Apps and Hacks for Editing On Your Phone

The secret behind the very best pix on Instagram is that they’re not exactly “insta.”

Most wow-worthy shots have had some work done.

It takes a few edits to transform a good photo into a holy-smokes-wow photo.

Today, we’re bringing you a step-by-step look at one such transformation.

Watch one photo go from neat to woah-woah-wow and pick up some editing hacks and app recommendations along the way.

Learn to Edit like An Instagram Master, All On Your Phone!

STEP 1: Start Strong

beforeEditing isn’t going to save a lousy photo, but it will turn an okay photo into an “okay, I want to frame that and hang it on the wall” photo.

So, make sure you choose a photo that is not blurry, is composed well (all the right parts are in all the right places) and if it’s going on Instagram, it’s cropped square.

We chose this guy. ->

STEP 2: Snapseed

beforeSnapseed (for iOS or Android) is by far our favorite app for tweaking a photo to our liking.

Our favorite feature in Snapseed is selective adjust.

Tap any spot on your image (expand or contract it to your liking) then boost or tone down the brightness/contrast/saturation.

You can place up to 8 edit points to fine tune your pic to your heart’s content.

You can even save it to your camera roll. Open it again and edit 8 more spots. We could do this all day…

But we won’t. Moving on.


beforeVSCOcam is the filtering app that has won our hearts.

We prefer VSCOcams filters to Instagrams (and others we have tried) because not only does it feature a great range of filters, it let’s you adjust the strength of said filters.

In this shot we liked the C1 filter best, but didn’t want to go full strength, 12. So we knocked it down to a 6 for a lighter touch.

Much like Snapseed you can save a filtered photo to your camera roll, open the freshly saved version and filter again.

Layer filters on filters on filters… ’till you can filter no more.

STEP 4: Big Lens

beforeWe’ve found that phone photos tend to pick up noise (a yucky speckledy look) in harsh sunlight, that can sometimes be made more obvious in the editing process.

So, the final step of our editing journey is through Big Lens.

Big Lens is designed to blur part of your photo (to mimic a DSLR’s depth of field) and it happens to be out favorite noise killer.

Simply select all but the blank sky, or other noise prone points in your photo, and Big Lens will blur any area you leave outta the red.

Do you hear that? Neither do we. No noise.

STEP 5: Post That Pic

beforeYou did it! Your photo looks fantastic.

Now, throw that perfectly edited pic onto Instagram and watch the likes roll in.

Head to our Instagram Feed, to like this very photo.

Meet the Man Behind the Curtain


Special thanks to Photojojo’s Head Treasure Hunter, Shelby, for giving us a peek at his editing process for this post!

Connect with him on Instagram, he’s @shelbtron, to see more wow-worthy pix, ask him questions, finally admit to that crush you’ve always had on him, etc.