one I’ve been using since my redesign here on the blog).


This photo was already square cropped in Camera+ but I went ahead and used InstaSize to add a caption and white space just because.

Those are my current must-have photography apps for iPhone. If you think I’ve missed any good ones, let me know in the comments!

Linking up with: Creative Geekery, Monday Funday, Sugar Bee Crafts, Ginger Snap Crafts, Design Dining and Diapers, Lil’ Luna