3 Must-Have Apps for Picture Perfect Phoneography

With around 4,500 shots on my not-so-old iPhone camera roll, it’s safe to say I’m a phoneography junkie. I take a lot of photos with my phone, and I spend a lot of time looking at photos you’ve all taken on your phones (Instagram is my second home…).

The basic image quality that comes from something primarily meant for phone calls is pretty impressive, however, a little editing of those raw snaps can can take them to a whole new level. Cropping and straightening your image, adjusting the colour and lighting, and adding font or fancy effects will help advance your phone shots from just okay to oh yay!

Here’s my three favourite apps for doing just that:


VSCO is my go-to photo editing app. Every potentially Instagram-worthy photo I take starts its editing life here. I use VSCO to crop and straighten images and to adjust exposure, saturation, contrast, and temperature. VSCO is also where you go to add that moody fade effect I’m sure you’ve admired on many an Instagram post. The app comes with a bunch of pre-programmed formulas which can be fun to play with (and the option to buy more). It’s great for experimenting with black and white images, too.

Before and after editing with VSCO. Photo by @ejorpin.


This app lets you apply old school effects like light leaks, grit, and grain. The great thing with Mextures is you can add more than one layer – so you might add some grain, then a layer of bokeh, then a sun flare. You can also play with the strength of each layer and change the way it’s ‘mixed’ with the original photos. I tend to use Mextures in a fairly natural way, to enhance what’s already there to make a ho-hum image into one that’s worthy of more attention. But if you really play with the effects you can get some pretty crazy things going on; I’ve seem some fabulously atmospheric, otherworldly images created with Mextures. Have a look at their Instagram to get inspired!

Before and after editing with Mextures. Photo by @ejorpin.


I don’t add a lot of text to my shots, but when I do, I use Over. Over has a great selection of fonts and graphic elements available (plus they’ve just extended the app so you can create your own). You can change the position, size, and colour of the font so it fits your image perfectly. There are some really clever creations out there which merge text and image seamlessly; you can see some of the best on their Instagram feed. If you’re a lover of typography, Over might just be the app for you!

Before and after editing with Over. Photo by @ejorpin.

Okay, I know I said I’d give you three apps but here’s a bonus one because it’s just so handy. If you’re a fan of straight lines and symmetry (and really, who isn’t?) you need to get your hands on SKRWT. This great little app gives you all kinds of ways to fix those wonky lines that make your eye twitch (or is that just me?).

Before and after editing with SKRWT. Photo by @ejorpin.

These apps have truly made all the difference with my phoneography addiction. What apps do you guys love?

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Emily Orpin

Blogger, vintage seller, dachshund wrangler. I like to travel and eat cheese, preferably at the same time. Based in Sydney, Australia.