The Best Photo Editing Apps

Phone editing apps
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I’m often asked what camera I use (Olympus OM-D 5 Mark II & Olympus PEN e-pl7), but the tools of the trade are just the beginning. A lot of your creativity and freedom in photography comes down to post production, where you can play with the colours and create a certain mood or emotion through a photograph (for me that emotion is usually happy with loads of colour!) So today I’m going to share all of my favourite photo editing apps to help you get creative with your own photos.

But first of all, how do I edit my photos on my phone if I take my photos on my cameras?

Each of my cameras have wi-fi capability, meaning I can send my photos straight from my camera to my iPhone in just a few minutes. This way I can take better photos but still edit them on my phone, so that I don’t have to spend loads of $ on expensive software and can instead spend just a few $ (or often free) on phone editing apps. So here they are!

Brooke Saward - Olympus

Photoshop Express

Lets start with an obvious choice: Photoshop Express. This app is created by Adobe themselves and has all the basic photo editing tools you will need such as cropping, red-eye reduction and a basic set of filters. While it is an obvious choice, I much prefer the filter options in some of the following apps. My favourite tool in this app is the “healing” tool which allows you to remove small blemishes.

Free in the app store.


This is by far one of my favourite photo editing apps, although I do not use it to edit any of my instagram photos as I prefer bright and vivid photos to capture my travels and thus use VSCOcam for personal use only. The app comes with a great set of free filters and they’ve recently added a wider range of (paid) filters, which if you ask me aren’t really necessary but worth a splurge if they take your fancy!

Free in the app store.


This was for a long time my favourite photo editing app, although nowadays I spend more time working for a great shot rather than using heavy filters to improve my photos. This is a really fun app and a great way to spruce up your photos, especially if you’re looking for gorgeous colours and fairy floss tones.

$1.99 in the app store.


Snapseed is one of the most popular photo editing apps and once you’ve downloaded it onto your phone, it isn’t hard to see why! This app is a great choice when editing colour, exposure and brightness without overdoing it. The trick to a great photo is to enhance the features just enough to make the image pop, but never so much that itΒ looksΒ edited! The filters are a little too traditional and heavy for my liking, but in terms of playing around with an image to slightly improve it, this app is a winner.

Free in the app store.


One of my blogger friends introduced me to this app and I’ve gotta say…. its a game changer! You know those times you take a photo and there’s just ONE person or object ruining the photo? You wish you could just erase them from the scene? Well now you can! Touch retouch allow you to circle the area you want removed and instantly morphs this object into the surrounding background. Magic!

$0.99 in the app store.


This is the easiest way to turn your smart phone into a photo-taking device. Put simply, this app gives your normal camera more features and allows for more creativity when taking photos. I don’t actually use this app because I stick to my Olympus cameras, but it comes highly recommended from other bloggers/instagrammers. Available for the (somewhat comparatively hefty) price of:

$2.99 in the app store.


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    Mohit Arora
    April 15, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Hi Brooke,

    This is a great list. I knew few of them. Definitely gonna try others πŸ™‚

    April 1, 2016 at 3:13 am

    You have shared my favourite photo editing app. -VSCOcam and hope it will help others to be creative with their own photos. It is very wonderful to me. Thank you.

    Bill Booz
    February 23, 2016 at 2:31 am

    All great suggestions, Brooke. Thanks. Snapseed is my primary mobile editing app Photogene4 lets me view metadata of images. Though it, too, has the standard editing tools, I mainly use it for adding text overlays.

    What about video? I’ve begun using Filmic Pro or recording video on my iPhone. For one segment of my videos I do all processing on my iPad Mini using Pinnacle Studio Pro. It is an amazing alternative to iMovie. Do you do any video editing on your mobile devices, Brooke?

    Sonia Chauhan
    January 19, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I have been using PS Express for the white Vignette effect, which i cannot find on any other app. Most have just dark vignette. Snapseed has solved this for me. Also it doesnt leave me with double images, because it can save over the original file

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    January 9, 2016 at 3:41 am

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    December 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for the recommendation!!

    December 15, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Oh thank you! installing TouchRetouch )

    More cool apps for you:
    love Litely, Afterlight, Photo Candy, Faded
    β™‘β™‘ Thanks so much for sharing! I love to discover and share the apps info!
    Have a look on

    December 12, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Absolutely adore every single look.

    December 11, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Great apps, all of them!

    December 10, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing!! I really want to be good at photography like you:)

    December 10, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I’m even loving Instagram’s features these days, the editing and filters have really improved!

    December 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Love Snapseed for editing photos and have to say that I am loving my little Olympus Point and Shoot camera which I think gives just as good photos as the more expensive Olympus cameras but am looking at buying the OM-D5 as the quality of the photos do look amazing with this camera.

    December 10, 2015 at 4:22 am

    I’ve recently started to use Adobe Lightroom and I can say that it does really great job! You can check the photos on my blog! πŸ™‚

    NazlΔ±gΓΌl |

    December 10, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Snapseed is definitely my favorite ! Kind of hard to understand at the begining though

    December 10, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for all these recommendations! I use vsco religiously and dabbled in some of the other editing apps, but this list has made me give the others a chance again!

    December 10, 2015 at 1:38 am

    VSCO and Photoshop Express are my favourite! Thanks for sharing your tips Brooke πŸ™‚

    December 9, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Good choice! The best, and the most useful!

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    December 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Excellent post! I adore VSCO cam, such a great app!

    Tessa at

    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    December 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I have VSCO and Camera+. I usually take photos with my digital SLR, but sometimes its nice to take a quick shot using my iPhone and know it will turn out well with one of these camera apps.

    December 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Ooh thanks for this list! I use VSCO and love it! But Photoshop express and the touch retouch app sounds right up my alley!

    December 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    afterlight is another awesome app which i always use in conjunction with vsco πŸ™‚

    December 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations! Always looking for ways to improve my iPhotography!

    December 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Definitely your photo editing superbly to good and mindblowing apps post.
    Thanks a lot sharing on this post.

    Cest La Vibe
    December 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Would definitely check out camera+. I just use picasa right now and get great results but I wouldn’t mind trying something new.

    Toys Wholesaler
    December 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Excellent photo shoots .

    December 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Was looking for some app recommendations! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    December 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! Heard a lot of great thing about Photoshop Express x

    December 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    This is a great post, especially as I’m always in love with your photos! I use VSCO and Snapseed as well, almost religiously – they’re my go to photo editing apps!

    December 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Will you do a comparison of your cameras and why you bought the E5 Mark II, please?

    December 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I’ll have to check these out!

    Tricia @
    December 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Love this post! I take the vast majority of my photos on my iPhone, but have asked for a grown up camera πŸ™‚ for Christmas. This list seems like it will work for both and I can’t wait to try them!

    December 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I love VSCO cam! It’s so fun to play around with.
    And I have been dreaming about getting an Olympus Pen e-pl7 for so long now!

    December 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for this! Definitely saving this for future use. I would like to start playing around with my photos.