6 Photo Apps to Step Up Your Instagram Game

Some Prisma gems

Stand Out

There are detachable lenses for iPhones, cases for underwater photography, and selfie sticks for shameless tourists. Drones snap pictures from the sky, and people show up to the Golden Globes wearing Snapchat Spectacles.

But what about post-production? Once your photos reach the camera roll, it’s only the beginning.

We tested out six great photo-editing apps below.


You don’t need Photoshop – or glue sticks – to create seamless collages. Superimpose has one specialty: layering images. The app is simple to use and the results are professional grade. Users simply load a foreground image and a background image, then mask, scale, rotate, flip, and smooth the foreground as they see fit.


When reality isn’t good enough, Facetune users can reshape, smooth, patch, and transform any imperfections— or go the opposite route and create something horrifying. The selfie-centric photo editing app, which was launched in 2013 by Lightricks, quickly gained notoriety as a digital plastic surgeon for iOS. And its editing abilities are only getting more impressive, as evidenced by Facetune 2’s release in November.

The biggest change is the app’s live photo editing tool that changes a picture as you shoot it, rather than retroactively. Users can select from a variety of tweaking options like “nose size,” “eye size,” and “mouth height.” Another new feature is the relight tool, which uses AI to correct bad lighting and re-illuminate the original photo.


Lightricks, the same Jerusalem-based company that created Facetune, is doing something right when it comes to producing apps that stand out. Launched in March 2015, Enlight is an all-in-one “Swiss Army Knife” of photo editing. Enlight is home to a host of powerful editing tools, but its mixer feature makes it unique. Mixer lets users blend two photos together to create beautiful, surrealistic overlays.


darkr app

Sometimes, slowing down is the most powerful tool of all. Darkr blurs the distinction between digital and analog by bringing the darkroom process to a smartphone screen. The app lets users simulate the processes of choosing negatives, developing test strips, dodging and burning, cropping and more. It also includes sleek, straightforward tutorials on how to use the tools.


Named the 2016 app of the year by both Google and Apple, Prisma uses a combination of neural networks and AI to transform photos into high res artistic images. It boasts a range of different filters, each with a distinctive style, and many based on the works of famous artists. In December, Prisma launched its own social media platform, complete with location-based social feeds and interactive maps.


meitu app

If you’re looking for a way to turn yourself into a beautiful cartoon portrait, the Chinese glamour app Meitu has got you covered. Meitu has been around for years, but it’s recently gained popularity in the US, where people can’t get enough of its soft baby-skinned, teary-eyed creepiness. The app comes with multiple filters with names like “Angelic,” “Mermaid,” and “Baroness.”

Be forewarned, the app is also coming under fire for collecting massive amounts of user data. CNN reports “If you have an iPhone, the free app is tracking location and mobile carrier information, your IP address and generates a unique identifier to track you. It also quietly shares Android users’ IMEIs, the unique code that identifies individual devices, and sends that data back to servers in China.”

Say goodbye to boring filters and offer up something new.


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