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Numbers 1 and 6 have taken my pics of the kids to the next level!

Best Phone Photo Apps for Moms

I had an epiphany recently about this little site of mine. While I love everything that we cover here, I realized that there are 4 topics that I am TRULY passionate about. Why? Because these are the four things I can use the most with my own family!

In no particular order, they are:

  1. Family Friendly Recipes & Meal Planning
  2. Engaging Play Ideas
  3. Parenting Hacks
  4. Photography Tips for Busy Parents and Photo Organization & Projects

So I’m going to be experimenting with mainly posting on only these 4 topics for the next couple of months – with a few exceptions here and there.

Today, one of our contributors and professional photographer Kristin is kicking things off with the first in many mom-tography/iphoneography tutorials to come. I hope you enjoy!

You know how you can never have too many shoes?  I think the same thing goes for camera apps.  There are soooo many tools to help us take better photos with our phones.  One is definitely not enough!

Each of the apps that I’ll highlight has unique features.  If you want to just focus on the art of a good photo, VSCO cam is the app for you.  If you love to scrapbook and make collages, you’ll love apps like Over and A Beautiful Mess.

We are really lucky to have so much technology at our fingertips in the year 2014.  My oldest is 13 and camera phones were definitely NOT around when he was a baby.

In order to take a quick photo of that cute little face he was making, it was NOT as simple as whipping out my phone and pressing a button.  Also, I didn’t have the luxury of sharing with all my friends and family in under 30 seconds.

I’m not telling you all this so I sound old!  I’m telling you to inspire you to take advantage of all this wonderful technology that makes documenting childhood a breeze.  You’ll never regret having too many photos.

So snap away and use these amazing apps to make your photos pieces of art.  And the best thing about apps for your camera phone is that the investment is minimal.  Many are free and most are under $2.

1.  Camera+ is one of the best apps you can have on your phone.  It’s constantly being updated, so you’ll always have the latest and greatest features. Their ‘secret’ sauce is the Clarity filter.  It makes just about any photo look amazing.  Another cool feature is the stabilization for anti-camera shake.  For the times your toddler is hanging on your arms while you’re trying to take a photo!

2.  Instagram is my personal fave because I love to edit my photos and quickly share them with my network of friends and family.  The focus is more on the sharing than the filters, but they do have some basic filters and features to work with.  A new feature on Instagram is being able to double tap on the filter to adjust the opacity.

3.  VSCO, created by the Visual Supply Company, is somewhere between Camera+ and Instagram.  Their filters go from simple to advanced and the app makes it easy to email multiple photos at once.  There’s not a lot of instruction with this app, but it is intuitive enough that things begin to make sense the more it’s used.

4.  Photoshop Express is fast, fun and easy.  If you like your photos to look clean and simple without the all the filters, this is your app.  You can quickly adjust brightness, shadows, saturation and more with an easy slider.  It’s also easy to print through Walgreens using this app.

5.  Snapseed will be your biggest purchase at $4.99, but it’s worth it.  Snapseed is like a combination of Camera+ and iPhoto.  One of their best features is the Auto-Correct.  It automatically analyzes your photo and adjusts color and exposure to perfection.  To start, there are overlaid tutorials for each type of effect.  Also, it’s easy to immediately share with all your social networks, including google plus when you’re finished editing.

6.  Photo Editor by Aviary is an app that gives you all the basic adjustments like brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and sharpness controls.  My favorite features in this app are it’s cosmetic tools that allow you to fix red eye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth.

7.  Afterlight is an app that adds those lighting affects that happen when a photograph is taken with sunflare, backlighting or has light leaks.  The app also has the standard editing tools like cropping and brightness, there are a ton of great filters, textures, and frames.

8.  A Beautiful Mess lets you start with a photo, add a filter and then add text and doodles.  The artwork is one of a kind, created by the girls behind the blog A Beautiful Mess.

9.  Over is an app similar to A Beautiful Mess with different types of doodles and fonts.  If you love to scrapbook, these are the apps for you!  Both apps have websites to look at what others have done with their photos.  It’s so much fun to look through for inspiration!

10.  Pic Stitch is a great app for collaging photos.  It allows you to pick from a variety of templates and quickly drag and drop your photos in the space.  You can also zoom in and out once your photos are in place.

Looking for more photo ideas and photography tips? Check out all of our Photography & Memory Keeping posts!


Oh, and speaking of photos, did you hear?

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*Post contains affiliate links.



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Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.