Creating good Instagram content is no joke; it takes a really creative eye to make visual content effective. Whether you're on social media as a business or a personal brand, your visual content needs to be on point. I've gone through so many editing apps to create content for my biz @alikfitness, that I've now narrowed it down to my favorite ones. So, here's 20 photo and video editing apps you need to make your Instagram look fresh AF.
Whether you're a professional presence or you just want to impress your friends, the apps you use to create your images are key. Strong visual content can increase your following, drive traffic to your website, increase your sales, or just bring a sense of personal pride as you post the latest totally professional looking photo of your sleeping baby (guilty). You don't have to be a graphic designer or a Photoshop expert to use any of these apps either. All you need is some average looking photos and let the editing apps do the work. There's something for everyone on this list — professionals and just-for-fun users alike — so grab a pen and start taking some notes 'cause you're about to get the scoop from a girl who's tried them all.
If you are a business, Canva is your holy grail of all design apps. It is so user-friendly and you can access it on a desktop computer via their website canva.com. I love this app for so many reasons — it's my favorite app for creating images with text, but you can use this app to make literally any kind of graphic. Canva has so many template options that are all visually attractive, they offer style advice and suggestions, and you can easily upload your own background images. But the best part? They currently have 21 (and counting) design types pre-uploaded for you with the correct sizing. For example — need to make your own SnapChat geofilter? No problem. Start with a blank canvas or use one of their pre-designed templates. Need to make an image for your InstaStories, a blog graphic, or Facebook cover photo? It's all right there, so you don't need to worry about cropping or resizing, which can be frustrating and time consuming. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat
2. Adobe Lightroom CC
This Adobe Lightroom CC is good for both beginners and advanced users. Whether you're familiar with Adobe software or not, you can adjust color settings and unique filters to your images to give them a vintage or professional look. If you still need some extra help, you can find tutorials online.
3. PS Express
Basically the lite version of Photoshop for people who don't know how to use Photoshop. You can take out blemishes or fix red eye, and PS Express even has a pet eye option so you can take out those laser puppy eyes. They also have a lot of awesome filter, text, and sticker options, as well an the option to create a collage.
This 1967 app has a variety of interesting filter options — 54 to be exact — with most of them making your image look like you've traveled back in time to the '60s and '70s (hence the name). Think Nashville or Moon filter on Instagram — add a variety of those and you have this app. What I like about it though is that you have the option to upload directly to your Instagram feed or stories directly from the app. No need to save to your camera roll and take up space.
5. Rhonna Designs
Before I found Canva, Rhonna Designs was my go-to design app for creating images with text. Sometimes I even use both apps for the same image so I can combine my favorite features from each app. What I love about this app is that they have so many sticker, text art, and font options, and her designs are creative, inspiring, and beautiful. If you're looking to create inspiring content, definitely check out this app. You'll be able to create a unique image that you won't see anywhere else.
This Splice app is for video editing, and I've personally used it to edit workout videos for Instagram and for my private clients. It's totally user-friendly, and allows you to trim and combine videos and add text and music. They have an extensive pre-uploaded music library with a variety of free unlicensed songs from pretty much every genre you could think of, too. I've run into problems when trying to upload music from my own music library onto this app, but that is a licensing issue, not an app issue.
CutStory is a must-have if you post video to your Instagram stories or Snapchat. When I speak to my audience through video, I used to record directly from my InstaStories and it wouldn't flow quite right because each video is only 15 seconds long. But now I record video on my iPhone and upload to CutStory where it automatically trims the video and saves it on to your phone so you can upload a seamless Instagram story. It also gives you the option to edit your video to be compatible for Snapchat, Facebook stories, or even WhatsApp. You can also add stickers and text to your video directly on the app.
8. GIPHY Cam
Record your own GIFs and add visual effects and filters with GIPHY cam. You can also upload your own content from your camera roll. This app is a great way to showcase your personality on your business Instagram or just for fun with friends.
I downloaded this Enlight app because I thought the image possibilities were so creative and unique. This app is great for any graphic artist looking to create interesting images. It offers tutorials on how to use it, along with intricate layering options, filters, text, and image distortions. Definitely a great artistic tool to create impressive images.
10. Afterlight 2
Similar to Enlight, Afterlight 2 offers many filter options and has complex editing features such as double exposure (when you blend photos together to create one image), advanced color curve options, frames, light overlays, and text art. Definitely a must-have if you're looking to create unique images.
This app is a must-have if you're looking to post images that make you look fresh AF. VSCO is a visual content creator's dream because their filter options actually mimic professional camera lenses. With photography tutorials, anyone can create a professional looking image with this app. They also have mobile video editing built into the app.
12. Film Maker Pro
Love this Film Maker Pro app for creating video content. Not only can you trim, combine, and edit video length, but you can add animated stickers and text. It also has a super cool hand drawing feature.
13. Perfect Video
Another video editing app that's easy to use is Perfect Video. I've used this to record workout videos with music. You just upload your videos or photos and get to work. You can add text or music and even record your own sound directly on to the app.
This is the app version of the iMovie software for Apple computers. It's totally user-friendly and can be used for basic video editing for your personal Instagram page or more professional video projects for your business. What's great about this app is that it offers video templates, too, so you can create super cute movie themed video trailers. If you need some help navigating through iMovie, you can easily find tutorials online.
Another great option for vintage filters, this Snapspeed app offers a wide range of editing tools and color adjustments. It's also easy to use and will definitely help you create professional looking visual content. Staying fresh is the goal, am I right?
If you're a filter slash texture junkie like me, this Mextures app is probably the most intricate filtering app around. It has over 100 formula (filter + effects + texture combos) options so you can create stunning sunsets, portraits, or action shot. You can also create your own formulas to customize your photo even more. Love.
17. Superimpose X
Superimpose X is a super in-depth photo editing app — think Photoshop for dummies. You can combine images or change the background and add effects easily.
Probably the easiest app to use to take out unwanted photo bombers is TouchRetouch. You can also take out blemishes and smooth out wrinkles (holler) and duplicate objects.
19. Lens Distortions
This Lens Distortions app makes super distinguished photos with a range of effects such as lighting, rain, fog, shimmer, etc. You can add layers and adjust the blur and opacity. Perfect for those who love a little drama.
Honestly, sometimes I just use plain old Instagram. For some images, Instagram is the best editing tool. I love their filters and sometimes less is more, you know? You can adjust the color, sharpness, and find a great filter that's perfect for your image without having to go into another app — shoutout to my kid brother for letting me post this picture of us. Ain't he cute?