There are three parts to photography in my opinion: there is 1.) finding the right light 2.) taking the shot (framing your picture and creating an interesting composition) and lastly 3.) post-processing. In other words, the editing. Never underestimate the power of Photoshop and Lightroom, friends. But at the same time, while I love the editing process, I also find that the best photos are the least edited; It’s all about being able to capture a beautiful composition the first time. Editing really just enhances the image.

While I primarily love using the two Adobe programs for the majority of my photos, I also notice that lately I’ve been leaning more and more towards editing on my phone. And with my passion and love for sharing and documenting my travels and things I love on the dearly beloved Instagram, I thought I’d share my top 8 photo and Instagram Story editing apps!


Instagram Stories


For a simple and minimalist way to share multiple photos and captions, I always love to use the Unfold app for their beautiful templates. It’s super easy to use and free, too!

2. Word Swag

This app has the best fonts! I don’t like to use the Instagram Story fonts but use these instead as they are cleaner, more unique and on brand!

3. Hype Type

I love using this app when I share about my latest blog posts or videos. You can add type that slides, swirls, moves, and just pops more than an normal font.

4. 8mm

I use this when I’m going for a nostalgic, vintage-look when recording videos. If you want a old camera look to your videos, this is the one that so many users know and love!

Instagram Posts

5. Touch Retouch

The first thing I do when I preparing a picture on Instagram is remove any objects that are detracting from my point of focus. With a touch of my finger, I can erase any unwanted clutter using the Touch Retouch app! You do have to pay a few dollars for this app, but it is so worth it. I only use this app every once in a while.

6. Snapseed

The second step is upload the photo to Snapseed! Snapseed is a free app that will truly help make your images pop and give that extra pizazz. I love boosting the ambiance tool to bring out the colors and the structure and sharpen tools to bring out the clarity and textures. I just love love love rich textures and using these tools helps a bunch. I also use this app when I need a boost of brightness.

7. Vsco

I love Vsco for its wide range OF film-like, grainy filters. I try to keep the editing consistent with my colors and theme and stick to my usual presets of the S series. The bright pastels, and clean look always tends to draw my eye, and I love the A analog series and S series: Bright and Clean. I always recommend tweaking the filter settings and opacity when applying them to your photos, as they often need to be toned down a bit. I also love to use Afterlight for additional tweaking if necessary.

8. Unum

This app is the best for planning yourInstagram grid and layout! These days, if you’re trying to get into the Instagram influencer/photography world, you can’t just post a great picture and call it a day like you used to be able to. (Don’t you just miss Instagram cir. 2011?) You have to plan and look at how the work fits in with all the rest of the pieces. Consider it like an art gallery exhibit. I’ve tried a few Instagram planner apps like Later and Planoly, but Unum was the easiest to navigate for me, personally. I can add photos to my layout, drag and drop to adjust where the image will be placed, add captions, unique hashtags, and set reminders for me to post. It’s a dream for my fellow type-Aers.

When it comes to editing, my biggest tip is to play, play, play. Keep practicing, tweaking and finding what colors and tools draw you in and adjust as you go. Everyone has their own unique style. It has taken me a few years to figure out what my style was, and I always say:

you can always change your mind. 

I hope these tips help you on your photography journey and feel free to DM me and let me know if these tips have at all helped you! 🙂 I’ll see you on the gram!

Top 8: Photo Editing Apps for Instagram Stories

May 24, 2018


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.