Gone are the days where a fancy DSLR and Photoshop proficiency were required to produce the perfect shot. Thanks to the ever-rising quality of camera phones (we’re looking at you portrait mode) and photo editing options available on the app store, it’s never been easier to create an insta-worthy image.

Whether you’re after simple editing tools, fancy filters or a way to up your Instagram Stories game – we’ve pulled together some of our favourite free photo-editing apps.


Free to download with optional in-app purchases, VSCO is one of the most popular photo editing apps; and rightly so! The free version gives you access to the basic VSCO preset filters, standard editing tools such as contrast, white balance, saturation etc. and the opportunity to explore content from other users.

We find this version is all you’ll really need, but VSCO also offer a monthly membership which, amongst other features, allows for video colouring and the complete preset library.

A Color Story

A Color Story was created in 2016 by blogging duo Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess. Similarly to VSCO, the app is free to download and comes with a selection of free filters and effects.

A handy feature includes being able to preview your images in an Instagram-style grid, allowing users to drag images around to visualise what their images will look like as a set.


Ever wondered how to achieve sleek looking Instagram Stories? Well one simple way is with the use of Unfold. This app offers a variety of Stories templates, allowing you to upload your own images, add text and edit the background colour. The app boasts a good amount of free templates, with the option to purchase further packs from just 99p.

Huji Cam

Love the look that disposable cameras can create but hate the cost of developing film? Well Huji Cam could be your answer! This handy little app lets you snap a photo and will then ‘develop’ the image in full retro disposable style, complete with date stamp and light leaks.

The app is free to download, but for £1.99 extra you can upgrade to the premium version and upload your own photos retrospectively.

Of course the list doesn’t end there. There’s Afterlight, Snapseed, the Adobe Lightroom app and, if you want to keep things simple, a good old Instagram filter.

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