The great thing about using apps to edit your photos, rather than a program like Photoshop, is they do all the hard work for you. Adjustments, such as exposure or cropping, are all laid out in the most basic way possible and the filter options can instantly transform the feel of your photo. I have two apps that I alternate use of, depending on the occasion.

This app is quite basic, but it gets the job done and it’s free. I often use it to adjust the exposure and temperature of a photo. I find the temperature option to be particularly helpful as trying to fiddle around in Photoshop (or in my case in an attempt to get the colour adjustment just right can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Another adjustment that I crank on some of my photos is the β€œfade” effect. It washes out the photo, giving it almost a more 2D effect, which lends a sort of grungy feel and takes away any stark contrast that the photo might have.

As for best filters, I only actually use one these days – the T1. It’s a fantastic filter. It, again, has that grungy feel and I find it instantly adds a professional and interesting look to a photo.

No Filter
VSCO Cam T1 Filter

Afterlight is one of the best one dollars I’ve ever spent. If VSCO Cam is a bit too basic for you then Afterlight is your friend. It has more filters than you could ever need, as well as light and texture effects and a number of other goodies. Annnnd of course, like with VSCO Cam, you can do your basic temperature, exposure, fade, etc. etc. here too. I’m quite keen on the light effects on this app because not only can some nice Bokeh light effects be beautiful in a photo, but if you use the light effects on a low level they can add light to certain darker areas of a photo without being particularly noticeable (excellent if you don’t want to brighten the entire photo). You also have the advantage of being able to layer filters and effects. If you see two filters that you absolutely love you can try adding a bit of both.

The filter I use most with Afterlight is Captain, as it adds that bright, warm glow that’s perfect for beauty shots. I also use Glacier if I’m looking to keep the photo bright, but with a cooler tone to it.

No Filter
Afterlight Captain Filter
  • VSCO cam is an absolute godsend to mobile editing, their filters are much less messy than those on Instagram and they can do wonders to even the most poorly taken photo. T1 is also one of my favourite filters too πŸ™‚

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

  • Afterlight is definitely my favorite filter app! x

    Sophia //

  • I love VSCO cam a bit too much haha! I'm so tempted to buy all of the sets! Great post <3

    Beatriz //

  • I have to try VSCO cam! Sounds great πŸ™‚

    Luxveritatis.| Beauty.Fashion.Crafts

  • Afterlight sounds so lovely! Definitely need to try it!

    Jodie xo // La Lune Song

  • I love afterlight, your photos are always so lovely! x


  • I use afterlight and Picfx which is another favourite of mine.

  • I personally use Lightroom which I find a lot more handy than Photoshop to edit photos, you can use presets and filters too, but I agree that VSCO & Afterlight are great tools! I use them mainly for instagram pictures though as I find it can be a bit of a hassle to transfer photos from SD to phone and back to computer, but eh I'm a lazy person!

  • Really have to get into editing my photos, but because I want the colors to show up as close to reality as possible when showing makeup looks, I find it to be a little bit tricky! I really enjoy reading these type of posts πŸ™‚ xx

  • Dropbox man. Dropbox makes it so easy to transfer between your computer and phone.

  • So many options. Hard to pick.

  • Yeah I've been curious about what the other sets are like too.

  • That T1 filter… there's just something magical about it.

  • Thanks Sophie. You know how much I think the same about you πŸ™‚

  • Yeah, I try to be careful about when and how strongly I use filters because I definitely agree about wanting to colours to look real.

  • Yeah I guess you're right, I use it all the time for ebooks, wonder why I didn't think of it for pictures! I just use iMessage when needed but that's a bit messy.

  • the only apps i use for editing now, i used to have 5! occasionally i'll play with Snapseed but that's almost too much control for me

  • So glad someone else uses Afterlight, i swear by it and no one has ever heard of it!

  • I use it for my Instagram photos!

  • I used to use Afterlight but it just doesn't do it for me anymore. I'm a VSCO girl.


  • I really need to buy myself Afterlight… I'm already loving VSCO Cam but something more would be useful!

    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty

  • VSCO cam really can change up an "average" photo!

  • Amen sista!

  • I can't stress how much it's worth the $1.00

  • There's an app for everyones' own style.

  • I love VSCO cam so much πŸ™‚

    little taste of heaven

  • VSCO Cam and Afterlight are my favs! I actually need to work more on composition though, your pictures make me want to weep so badly, I'm jealous!

  • Love this. Totally useful. I've heard a lot about Afterlight but never made the leap…..until now! Thanks. :] // β–² β–²