I love looking for fun new apps to edit photos and videos. I manage several social media accounts and I’m always wanting new ways of showing content to keep it interesting.
I get asked often about the camera or equipment I use. But I’m not a photographer- I really don’t know much about it, just the basics to get my job done.
What I am good at is editing, and that makes my pictures look a lot better than my skills actually are. 😉
Here’s some of my go-to apps. Most of these are free and once you start using them they can really improve the quality of your pictures and posts on social media.
(I have an iPhone so all of these are iOS apps but quite likely are available for other smart phones as well.)
1) Snapseed – (free) Let’s start with the big one. This is my go-to photo editor. Very rarely does any photo I post anywhere not go thru this app first.
Being a graphic designer I used to do everything on Photoshop. But now it’s rare that I need to. This app can do almost anything that Photoshop does and it’s quicker and easier to do it.
Try this: Open Snapseed and add a photo of scenery – anything will do just not people.
Go to Tools> HDR Scape. BOOM. Crazy right? I usually just use the default People setting. You’ll see a huge difference in your pictures with that one step.
The app has tons of advanced editing options. I love the curves editing tool too. Have fun playing with it.
2) Plotagraph – Press play on the castle shot above to see what this App can do. This is one of the few apps I’ve paid for ($5) but it’s just so cool I had to try it.
Plotagraph takes a still photo and lets you animate certain sections of it. In the picture above I chose to animate just the clouds surrounding the castle. You mask off the areas you don’t want to move, and then draw in the direction arrows on the sections you want to animate. I thought it would be hard to do on a smart phone, but actually it was really pretty easy. It saves the final result as a movie that you can upload wherever you want.
Also, the original castle sunset image was edited with SnapSeed and then animated in Plotagraph.
3) InShot – This is a video editor app. It’s really useful for re-sizing videos. Sometimes you want to post a video somewhere but you need it to be a different size so parts of the video aren’t cut off. This does that perfectly, It even adds a nice blurred background to the video if you needed to add a frame to make it a certain size.
(I used it to make the video above showing the Snapseed before and afters- see the blurred edges?)
And, super useful, it lets you crop videos to the Instagram story size (9:16).
Add voice overs, sound effects, add multiple video clips to make one final video, change the speed, add music, stickers, and more. Plus it’s free!
4) Relook – Advanced photo editor that’s great for faces and people. You can smooth and clean up skin, whiten teeth, and lots more. I love the defocus feature- I use it to blur out backgrounds creating a portrait like effect. Because this app lets you zoom in so close, you can get a really clean edit.
That’s what I used to blur the background in the Stitch photo above. I also like the “Clarity” edit, which is supposed to be for brightening eyes, but I use it anytime I want to specifically sharpen something in a picture so you can see it better. I used it on Stitch’s costume to make the blingy parts pop a little more.
Just take it easy with some of those beauty edits- it’s easy to go overboard and end up looking nothing like yourself when you’re done. Plus, you can usually tell when photos are extremely edited like that. 😉
5) Canva – This is great for any text graphics you need. Super easy to use, lots of templates you can customize, a desktop version that syncs with your mobile one, and pre-set sizes for every social media network. I use it for blog graphics quite often like the one above. (Feel free to pin that and share by the way. 😉) Check out the Canva website for info.
6) PicPlayPost – The ultimate collage tool that lets you add both photos and videos to one collage. Super customizable and even lets you save videos as a gif.
7) PhotoWonder – I use this one for the fun photo filters. I love the sun flares and the vintage looking ones. Can be really fun if you really want to change the color tone of a photo.
8) Splice – My go-to Video editor. It’s similar to iMovie, but I just prefer the cleaner interface on this one since I’m not usually looking for the themes and templates that iMovie has.
So there’s a few of my favs. If you use any of these and post the results tag me so I can see it!