Make Your Insta-Feed #GOALS with my top 5 Favourite Photo Editing Apps!

This post has been a long time in the making.

Without a doubt, there is one question that slides into my Instagram DM’s as of late:

What do you use to edit your photos?

I actually did a post on this over a year ago BUT my style has changed a lot within the year.

To be honest, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted my look to be. I was going for cool, desaturated & hazy at the time, but I wasn’t really digging it because again, it wasn’t me.

It’s no secret, I’m an 80’s baby, so I wanted to really project that aesthetic. I’m talking faded, saturated technicolor, grainy, skewed highlights & shadows, with a kind of nostalgic vibe, and then my favourite part? That glitch.

In fact, when I met with chloedigital a few weeks back for their tour, my online specialist Sol {who is aaaaaaamazing & I LOVE}, told me the first word that came to her head when she sees my instagram is “CYBER” which is something I really take to heart because that was  exactly what I was going for.

As far as the glitch, I do a variety of apps, so I’ll present the one I use the most & will add the rest of them in a future post!

ALSO! I I’m going to share some VSCO filter recipes weekly with you guys. It was something that really helped me hone in on my aesthetic. If you have any reccs, let me know and I’ll try and emulate them. I’ll post them both here & on Instagram weekly. I’ll share the first one on Saturday!

With the filter recipes, I’ll explain the filter & the effect it gives, what series it’s a part of and what photos it will work best with. Yay new series!

SO- let’s go into it, here are the apps I use to edit every single photo.

My 5 GO-TO PHOTO EDITING APPS FOR INSTAGRAM

ONE :: VSCO

+++ download here for Apple
+++ download here for Android

I know, boring & I already wrote about it but this is my go to app. The Instant-P filters & low contrast-V are my favourite. More times than not, that’s what I’m using. Other filters I love are: A2, C8, C9, E8.

One thing I do & I can do a more in depth post on my editing process is that I manipulate the shadows & highlights.

Advice I see constantly is to use the same filter over and over. However, I don’t believe in that & honestly find it a little boring. Instead, I like to use similar edits on the toolkit to keep things homogenous from photo to photo. I also do the same exact edits on the instagram editor every single time which really helps tie things together.

I like for each photo to have a “vibe” to it. For example, a selfie needs a different filter than a food shot or a flatlay or a sunset shot, no?

Also, there is one thing I do on VSCO that is EXACTLY the same in every photo. I’m not going to say it here because I don’t want to give it away {it’s no secret, I just want to see if you can notice}. If you think you know what it is, leave it in the comments! It doesn’t have anything to do with filters but I think it makes all the difference

Another huge plus about VSCO is that you can buy the presets for your computer. It makes homogenous edits from your phone to your computer seamless. It’s what I use here & makes editing a SERIOUS breeze. I also love it because then when I add a blog photo to instagram, it already automatically flows. Buy Mobile Presets 1 here & Mobile Presets 2 here.

TWO :: Snapseed

+++ download here for Apple
+++ download here for Android

This is a very powerful photo editor on your phone. It’s been hailed as “photoshop for your phone” & I love it. For starters, it’s a Google app, & I trust Google!

Second, my favourite features are the Brush & Selective Editing. Selective Editing is how you can pick and choose what you want to alter the exposure, saturation, & contrast on.

I like to use it to desaturate backgrounds. A big reason is because I actually UP my saturation in my VSCO & Instagram edits to give it that technicolour look, so it helps keep me in the focus as I brighten things up in my Shannon-edits. Alternatively, I also love to UP the saturation for the sky & such.

The brush mode allows you to do the same thing but with a smaller work space. Say you want to brighten your eyes, just a quick tap with a .03 exposure & + 5 saturation and you good to go!

One great brush option is temperature! If you have a cool toned photo yet something is looking a little yellow, it’s perfect for fixing that or vice versa with a warm photo and things are a little too blue or aqua. Kind of like an “on-demand” white balance fix!

THREE :: Facetune 2

+++ download here for Apple
+++ download here for Android

This app is the bomb.com. Not to sound like a crazy person, but I spent the $30 for this app so I have FULL access to all the features. I think it’s well worth it. This is the very first app I use before I start the editing process.

I love how adjustable all the settings are. Some of my favourites include the whitening tool – it really brightens the eye area and is an instant fix for all the red wine and coffee I drink. 🙂 The whitening tool is great if the background of a photo is too “yellow” – it can cool it down and desaturate a bit.

Another is the detail brush. Every blogger should be using this! It sharpens up all the details, think manicures, chunky knits, hardware on a bag, it helps bring them to stage.

Now my FAVOURITE part of Facetune 2? The PRISM tool. This lil effect is so dope and the options are endless. You can give a photo a holographic look or bring the intensity down to make it look like it’s on film. Check the prism in action here!

FOUR :: Filterloop

+++ download here for Apple
+++ download here for Android

This app is a recent favourite of mine. I am CONSTANTLY on the hunt for vintage effects on photos. This was a goldmine of a find.

The filters are gorgeous and SO unique – in fact, there’s one for life on Mars! I love apps like that because they can really get me thinking creatively for my edits. If you’re looking for a “film” or analog style app, this is for you!

Now I use this primarily for 2 features – the “noise” feature (I use the “TV Screen one – see it here) & the “TV Glitch” filter (.99 cent add on). Basically, the TV glitch filter is like when you sit wayyyyy too close to a computer screen and you can see the colour bars. I like to keep them subtle at either 7% or 14% {fun fact, but I ALWAYS adjust my edits in EVERY APP with increments of 7. It’s my lucky number}.

Check the out in action here, here, & here.

FIVE :: Glitché

+++ download here for Apple
+++ download here for Android

Okay so this is probably the one everyone has been waiting for. This is what I use to get the glitchy look in every single one my photos. It is .99 cents but you have to pay $2.99 on the top of my head for high-definition. I highly reccomend doing that or else your photos will be blurry.

This app is what gives my photos that glitchy feel with the rainbow technical difficulties-esque effects.

I’ll admit, the app is not exactly user friendly and you have to teach yourself as you go. The glitches I use are under the Channel or Screen feature. You can use your finger to adjust how subtle or extreme you want it. As soon as the photo is to your liking, press the top right arrow and save accordingly!

As far as what to glitch? It depends on the photo! Check the links for my examples but I personally love doing the shadows, clouds, water: both waves & reflections, my hair, & fun details… like cleavage LOL… but really though.

I also love that it uses the same exact VCR Mono font that I use very often here on the blog. It really ties everything together!

I personally LOVE talking filters and stuff – is that weird? So if you have any questions, just let me know. I know this can get so overwhelming

And in case you were wondering the order of how I do things, this is the chronological order:

1. Facetune 2 {not including Prism}
2. Snapseed
3. VSCO
4. Glitché or back to Facetune 2 if I’m using the Prism
5. Filterloop

I hope this is helpful! Y’all know how I feel about the damn alogrithm so make it your bitch by creating a GOALS AF Insta-feed.

OK! Now I wanna hear from you. What’s your instagram & what are some of your favourite apps & filters?

I’ll do a round up of ALL my glitchy apps in the next few weeks because I have SO MANY.

See ya on the gram! x @shannonsilver 😉 xx

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  • Comments ( 27 )

  • shannon shipman

    i use a couple of these apps too! I’m interested in knowing how you like chloe digital…they reached out to me a while back !

    • Thanks Shannon!! I LOVE ChloeDigital! Seriously cannot recc enough and worth every penny. I’ve worked with them now for a bit over a year. It is a bit of an investment but I seriously can’t recc them enough. The weekly strategy emails alone are worth it & having them on the back end is a DREAM – esp when I need custom edits or SOS situations like the site is down, etc. They are seriously so rad & I recc for anyone looking to transition the blog to a full blown business and brand. 🙂 x

  • I had the first FaceTune app and I loved it but for some reason I got rid of it. I think I’m gonna download it again. I also used VSCO before. Another great app!

    • Give the second one a go! I think it’s much better than the first one. LMK how you like it 🙂 x

  • Rizelle McLean

    thanks for sharing babe! are you a cd member? how do you like it? http://www.tourinstylebyrizelle.com

    • I am & I LOVE it. See my below comment to @shannon_shipman:disqus on why 🙂 worth every penny x

  • Nicole Fuentes

    VSCO Is my favorite app! And yes, your blog is totally 80’s, I LOVE IT! So different from everything out there.
    xx, Nicole
    http://www.nicolesometimes.com

    • Thanks so much Nicole!!! That means SO much 🙂 what are your fave vsco filters?? x

  • Liz

    I love Snapseed!!

  • simplygailg

    This is the second post I’ve read today about editing apps and I love it. It’s so interesting to read about the different tools people use to edit their photos. Thanks for sharing – this is great!

    • So cool! I always love reading photo apps too bc there’s always some I never thought of. LMK some of your faves! x Shannon

  • loving all these great app tips! these will surely come in handy! thank you!

    Courtney Bentley || http://www.starsystemz.com

  • Will absolutely check out these apps!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Beatriz

    Love vsco filters! One of my faves!
    xx Beatriz | http://www.livelovewearit.com

  • This post is SO helpful! I love what you said about not sticking to the same filter but instead sticking to a similar way of editing 🙂 Also you totally nailed those 80’s vibes! I always have the hardest time trying to find a ‘vibe’ I want to stick to!
    Chante xo
    http://www.chante-louise.com

    • Thank you so much, Chante!! I really appreciate it. I think sticking to one theme as a whole can stick you in a box and it makes instagram so much more stressful than it already is! Let me know if there are any recipes you want to see VSCO wise and I’ll make it for you 🙂 Happy Friday! x

  • Delayna Denaye

    This is awesome thank you for sharing!!
    Delayna
    http://www.delaynadenaye.com

  • I took the easy way out here: I get all my pics taken by pros and I leave the editing to them *hangs head in shame*
    I do have VSCO but it overwelms me. I am also struggling to find my “look”; until I have it, I will likely just keep playing around with my apps, but will leave edits to people who know what they’re doing.
    http://www.dafrastar.com

    • If anything you are doing it SO right! I totally feel you though, when I first started with VSCO it was SO overwhelming. Hopefully the recipes I’ll post regularly can help make it less daunting!! If there’s a vibe you want, LMK girl xx

  • Emily Soto

    I’ll have to check those apps out. I use PicTapGo!

    Emily
    withstyleandgrace.net

    • Ooooh I haven’t heard of that one – downloading now!! Thanks girl! x

  • Kristen

    These are some great tips! It’s always good to know what is out there!

    xoxo, Kristen
    http://www.theglamorousgal.com

    • I totally agree! There are so many hidden gems in the app world 🙂 x

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