Top 5 Apps to Edit Photos For Instagram

Today, you can easily express your creativity and artistic vision without being a professional photographer. With visual social media on the rise, everyone can share their pictures on Instagram and receive recognition and feedback from a global audience.

To make your Instagram feed even more appealing, you need to learn how to edit visuals, be it eliminating unnecessary items in the background or applying filters to achieve a specific feed aesthetic, for example, making it brown color. Read further to discover top tips and apps for mobile photo editing.

 How to edit photos for Instagram

The number of mobile users worldwide is forecasted to reach 7.49 billion in 2025. Many of these users already have an Instagram account that they update with pictures for personal or professional purposes.

Follow these five helpful tips on editing pictures for Instagram to make your feed visually cohesive, engaging, and reflective of your style.

Use filters mindfully

To many novice Instagram users, filters seem like an instant way to improve visual appearance. It also might seem like the more filters and special effects you use, the more interesting your picture will look. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Often, applying too many filters or making them too intense can make an image look overly processed and distract viewer attention from the subject of a photo. To avoid this, choose a filter that complements the mood and theme of your picture rather than overpowering it. And consider using editing options from other apps, not limiting yourself to built-in Instagram features. 

Enhance colors

Boosting or adjusting colors can make your photos more visually appealing and help create a harmonious feed where the overall aesthetic is consistent and eye-catching. However, it’s crucial to maintain a natural and realistic color balance without oversaturating or distorting hues—unless, of course, that’s your intention.

To enhance colors mindfully, start by adjusting saturation and vibrance or fine-tuning individual colors. Pay attention to skin tones, sky, and other key elements in your photo to achieve a bright yet natural look.


Don’t be afraid to experiment with different editing techniques and styles. Trying different approaches each time you edit a picture can help you discover your unique preferences and develop a distinctive style.

You can do this by focusing on specific editing features, such as contrast, brightness, shadows, and highlights, and tweaking them. You can also experiment with unconventional crops or angles when taking pictures to create a visually stimulating feed.

Use several photo editing apps

Instagram’s in-app editing tools are user-friendly and can be enough for a beginner creator. However, using several other apps to edit your Instagram pictures allows you to discover additional features and filters to help your visuals stand out.

What’s more, you can use different apps for specific aspects of photo editing. For instance, you can utilize Adobe Express to eliminate unnecessary details in the picture and then apply filters using the VSCO app.

Consider profile layout

The first thing people see when they open your profile is not a single picture but the overall feed. Therefore, it’s important to not only make each photo look appealing, but also post them with your feed in mind.

Various apps, such as UNUM, allow you to preview how your images will look together in your profile. And apps like Adobe Lightroom allow you to copy and paste the same filter to different photos to maintain color consistency. You can also alternate close-ups and wider shots, portraits, and landscapes to make your feed look even more enjoyable.


FAQ: How do I edit my photos for Instagram?

To edit photos for Instagram:

  • Decide on a topic for your post or feed aesthetic;
  • Choose a picture size because Instagram allows you to add square and rectangular visuals;
  • Consider using preset Instagram editing options or working with editing apps to fine-tune your image.


FAQ: How do I resize a photo for Instagram?

You can resize photos for Instagram using apps like Instasize or the built-in cropping tool within the Instagram app. Maintaining the recommended aspect ratios of 1:1 for square photos, 4:5 for vertical photos, and 16:9 for horizontal photos ensures your visuals look good on the platform.

 Top 5 apps to edit photos for Instagram

If you’re looking for the top apps to edit photos for Instagram, consider the following options. While there are plenty of other solutions on the market, these five apps are some of the most popular and rich in functions. 


VSCO is one of the most feature-rich apps for photo and video editing. It has a variety of customizable color filters, offers smart filter suggestions for each specific image, and has extensive editing options, allowing you to edit elements like particular color hues. If you’re looking for an advanced editor, VSCO might be your top choice. Some filters and basic editing options are free; others come for a paid yearly subscription.


Snapseed is similar to VSCO in terms of filters and features, but can seem a bit more user-friendly, especially if you are a beginner. It allows you to apply the same edits for multiple images, edit RAW files, and access your editing history, discarding changes you’ve made several steps before. Furthermore, Snapseed is free and doesn’t have any hidden fees.

Adobe Express

Adobe Express is a more advanced version of Photoshop Fix, whose average monthly downloads reached around 14.1K before the app was taken off the market. Now, you can find Fix features along with other useful tools within Adobe Express. This app is one of the best for spot correction. You can use it for various needs, from eliminating skin imperfections to cutting out a bird flying in the background. The basic features of Adobe Express are free, but you can subscribe to the Premium or Teams plan to unlock extra features and design assets.


Pixlr is not one app, but a whole set of them. Its Stories app allows you to use customizable templates or create your own to produce unique Instagram stories. Remove Background app lets you instantly erase the backdrops of visuals to add them to stories, photo collages, or Instagram templates. The Photomash Studio app allows you to add new appealing backgrounds for visuals. The basic editing tools of these apps are free, but you might need to purchase a subscription to unlock premium features and content.


FAQ: Which photo editor is the best for Instagram?

To choose the best photo editor for manipulating your Instagram visuals, consider your personal preferences and editing needs. If you wish to apply preset filters, go for filter apps like VSCO or Snapseed. If you’re looking for a more detailed correction, opt for more advanced editing apps like Adobe Lightroom or Afterlight.


FAQ: What app do Instagrammers use to plan their layouts?

Many Instagrammers use special apps to ensure their feed layouts look harmonious and organized. The most common apps for this are Planoly and UNUM.


To sum up

New smartphones with powerful cameras and the rise of social media allow creators to easily express themselves with the help of photography. However, taking great pictures is just half the job—the other half is editing them to boost their visual appeal. Apply the tips and suggested apps listed in this article to experiment with editing your future Instagram posts.

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