It may sound like a bit of a misnomer, but the days of Instagram actually being “instant” are fairly long gone. With professionals and multinational companies jumping in on the game, Instagram is no longer just about taking happy snaps and slapping a filter on it. #nofilter

So with that in mind, here are my Top 4 Apps to Boost Your Instagram Game, to help you make your beautiful pictures even better.


woman holding up an iPhone 6+ with the Darkroom app displayed on the screen

Since I saw it recommended on the app store, I’ve been fairly obsessed with free app Darkroom. It not only has the usual controls – brightness, saturation, vignette etc – but it also keeps a history of the changes that you’ve made to the picture, for ease of editing in the future! I also love that you don’t have to import your photos individually – the app accesses your library directly so that you can pick and choose with ease. You can also get raw RGB controls, but that’s a paid option within the app.

Pro tip: the ‘sharpen’ function is pretty effective in Darkroom – it gives a much more obvious result than Snapseed, though not as obvious an outcome as the native Instagram controls.

You can download Darkroom for iOS here.


a man holding up an iPhone 6+ with the Snapseed app displayed on the screen

This is the first app I used regularly on my photos, and it still remains free and on my phone today! The “brightness” and “contrast” functions in Snapseed, I find, are not quite as effective as the other apps, but I really like the way you can selectively adjust areas of the photos. I use this pretty often, when the light conditions are not quite as optimal as I’d hoped. Also, the “ambience” option of the “Tune Image” function is quite good for brightening up the well, ambience, of a photo, without making everything look like its got a sheet of white over the top.

You can download Snapseed for iOS or Android.


a man holding an iPhone 6+ with both hands, with the Luminance app displayed on the screen

Luminance is another free app that offers fairly powerful controls for photo editing on your phone. Besides the usual, you also have the options to adjust the hue and saturation of specific colour channels – red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta – and I especially love the individual controls for Hightlights, Light, Dark and Shadows (located under Tone Curve). With the ability to layer on filters as well as control specific aspects of your photos, Luminance is one of the most elegant apps for adjusting colours and light on a photo!

You can download Luminance for iOS here.

Little Moments

An iphone 6+ sitting in a heart made with red M&Ms, with the Little Moments App displayed on the screen.

Created by Instagram queen FatMumSlim, Little Moments is the quintessential app whether you love adding quirky text and images on your photos, or whether you want to put your best foot forward in your #fmsphotoaday challenges! This is a paid app, but I got it free when FatMumSlim announced a free download day post Australia Day. I’ve since bought the text pack, because it’s just been such an amazing experience, and the design controls give me the power to create Pinterest-worthy pictures every single time.

You can download Little Moments for iOS here.

I’m constantly learning about how to up my own Instagram game, too, so I’d love to hear about your favourite apps to edit photos on your smartphone! Please do hit me up on Instagram here, or leave a comment down below. <3

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