17 Apps You Should Use on All Your Instagram Photos

A journalist holds a shoulderpod, a tripod mount adapter with an Iphone smartphone

Looking to make your Instagram photos stand out? Then you may want a few new tools — of the app kind, at least | Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Everybody wants their Instagram feed to look great. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a wannabe influencer who wouldn’t mind having tens (or hundreds) of thousands of followers, or if you’re the kind of user who just posts photos for a small circle of friends and family to see. No matter how many people are going to see your photos, you probably want them to look as good as possible. Instagram has a few filters and features that can help in that regard, but if you really want your Instagram photos to look professional, it’s probably time to enlist the help of another app or two.

Everybody knows that there are apps that can apply filters to a photo, just as there are apps that can crop a photo, or create a collage. But did you know that there are some apps that can help you level up your Instagram game in other ways? In fact, you can download an app that specializes in creating great black-and-white photos. You can install several that help you to subtly perfect a selfie. You can even find apps that make things that aren’t strictly photos — like Live Photos, time-lapses, and GIFs — look better on Instagram, too.

Now that Instagram has moved to an algorithmic feed, making your photos look great is even more important than ever before. It’s time to move beyond Instagram’s built-in filters and features and find some apps that can make your photos stand out. Read on to check out our favorite apps for the many different kinds of Instagram photos. Whether you’re an iPhone user or have an Android phone, favor bright and colorful snaps or prefer black-and white-shots, you’re sure to find an app or two that’ll make your Instagram photos look even better than they already do.

Color filters

A visitor takes pictures with her smartphone past a piece of the exhibition

These apps offer great filters for the color photos you post to Instagram | Miguel Riopa/Getty Images

1. Afterlight

Afterlight, which is available for iOS, Android, and Windows, features 74 filters that are fully adjustable and customizable for the exact photo you’re working on. It also has textures, like light leaks that you’d see on 35mm film, to add additional effects to your photos. The app even enables you to create your own presets by mixing tools, filters, and effects to get exactly the look that you want.

2. Litely

Litely, which is available for iOS, offers what it calls “subtle” filters — which is a great find if real film-inspired tones are your style. The free version of the app includes a starter pack of professionally-crafted presets, and there are even more filters available as in-app purchases. Litely also enables you to adjust crop, exposure, sharpness, vibrance, and vignetting.

3. Priime

Priime, which is available for iOS and Mac, enables you to add a professional finish to your photos with presets created (and used) by popular pro photographers. Each of these filters is created in collaboration with those photographers, and in the style that they favor in their own photography.

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