5 Useful iPhone Photo Apps And How To Use Them

My iPhone 5 has become my go-to camera when I don't want to lug my DSLR around. It handles low light quite decently, and it takes really fantastic pictures with ease. With so many solid apps out there for picture editing, it can get overwhelming when figuring out what to use so I've rounded it down for you to this list of 5 of my personal favorite picture apps and why I think they're useful.

Note: I tend to use the camera app to take the pictures first THEN I import them into these apps but not always if I'm trying to save time.

VSCO Cam

This free app is my absolute favorite. It comes default with some of its film presets and I guess you can call the presets filters. It's really just a film standard they each follow, giving your pictures richer tones, or muted tones, depending on the mood you'd like to set so there's no film grain or weird splotches of light or flare or your pictures don't end up all orange or blue. I "splurged" and bought the whole preset pack ($5.99 for 40 presets! Bazinga!) and I lurve it.

VSCO Cam lets you edit either manually (crop, rotate, exposure, tint, sharpen etc) or you can use the presets (well worth the money I tell ya) and then very easily share to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Here's a demo video from their site.

WARNING: Dubstep approacheth. Turn your volume down. 

It's a simple import of your pictures into the app from your camera, or you can take a picture WITH the app. One thing that's cool about their camera function is that you can focus on one thing but that area doesn't dictate your exposure, unlike the phone's camera. All you do is tap on your screen with 2 fingers and that brings up the little icons for Exposure and Focus and you drag each to their desired areas. The video gives a good overview of what it's like. As for VSCO Grid, that's a gallery you sign up for through the app. Here's mine, I haven't played with it enough but it looks cool and I'll probably go more in-depth with this app later on, if anybody's interested.

Instagram

This one's kind of a given so I won't get too in-depth. Almost everybody uses Instagram, and you probably already do so I won't bore you with details but let's just say, when I import from VSCO Cam to Instagram, it's a #nofilter situation. And, hey, sometimes I add a filter too but lately Instagram's more of a mode of sharing more so than a filter source. Filters aren't always your friend so don't get too terribly dependent on them!

Not a fan of the automatic crop in Instagram? I solve this issue with this next app:

Squaready

This is a fun little app! It imports from your Photos so if you just finished editing the picture in VSCO Cam, you have to save the it from VSCO to your photo album (that's one hassle I don't really like, and it doubles up on file space, I'm pretty sure). From the album, import to Squareready and use the various options to get the picture crop or format you want.  From here, tap the export icon and it'll export either to Twitter, Facebook, or to Instagram. Or, you can just save the picture for a rainy day.

Now, why would I want to use Squareready? Well, say you take a panoramic picture. You want it all to fit into the frame when you share it in Instagram. Because Instagram crops your pictures automatically, that can't be done so Squareready takes care of that for you. So this: 

iphone-panorama-san-francisco.png
I use the free version so you get annoying ads at the bottom. There's a pro app too but for my needs, the free one's great. 

I use the free version so you get annoying ads at the bottom. There's a pro app too but for my needs, the free one's great. 

Becomes this. 

Diptic

I like using Diptic to make, what else, diptychs or triptychs or a whole collage of my pictures. The app's been updated to include even some weird shapes that I have yet to use but I'm sure lots of people have gotten creative with them.

Left: The usual formats I stick to. Right: Haven't tried these yet, they look.. interesting. 

Left: The usual formats I stick to. Right: Haven't tried these yet, they look.. interesting. 

Phonto

Phonto's great for adding text to your pictures. There's more than 200 fonts available, you can adjust the size, style, color and add captions or create your own memes with your own pictures. When using Phonto for a picture that's going to end up on Instagram, I add the words after I've set the picture in Squareready so I know exactly how it's going to look and the words don't end up cropped. It's nothing fancy, I know there are other text apps out there but this one's just simple and gets the job done for me. Also, FREE.

Images from Phonto iTunes App. 

Images from Phonto iTunes App. 

Have fun using these apps! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. If there are any you think are worth trying, please leave them in comments, I'd love to check them out.

I have another list of camera/picture apps that I also keep on hand and you can check out that list here. Oh, and if you haven't already, please subscribe so you don't ever miss one of these blog posts!