I’ve downloaded one too many photo editing apps on my iphone over the years and though I am still a devoted VSCO Cam user, I thought I’d share a few cool new apps I’ve come across that I’ve added to my repertoire.

ENLIGHT ($4.99) iPhone/iPad

If I were forced to choose just one photo editing app,  I would be torn between Enlight and VSCO cam. While I tend to open VSCO cam more often because of its simplicity and beautiful filters, Enlight is truly an all-in-one photo editor. It has so many powerful tools that it would take an entire book to go over all of the features. Luckily, Enlight has tutorials within the app for just about every function so even though it may seem overwhelming at first, it’s easy to learn to use. It comes with all the basics like cropping, filters, adjustments,  the ability to add text and frames, and several other extras. But the features that make Enlight truly stand out are the Refit, Resize, and Mixer tools.

The Refit tool allows you to freeze the subject(s) of your photo in place and then crop the photo from the inside, which brings objects closer together without losing anything important. Below, my kids went from standing far away from each other to standing side by side!

The Reshape tool allows you to refine, reshape, bloat, or contour your photo. In the  example below, I used the bloat and contour feature to enlarge the apple without losing any other important parts of the photo. I would imagine that the bloat feature is frequently used to enhance and refine certain body parts before posting a selfie.


The Mixer feature allows you to combine two different images to create a double exposure effect. In the photos below, I combined three different images and erased the parts I did not want to create a cool sequencing effect.



FACETUNE ($3.99) iPhone/iPad/Android

If you post a lot of selfies, this app is an absolute must!  It is a fun and powerful portrait and selfie photo editor that can make your ugliest selfies look beautiful. I’m not brave enough to post an ugly selfie of myself, so I edited two demo photos provided in the Facetunes app.  I made the edits pretty extreme, so you can get a sense for the power of the app.


In the photo above, I started off by whitening her teeth, increasing the details in her eyes and lips, and removing some blemishes using the patch tool. Then, I used the reshape tool to straighten her jawline and push some of her fray hairs inward. I finished off the edit by brightening the entire photo and smoothing out her skin under her eyes, forehead, and cheeks. The app is super easy to navigate and this edit was done in just a few minutes.


In this next edit, I whitened her teeth, added more detail on her lips, eyes, and eyebrows, and then reshaped her hair and jawline.  Then I smoothed out her skin on her cheeks and around her eyes and voila, we’re done! The one drawback to the app is that it takes a bit of practice to keep the edit from looking too overdone. I find that zooming in and using light strokes makes it easier to keep the edit subtle and more natural. Facetune makes it super easy to make your selfies picture perfect before sharing.

AFTERLIGHT ($0.99) iPhone/iPad/Android

I’ve written about Afterlight (previously AfterGlow) in this post, but it has since added so many features that I think it deserves another mention. While it has all the basic editing tools, my favorite feature is the ability to add Light leaks. In the two photos below, I applied artificial light leaks which I think adds a bit of artistic depth that is reminiscent of old film. You can also adjust the intensity, color, and direction of the light leak. There are 31 different options!



Another one of Afterlight’s cooler capabilities is creating shape/letter silhouettes, image masks, and borders. For example, you can have your photo in the shape of a block letter of the alphabet or add a fun overlay. Below are four examples that I created using the app.


LAYOUT (free) iPhone, iPad, Android

This is a simple, no frills collage app made by Instagram that makes putting together multiple pictures and posting to Instagram and other social media outlets super fast and easy. It has a clean design that allows you to combine up to 9 pictures to create a collage. You have the option to mirror, flip, and rearrange photos. I created the collage below for my Afterlight edits using Layout. One fun thing I like to do with this app is to create an illusion of a reflection with my beach photos or pictures with lots of water and/or sky.



Pretty neat, right?  Looks like a reflection but it’s just the same photo twice with one flipped around!

What are some of your favorite photo editing apps?