Photographers never stop looking for picture-perfect moments. With smartphone cameras now offering great optics to capture high-resolution, sharp results, a lot of images get clicked on mobile phones now. There are a ton of free and paid photo apps available now from the basic camera and sharing tools to full-featured photo editing apps that let you shoot, edit, and organize images better on your mobile phones.
The question is - Which photo apps are worth your while and can help you save time and give great results on-the-go.
In this article, we're focusing on 33 best photo apps for every photographer's smartphone. Our recommendations are based on the photo app features, their ease-of-use, and social sharing capabilities.
The Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhone and Android:
VSCO is not only one of the best photo editing apps, but it is also a photo-sharing app. VSCO is one of the best iPhone photography apps and features an excellent 3-in-1 camera, social sharing, and iPhone photo app. VSCO has a dedicated community of photographers, unlike Instagram, where you can find all sorts of people.
At first glance, you'll immediately appreciate VSCO's intuitive design – the main menu is clean and straightforward, and tools are designed with simple, easy-to-understand icons.
Its main features are:
- VSCO camera features are impressive. VSCO also has an advanced camera app built-in which can shoot manually as well. You can adjust focus and exposure, switch between 3 flash modes, enable gridlines for a balanced composition, and choose interface color. VSCO also comes with a built-in camera that you can manually set up and utilize with features such as shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and manual focus.
- As a photography app, VSCO offers two methods – applying presets or using manual adjustment tools. VSCO has a total of 10 presets that let you quickly and easily adjust your photos. You can even edit your photos so that they take on an "old film" appearance, which includes color and exposure editing.
- But if you're into serious editing, you can use the manual adjustment tools. The adjustment tool includes, but not limited to crop, exposure, clarity, contrast, sharpen, straighten, saturation, and shadow save.
- The editing tools include the option to add contrast, grain, saturation, and more. The photo enhancer can adjust the filter strength in the photos. For the paid version you get 130+ filters.
- For the social butterfly, the VSCO photo app also comes with a photo-sharing platform and access to the VSCO photography community. Through this platform, you can share your photos, browse through other photographers' pictures, and discuss photography in general with your peers.
- VSCO is undoubtedly one of the best photo apps for the iPhone, and it works smoothly on Android as well.
- People who are looking for an app in which they can shoot, edit, and communicate with a similar community will prefer this app over others.
Download VSCO for Android or iOS.
Snapseed is a professional photo editing app developed by Google. If you're looking for Photoshop-like photography app, then Snapseed is the app to download. This app is known for its ability to edit RAW images as well. As smartphones now are capable of shooting RAW images, editing them properly in a good editing app is also essential. Though it doesn't have all of Photoshop's features and functionalities, most of its controls and process of editing are closely alike.
Some of the outstanding features of Snapseed are healing brush, structure, HDR, perspective, etc. Another feature in this free photo editing app is the function to save your style (presets); which you can use in other photos. Photo effects and filters can be precisely edited; giving more control to users to get the result they want. Snapseed is one of the widely used free photo apps.
Its main features are:
- Snapseed's primary purpose is to edit images, although it does support capturing images on iOS smartphones.
- Snapseed's primary purpose is to edit images, although it does support capturing images on iOS smartphones.
- Snapseed may have a camera restriction, but in editing, it's packed with features. It has 29 filters and tools to tune images, face poses, glamour glow, and double exposure.
- When it comes to social sharing, it doesn't have a specific social network.
The only disadvantage of editing in Snapseed is its gesture-based tools which are quite challenging to use for first-time users.
Download Google Snapseed for Android or iOS.
Adobe Lightroom is one of the best apps for professional photographers as it's the only photography app that can allow viewing, editing, and organizing a large number of images.
The editing app has a built-in camera feature which can take photos in RAW through your smartphone where you can edit the exposure, aperture, and use other manual features. The app also has filters for adding various effects which can be applied with one tap to edit pictures. The premium version of this app has more advanced features like healing brush, selective adjustments, cloud storage, RAW image editing of DSLR photos, and more. This photo editing app by Adobe gives you advanced features such as curves through which you can make fine adjustments to the color, exposure, tone, and contrast.
Its other main features are:
- Editing in Lightroom mobile version offers a wide variety of tools and presets to choose from – ranging from simple to advanced correction and adjustment tools.
- Navigation-wise, its presets and some tools can be used by tapping the presets once.
- Lightroom can share to different social media platforms.
Prices: Free + In app purchases
Download Adobe Lightroom for Android or iOS.
If you’re an iPhone user, you probably heard Camera+. Or maybe, you’re currently using it now and addicted to it.
It isn’t surprising as Camera+ is one of the best photography apps for iPhone and has impressive features and capabilities:
- Camera+ is intended to help users shoot like pros. This app is equipped with touch exposure, easy controls, a stabilizer to ensure steady shooting, gridlines for composition and more.
- Aside from the usual editing tools (e.g. crop, borders and captioning), Camera+ offers advanced tools, like tone adjustment tool, red-eye remover, vignette, straightening and white balance.
- You can share all the photos you captured and edited on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.
The only downside of Camera+ is it’s only available for IOS smartphones.
Price: iPhone: $2.99 and Ipad: $4.99
Download Camera+ for iOS.
Available for iOS and Android, Pixlr is one of the most popular free photo apps and has a wide range of different photo effects, overlays, and filters that you can use to create truly unique and visually appealing images. This picture app offers four different web apps, all HTML5 applications that load right in your browser. Pixlr Editor is their best free web app, and it offers a lot of features, even layers and color replacement tools.
Pixlr Express is a toned-down version, with simplified user experience and lots of preset filters.
Pixlr Pro is a paid tool that provides a free trial, but it's the only tool on our list that can open a Photoshop PSD file and save it as a PNG or JPG.
Finally, Pixlr Today is a task manager extension for the Google Chrome Browser.
The app is free but offers in-app purchases of things like effect packs. When you've completed your work, the app can save directly to your social media accounts or email.
Download Pixlr for Android or iOS.
Another high powered photo app is the Adobe Photoshop Express. Unlike many other photo apps, Photoshop Express includes the functions "straighten" and "flip" that can help you achieve even more flexible editing options. If you want to edit in RAW format or even in TIFF format, you can do so with the best photo editing app - Photoshop Express. There are 45 filters to choose from if you want to add creative effects to your images. One-click sharing, image resizing, and watermarking are also features which come in handy.
However, compared to Adobe's Lightroom photo app, Photoshop Express is much weaker and limited in scope. Photoshop Express offers quick editing, but for a more professional feel, Adobe Lightroom app provides more options.
Download Adobe Photoshop Express for Android or iOS.
Enlight is a more advanced photo app with the usual tools that most photo apps have, including exposure, color, and cropping, as well as several unique features: built-in filters with duo color toning, black and white filters, and maximum control over photo highlights and shadow quality.
Enlight's top features are its Mixer tool, which allows you to combine two photos for a double exposure image and plenty of additional features for fine-tuned editing. This best photography app also has a Mask tool which lets you directly paint onto an image to fix abnormal color spots or create subtle, visually pleasing effects.
Download Enlight for iOS.
This is the ultimate photography app when it comes to "healing" and "cloning" functionality for your photos. TouchRetouch can efficiently remove dust marks, telephone wires, and virtually any other object or mark that you may not want in your picture. Best of all, this photo app is incredibly easy to use. Simply touch the object or area of your picture that you want to correct with the tip of your finger, and the picture app will immediately start analyzing the picture and determining the best way to smooth out the unwanted portion to create a clear and natural looking image.
Download TouchRetouch for Android or iOS.
Sometimes when a picture is taken, the overall perspective of the image may seem distorted or otherwise visually unappealing. SKRWT offers an easy way to fix distortions by providing several editing features that focus on correcting photo and lens distortion. For example, iPhones tend to take pictures that show more depth than is natural because of its wide-angle lens. Simply put the photo into SKRWT, and the "bulging" center of the image can be easily smoothed out to look as if the picture were taken with a non-wide angle lens. SKRWT can also straighten out images where the horizon is off-center with easy to use manual manipulation of the app's functions.|
Price: Free with In-app purchases
Download SKRWT for Android or iOS.
When over 1 billion people are using it, there has to be something special about it, right? The Instagram photography app started with simple filters and fun photo frames and has quickly transformed into one of the best photo apps that allows you to edit photos and create photo "stories" that can be shared with friends and followers. It fulfills the same social needs as Facebook does. But this free photo editor focuses on sharing your day to day life in the form of photos and seeing what others are sharing on your feed. Instagram also allows for direct messaging with fellow users for private conversations or photo sharing. The ability for a user to put updates in different creative ways like Stories, Live, Text, is fantastic.
The filters Instagram provides for editing photos are intuitive and straightforward. The editing tools are not nearly comprehensive as Snapseed or Afterlight 2. If you are looking for a free photo editing app with essential editing tools, but you place more emphasis on the sharing features and a good community, then this free picture editor is for you.
Download Instagram for Android or iOS.
11. FilterStorm Neue
This stunning photo app allows you to accomplish advanced editing tasks on your images. Filterstorm Nue offers advanced and interactive features like adjustments over curves, tone, and levels along with channel mixers. The clone feature of this iPhone photo app is outstanding and lets you remove unwanted objects with ease.
You can also easily apply sharpening, watermarking, noise reduction and clarity effects using this app. The downside is that this paid app only available for iPhones.
Download Filterstorm Nue for iOS.
Mexture is an iPhone photo editing app suitable for adding gradients, textures, light leaks, dust, and grains. This photo editor allows you to create an unlimited number of layers which you can blend later. These layers can also be individually edited for texture, blend mode or rotation. There are over 150 texture presets in the Mexture photo editing app. Along with the 12 blending modes, the possibility for creating something creative are numerous.
Download Mextures for iOS.
13. Google Photos
Google photos app is built to save and share photos and includes a built-in editing feature. The images are backed automatically and can be accessed from anywhere through any connected device. The benefit of this app is that you can free up space on your mobile. The editing tools can edit the light, color, brightness, and more in this gallery app itself.
Photo Lab provides one of the vastest collections of stylish and funny photo effects: almost 1000 effects to date. The 40 categories in the app offer awesome face photo montages, photo frames, animated effects, overlays, sketches and paintings, and photo filters that can be applied to your photos in a few taps. Any template can be used on its own or combined with different effects to get an entirely new one (called "Combos"). The photos can be saved to the Gallery, shared to the 'apps' Feed or any messenger or social media. Besides, Photo Lab is a one-tap answer for any problems in your picture. Be it a color correction, background replacement, or just an easy touch-up - the app is there to guide you! There is more to it, but we'll let you explore every corner of Photo Lab on your own.
Price: Free with In-App Purchases.
15. Afterlight 2
Afterlight 2 is a picture editor which has an extensive collection of natural filters, and the editing tools are designed with simplicity in mind. These editing tools give you full control of the editing process. Afterlight 2 allows you to import photos in RAW format as well and the export can also be done in HEIC format. A user can create filters using their Fusion feature and save them to give consistency to the editing if required. The photo editing app has advanced tools such as Curves in which you can edit the brightness, color, and contrast of the image, making it the best photo editing apps for iPhone.
Price: One-time price of $2.99 Platform: iOS
16. Lens Distortions
Lens distortion is another best photo editing app which is mainly used to add glass textures, natural sunlight, rain, and fog. A photographer has the option to make the effect stand out or blend in by customizing according to their needs. The app also has a paid version, which gives you more than 200 filters to expand the possibilities of getting creative results. A user in this free image editor can add layers and blend multiple effects on the same image.
Price: Free and Paid at $0.99 per month
Platform: Android and iOS
17. Superimpose X
As the name suggests, Superimpose X is one of the best photo editing apps mainly used to superimpose photos on to each other. The app has some powerful features like editing in layers, blending modes, masking adjustments, etc. The editing app is suitable for both amateurs as well as professionals. A user while working can switch to other projects in the middle without losing data. Another feature which people look are for background removal; this app perfectly does that. In Superimpose X, you get filters, shadows, blur, gradients, and more features to use in a layer while editing.
Platform: iOS and Android
With more than 500 million installs, PicsArt can be used in 30 languages. PicsArt is one of the best photo editing apps which has a built-in camera, video editor, collage-maker, clipart library, and more. Some of the powerful features include adding curves, add text, stretch, clone tools, etc. The app is known for its creative remixing features in which you can remix any photo that is free to use, and you can use this feature to edit with your friends. The PicsArt Gold feature gives you thousands of stickers, collages, masks, and frames.
Price: Free and Premium version at $55.99 a year.
Platform: Android and iOS
TouchRetouch is one of the excellent editing apps which focuses on removing blemishes from the photos. So, if you want to remove those telephone wires and pimples, this is the best picture editing app for it. For these retouching features, TouchRetouch provides you with tools such as lasso, eraser, clone stamp, etc. These tools can be used without much hassle to get the job done; most of the unwanted things can be removed with one touch.
Platform: iOS and Android
What makes Ribbet stand out from all of the other online photo editors? Its collage function. You can create shape collages made up of as many photos as you like and choose their layout based on preset shapes like dog paws, music notes, stars, hearts, and smileys. How fun is that?
Ribbet easily imports photos from direct upload, Facebook, Google, or any website URL. It includes all the basics like cropping, straightening, filters, and text. The blank canvas feature allows you to create your collages or even use the picture editor for design and publishing. You can save your works of art to your local hard drive or sign up for a free account to store them and work on them later.
If you like Ribbet, give Ribbet Fly a try on your iOS devices. The Android version is coming soon.
The Best Photo Apps for iPhone and Android:
Photo editing is not the only activity where smartphone apps can help photographers. There are a bunch of awesome photo apps that can assist a photographer in making crucial decisions about photoshoots, locations, and even business.
21. Magic Hour
All photographers know about the "golden hour" when the sun is just rising or setting, and the light outside takes on a soft, reddish hue that is unique to these specific time points. This soft light is ideal for photography, and knowing when to hit that time just right can help you snap the perfect photo. Magic Hour focuses on all the information that you need for understanding when the golden hour arrives based on your location, if the weather will be clear enough, and the approximate times of sunrise and sunset for your area.
Furthermore, the app also tracks moonrise and the full moon for those photographers interested in night time photography. You can set up notifications through the app so that you can know when the golden hour (or moonrise) is going to occur, which can be extremely useful if you are busy or otherwise distracted and unable to keep a close eye on the time of day.
Download Magic Hour for iOS.
22. Dark Skies
Nighttime and night sky photographers will find this night photography app incredibly useful so that they can shoot photos of star formations without having to worry about long star trails. By plugging in the type of camera and focal length of your lens into the Dark Skies app, the picture app will calculate how much exposure you will need to get the best picture. The app also has a "night mode" setting which will decrease the app's light so that you do not lose your night vision when on a shoot.
Download Dark Skies for Android or iOS.
From the Norwegian Meteorological Institute comes this high tech weather app that will reliably keep you up to date on possible precipitation so that you can plan your outdoor photoshoots with confidence. Despite Yr.no's Norwegian construction and foundation, the app is available in full English and covers more than 10 million locations worldwide. Even better, the app's built-in GPS functionality will help you track your location with more accuracy than typing in a region or city name. A photographer can plan outdoor shoot based on the weather, and accuracy is what matters.
Download Yr.no for Android or iOS.
Before you even consider pulling your camera out, this useful app will allow you to take a quick reading of the light quality in your vicinity so that you can go into your photo shoot with a clear idea of what settings (etc.) that you will need to utilize for the best picture. This app works just as well as a more traditional light meter, but like other photo apps, it can be a part of your smart phone's overall tool chest that fits comfortably in your pocket.
This photography app can also keep a log of light readings so that you can track the different variations of light quality in an area across the course of the day. When you are preparing to go on a photo shoot in that area, you will have a handy log that will work as a quick and easy to use reference guide.
Download Pocket Light Meter for iOS.
Google Photo Scan is a photo app for scanning old photos with your phone and transfer them to other digital devices. Photo scanners can be complicated or bulky to use and often are expensive. This Google photo scanner app is free and allows you to scan images with your phone.
Download Google Photo Scan for Android or iOS.
26. Cortex Camera
Night photography apps are the perfect tool for excellent night time photos. The app gives you the ability to shoot in low light and attain clear, captivating images. Cortex Camera also comes with a built-in electronic image stabilization feature that makes tripods unnecessary to achieve a stable image, which is essential for nighttime photo shoots in particular.
To achieve this effect, Cortex Camera takes several photos in a very short amount of time and blends them in the chance that you might have been moving slightly while taking the picture. By averaging out the overall image with its duplicates, Cortex Camera can efficiently create a clear photo with no graininess or artifact.
Download Cortex Camera for Android or iOS.
This photography business app is a necessary tool for professional photographers that need quick access to a release form for photoshoots that may involve private property or models. Releases include nearly every industry standard template that you may need, including Snapwire, ASMP, Getty Images, and Shutterstock. Simply pull up the release form that you need, have your client sign with their finger on your smartphone's touchscreen, and then download the PDF file that is automatically generated. Not only will this keep your release forms more organized since you do not have to worry about losing physical forms, but it is a handy tool that can be used anywhere at any time.
Download Releases for iOS.
28. Sun Surveyor
This useful app tracks the passage and location of the sun throughout the day so that you can always have a good idea of what your light situation in outdoor photoshoots will look like. Sun Surveyor also comes with a digital sun that will show you in real-time how the sun is moving across the sky and how its light will interact with your surroundings. Always have a clear idea of where the sun will be and plan your photoshoot accordingly to achieve the best lighting results.
Download Sun Surveyor for Android or iOS.
This photo app is the brainchild of Joby, who is a leading manufacturer of camera accessories. GorillaCam includes several useful and exciting features such as time-lapse capabilities, self-timing photo shooting, and a rapid-fire photo shoot function. So long as your smartphone can take pictures, you can use GorillaCam to snap photos at a faster rate with better overall quality. The time-lapse feature does require that the phone is continuously running and awake to work correctly, which can lead to your phone battery draining at a faster rate. When utilizing this function, make sure that you switch off your phone's auto-sleep function and use whatever battery-saving features you can.
Download GorillaCam for iOS.
To give you a much needed helping hand when it comes to setting up lighting for various photoshoot locations, Sylights offers a highly useful and easy to use lighting blueprint diagram function that will allow you to carefully record how you set up a lighting situation for future reproduction. This can be particularly useful if you are working with a repeat client who requests the same lighting scheme as a previous photoshoot. When you are setting up a lighting system for your photoshoot, simply record the setup on Sylight and save the diagram forever. The professional photography app comes with a wide array of different icons that closely represent your equipment for an easy visual reference.
Download Sylights for iOS.
31. Hyperfocal DOF
What is Hyperfocal distance?
Hyperfocal distance is that distance which determines the maximum depth of field of the object of your photo and using this equation can help you determine the best distance from which to take a high-quality picture.
For professional and expert photographers, this mathematical equation may be second nature; but if you struggle with determining the ideal hyperfocal distance for your photoshoot, this app can seriously help you out. Once in the app, pick your camera model, set your focal length and the aperture that you are using, and select "Calculate Hyperfocal" for a quick and easy determination of your ideal photo distance. Even a pro can find this app highly useful, especially if he or she is on a time crunch or wants a quick reference before a photoshoot is set to commence.
Download Hyperfocal DOF for Android or iOS.
This photo transfer app is particularly useful for iPhone users who will find it extremely difficult to pull or otherwise download photos from their smartphone's internal album. WiFi Photo Transfer allows your iPhone and computer or laptop to communicate together over the same WiFi connection and easily transfer photos or photo albums between the two devices.
Download WiFi Photo Transfer for iOS.
If you’re looking for a photography locations app that lets you organize your images and share their locations easily with your friends, family, or co-photographers, then Geotag Photos Pro is the one to install.
Geotag Photos Pro is one of the best geotagging app designed for both Android and iOS smartphones. The simplest way to make it work properly is by going to Accuracy settings and set the Get location by choosing GPS+GSM.
The only downsides of this app are that it isn’t free, and even you’re not actively using it, it may use your location. As a result, it can decrease battery life.
Download Geotag Photos Pro for Android or iOS.
There are a plethora of photography apps out there that can take your mobile photography to the next levels and enable you to use advanced editing tools on the go. Our selection of the best photography apps is an excellent place for you to start exploring the potential of apps to complement your photography and overall business.
Are you using any other useful photography apps? Please do share your feedback and suggestions in the comments.
This article is written in collaboration with Cameraseals - Find professional photography equipment and reviews on affordable cameras under $500.
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