My fave photo apps...beginning with Instagram!

***ETA: July 2013  Since this post...I now have my own app: Rhonna Designs Photo Editing App!  See my app HERE in the App Store and HERE are a bunch of How-To Video Tutorials! 
Seriously...this app has CHANGED the way I edit my photos for Instagram, blogs, printing's changed my life! *wink* and no...I'm NOT being dramatic!

This ONE app has replaced most of the ones below...

I've had lots of questions about HOW I edit my photos that I post on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. So, rather than copying & pasting my responses to hundreds of ya..I figured a blog post was in order. So...I'm sharing my TOP TEN fave photo apps!

My phone camera is one of my fave Creativity Tools I use everyday with my Creativity Exercises...seriously...this has changed my creative life! So, I'm always thinking of ways to capture, create & then real time!

1. Instagram~ free
Pros: My fave place/community to upload. Yes, I've tried other communities, like Hipstamatic, My365, etc...but, this feels like my home. I love the filters, friends, etc. So...I go through various other apps to get the look I want & eventually post them to IG (Instagram) in the end.
Come & follow me: @RhonnaFarrer

Cons: limited in versatility...not type/text. but,'s free!

2. Picture Show~ $1.99
Pros: Best bang for your buck.  If you only want to purchase one extra app, this is my fave. You can add bokeh, fab frames, text, tons of filters, light leaks, crop, noise, blur, and more. I had this one for a long time & it did everything I wanted, but then I ventured out for more fun.

Cons: hmm...i can't find one..i really love this one!

3. Phonto~ free
Pros: Best Font/Type/Text app I've has TONS of various fonts & you can change colors, tilts, fonts, sizes AND the opacity...which is fab to me. I love this one!

Cons: again...can't find any. I am really happy with this one!

4. PicFrame~ $.99
Pros:  This is the app I use to create diptychs, triptychs, & split them up to make collages.  I know there are other apps like this, but this is the first one I got & didn't feel the need to buy more that does basically the same thing...You can round corners, change the color of the  frame & move the size of the frames.

Cons: only about 20 various frames...I know some apps have more options...but, hey! It works for me!

5. Labelbox~ $.99
Pros: Ok...for the dymo label look, masking tape, scotch tape....this is great. You can buy *add-on* tapes for $.99 cents more, too! I bought the set with the doily tape in it & I love it!

Cons: I'm not fond of the fonts/text that comes with, I add my own in some. (i.e. Me no likey the 'light' font on the below pic...I was learning at the time! LOL)

6. Lenslight~ $.99
Pros: This is a VERY fun light app. I'm talking, various bokeh, lens flares, light leaks, cloud rays, sparkles, halo rings...& even the sun, moon, lightning & rain. You can add 1 on top of the other & even adjust the opacity..I love that about this app!

Cons: Not much to complain about on this one..I've been very happy!

7. Filter Mania~ free
Pros: This one is FAB! It has very unique frames, filters & lighting.  Some a little over the top, but really  cool ones! (The above wings & crown is one of them~ And this TIME photo...see the grungey/words in it?'s this app! cool, huh?)

Cons: Since the filters are so funky...they don't look good on all photos...but, it's fun to experiment!

8. Maskingtape~$.99
Pros: This is one of my faves to add a little *flair* to my photos. With the swipe of your finger, you have TONS of washi/decorative tapes in tons of colors. To 'undo' you just double tap & *poof* it's gone!

Cons: Not a one, IMHO.

9. Pixlromatic/ Picture Magic~ both free. both equally used by me.
Pros: I had to lump these together because I really couldn't pick one or the other...they are both for the same thing: cool frames, light filters, and bokeh... And I have found that there are specific frames or lightings that I like for certain photos in each of the apps.
...but, I do have to say, I think I like Pixlromatic a tidge better....see for yourself..they are both free...come on...have some fun!

Cons: Picture Magic seems to freeze more for me...ugh. And, when you open it up it ALWAYS asks if you want to buy the full version. Gets a little buggy.

10. Picfx~ $1.99
Pros: Fab frames, cross processes, vintage & classic filters, & I am in LOVE with the bokeh filters...they are giving Lens Light a run for their money! One of my fave things is: You can rotate the bokeh filters...I haven't found that in any other Light app!
Cons: The ONLY thing I wish it would do is give you the ability to adjust the Opacity levels in the lights.
'das all. 

So, here's a snippet of my process:
1. Take Photo: I normally just take my photo in the 'Camera' or 'Pro Camera'..they are both sitting next to each other, & which ever one I hit...I snap away. THEN, it's stored in my Camera Roll & I can go in later & edit as I wish. 
2. Add filters: I then, go into my fave apps above to see what will enhance the photo. If I"m in a 'photo collage' mood, out comes Pic Frame. Or if I just want a subtle light leak & cool bokeh, I'll go for Picture Show.
3. Add Text: Here's where I'll add Labelbox, Phonto....or whatever I want.
4. Add flair: This can be the decorative washi tapes in Maskingtape, or some of the faces in Finger Faces...LOL...whatever I want!

And, yes, each of these steps saves in my Camera, I go in & delete the unnecessary ones!

REally....this all depends on me, how much time I have & what kind of mood I'm in. If I have a few minutes waiting in the car for my kids' carpool, out comes my phone & away I go!
Sometimes, I only have time to do the Instagram worries. just have fun! are some honorable mentions that deserve a little shout out:
iDarkroom: $1.99
Pros: I do like this one. It's got a lot of the regular photo editing features, and I LOVE the various bokehs' they have: flowers, hearts, FUN ones!
Cons: For some reason, this one isn't my 'go-to'...but I do use it a bit.

BlendCam: free
Pros: This is a funky one that allows you to blend photos effects!
Cons: Again, this one isn't in my day to day tool box, but it's fun to have!

Tag Writer Pro: .$99
Pros: This is a fun one like Labelbox that lets you do some fun tags on your photies.
Cons: There's a free one; but very limited. The Pro version has more, but again...I only use it sometimes.

iLabeler, Vintage Cam, Lemme Cam, Pic Collage....all are fun, but for their purposes, I've found the above apps to be my fave.

One that I have LOVED (or my KIDS have loved) is the Finger Face app: $.99
We've had many a laughs over this to play & enjoy with the family!

Ok...that does it...those are my Top Ten Faves! Again, you may or may not agree with me, but this is what I use & what I love!
I always LOVE to hear about new ones, so please share YOUR fave apps with me!
Happy Thursday!


Cher~ said...

Quick question - I've tried a few apps, but then when it is time to take a picture, I lose the moment by not knowing which app to pick or I can't remember how to change settings on a particular app. Any suggestions for staying organized with a variety of photo apps?

Great question, Cher!
I normally just take my photo in the 'Camera' or 'Pro Camera'..they are both sitting next to each other, & which ever one I hit...I snap away. THEN, it's stored in my Camera Roll & I can go in later & edit as I wish. HTH!

Leah C said...

This is fabulous, Rhonna!! Thank you so much for sharing these apps:) I'm fairly new to Instagram and have admired your pics {they rock!} and wondered "how did she do that?!" I know! IG is going to be so much more fun {and addicting} now;)

Alicia said...

Other than following links that people post on twitter or FB, I can't be a part of the Instagram Club as I have an Android :( However, I LOVE your pics that you post and I've downloaded some of the apps that I can to see what I can try with my phone. Thanks for sharing what you use, it's truly inspiring!

Do you know of any savvy Android photo app users in the blogosphere?

Thanks so much Rhonna! I have been following your instagrams...I love all the extra touches you use on your posts... now I can do this too! You are so awesome to share! Thanks again for your inspiration and creativity!

Thanks fun to share, huh?
Alicia...I"m not sure of anyone...maybe your question will bring out a lurker! Share ideas, girls! :)

Amy said...

TFS your list! When I first got my iPhone I took photos in the filter (etc.) apps. It took me awhile to figure out that I can edit after the fact. I downloaded a few of the freebies you listed.

Alicia said...

Very cool post. I use a lot of the apps you listed and some are new to me. I'm already downloading the new ones!

Thanks for sharing.

Claudia said...

OMG!!!! Thank YOU Rhonna. I just got my I-phone & love instagram but felt overwhelmed by all the photo apps. I've found some already that I like but I noticed features on your pics that I couldn't find anywhere. You ROCK!!! A million thanks.
FYI, I still can't quite remember all the features of all the apps so I do just like you and have all camera and then all most used apps in one folder next to each other. It helps me stay on top. One thing I noticed with some apps like vintage cam is that you have to edit the pic right after taking it. I cannot figure out how to take pics and then edit them with this app later. Thanks again :)

Thank you for sharing! Some of these I already use but the others, I will check out asap! =)

Jynene said...

...your cheerful generosity never ceases to amaze me! thanks so much for sharing this post and these apps! can't wait to try some of these new fun ones.
hugs. jynene

Missy said...

Love these ideas - especially about the "later edit"! I too have an Android - I like it so much better than my iPhone - BUT I am sooo wanting Instragram for it :)
Persnickity Prints posted about it coming soon in Beta mode...hope it does this time.

Jamie said...

loving all these apps- i had several of them, but not all :) i'd love to recommend the Collageday app- you can add stickers, change the fonts & their size, masking tape, and any fun little things :)
thank you so much for sharing these! i'll be sure to check out your Instagram feed :) I'm there too!

such a great round up of apps! i'm addicted!

in regards to Alicia's question...===GOOD NEWS! i heard yesterday that Android is getting the instagram app! i think it's coming really soon!

yay for droid users. you all will love IG!

Hildie said...

One of my most used apps is Touch Retouch. It is an awesome app that lets you retouch pictures super easily right on your phone. I hated having to upload my pics to my computer just to get rid of a zit or a shadow. The clone tool alone is worth the $$. Then again it's only 99¢.

It works very differently than photoshop but it's got a couple of great tutorials.

Thanks Rhonna! I love stuff like this, and I've always loved all your IG pics. It will be fun to play around on a few of these! :)

jamie said...

Rhonna...great post!
Learned so much.
I too am a droid user and love pixlr-o-mat ic. I also get a lot of use out of the filters from LittlePhoto. And happy to see that label box is new to the droid world recently.
Looking hard for a good light/filter app...have not found yet.
Same with a font app.
And is getting the instagram soonish.
Thanks again for sharing your loves.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Hi Rhonna, just found your blog via Pinterest, this is such a great post, thanks for sharing.

Amy Xxx

Bettina said...

Thanks for sharing these! I found your blog through a pin on Pinterest and am so glad I did! Such creative posts, I had to add you to my bloglovin' reader ASAP!

josefina said...

Thanks so much for sharing these! I find myself taking more pics on my phone than with my camera these days and these apps are just what I need.

amazing! thank you for the ideas, I just broke down and got my iphone on Thursday. Needless to say, I'm already an addict!

Lisa said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! I've been wanting an app that allows me to add bokeh to my pictures. I downloaded Picture Show but my bokeh doesn't look like the one in your picture. Mine comes out a lot bigger. Are you using a different app? Thanks for your help!

Thank You! Thank You! I was so happy that I was able to get most of these apps on my ipad.

I too have an android phone.....try retro camera is on the same lines as instagram.

you rock...thank you for sharing this. just got instagram on my droid phone and i'm in fun! now i'm off to follow you:)

Yael said...

Nice apps! I am definately going to try some. I also like: Hipstamatic. It is paid (i paid 1,59 euro i think)
I looks great when you use it.Has nice filters and you can use different flashlight.

{connie} said...

thank you, THANK you, THANK YOU!! i am always showing people your wonderful ig pics and now i can tell them how to do it as well. you are one talented momma and i'm thankful i get to share a little of my creativity through your aRt. love you!!

Anonymous said...

I have a droid and just downloaded instagram :-)

LOVE this!!! THank you so much!!!

Amanda said...

labelbox is free now, i went and got each one u said, thanks!!

amorette said...


You are my hero! I'm so photoshop un-savvy that these apps will let me do the fun things I want, but more quickly! I just bought your instagram pack too - I cannot WAIT to get going!!

Nice tips to really help me make my images come to life. Having great images will help you also get a lot more followers. you can get lots of followers at

Great list! There's no doubt that Instagram is the most popular and superior among all of them. Nevertheless, there are few photo apps that are great too such as Lenslight and Maskingtape.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love the app ideas you've given! But do you know if these are for iphone use only?

Camera+ is the best photography app I have on my iPhone. It offers a unique set of tools and filters to edit an existing image or create a new image. Its fun and very easy to use!

AllenCarlos said...

I really like all the additional variations you use on your content... now I can do this too! You are so amazing to share! Thanks again for your motivation and creativity!

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Gabs-Art said...

Thanks for sharing - it's a great list!

And Alicia: Instagram is on Android since April 2012 - so go and get it! It's fun!

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