There are so many awesome apps out there for creating bomb Instagram stories, retro videos, and creative filters/edits that will help your images and stories totally stand out. After months and months of searching for and trying tons of editing apps, I’ve finally found the ones that work best with my brand’s style and aesthetic.
I follow several accounts on Instagram who give full disclosure on how they edit their photos, including what apps they use and how they edit. As a fellow creative, I so appreciate this gesture and love that they value their audience enough to share their “secrets” on how to create imagery that defines your own personal style. I firmly believe in community over competition and want that to be what others realize the more they visit my IG and my blog!
That being said, I would love to pay it forward with my own audience! In this post, I will be sharing the best photo editing and video apps out there so that you can test them out and find the ones that speak best to your own photographic style and brand aesthetic 🙂
Unfold has tons of free templates and fonts you can use, as well as some that cost a one-time fee to unlock. By far, Unfold is my most favorite app for creating Instagram stories that are on brand with The Mini Apartment Blog. I can create quirky, fun, lighthearted, and simple “pages” that reflect who I am and represents my blog’s unique style. I use this one for creating 90% of my Instagram stories! Here are some of the pages I’ve made with Unfold:
I’ve had the desktop version of Lightroom for years now, but only in the last year have used the app on my phone. I love this one because you can easily edit your iPhone photos in a more professional way, and even create/use presets to make an overall cohesive look for your Instagram feed. Plus, it’s free!
If you are looking to create your own preset, you can do so within this app by “saving” your photo edits into a “preset” filter. This way, you can quickly apply an edit to your photos to make them all flow together and look cohesive. When I first got the app, I bought a handful of popular presets made by popular influencers that promised “one click edits” – but actually, they required a lot of tweaking on the user’s end and just didn’t give my images the look I wanted. So, I just decided to make my own presets. Making your own saves money and time on photo editing, plus makes your images yours 🙂 These below were edited using the preset I made, and are actually all one-click edits:
This is my all time favorite video app, like ever! 8mm has several different retro video film styles that you can toggle through to get the look you’re going for. You can also create your clips into mini movies, and add music from your iTunes library. I made this sweet little movie of Aspen’s first month using the app, and have made many other clips and movies of our family outings with it. It’s great for filming lifestyle, travel, and intimate moments.
more apps to try
A Color Story / A Design Kit / A Beautiful Mess: fun, quirky filters and story templates by the girls behind ABeautifulMess.com
Mextures / VSCO : if you like to add grain, texture, color overlay, and light leaks to your images
Over / Canva: add text and elements like tape and scribbles, as well as browse hundreds of pre-made template styles for stories
1 Second Everyday (1SE): takes 1 second from daily videos you take to create an annual “video” of 1 second from (ideally) 365 days out of the year. Perfect for capturing your kids as they grow.
Afterlight 2: similar to lightroom and photoshop, but also includes a ton of filters and effects.
StoryLuxe: Similar to Unfold, with templates for stories
Filmm: Incredible retro video editing similar to 8mm, but can also add light leaks and grain to existing videos you’ve taken