When it comes to photo apps, you have a numerous amount to choose from – this is a good and bad thing.

A couple years back, I had so many photo apps on my iPhone that it was hard to keep track of all of them. My reason for downloading them was either because I read how great they were or because someone I knew recommended it. Here’s the reality, having all those apps were unnecessary and in most cases, redundant. Since then, I’ve narrowed my photo apps down to a five. Each has their own strengths and for me, they work perfectly.

Although I recommend the following photo apps, be advised that this list is neither definitive or for everyone; however, if you’re looking for five solid photo apps, these will work just fine.

My Top Five Photo Apps

1. Snapseed

Best photo apps for OS and Android, flying over a city in California, photographed by Northeast Ohio artists, and photographer, DeShawn Scott

Snapseed: An extremely powerful photo app, Snapseed is my choice for fine-tuning images. Just recently, Google added Curves within the app for greater editing power. Although I don’t use them much, Snapseed also has some cool filters to choose from such as HDR Scape, Drama, and Retrolux – be careful not to go overboard using them.

2. VSCO Cam

Best photo apps for OS and Android, industrial area in Warren, Ohio, Photographed by Northeast Ohio artist, and photographer, DeShawn Scott

VSCO Cam: This is my favorite photo app – I’ve used it for about three years. VSCO Cam offers several film-like presets, my favorite is the Analog Classic (K1-K3). The preset collections they offer include – The Essence/Archetype, The Alchemy Collection, New Modern, and the Aesthetic Series etc. As a user of VSCO Cam, you’ll also get updates for free collaboration presets from people like Ta-ku or companies like Nike. Within the application, you can also use the camera and/or do basic image touch-ups. Another feature I like in this photo app is having the ability to export images in a small or medium size (depending on your camera’s native file size). Lastly, if you’re into photo communities, VSCO is up there with the best. *UPDATE: VSCO now offers a $20 a year subscription for all their presets & exclusive offers – I subscribed. 

3. Camera+

Best photo apps for OS and Android, photographed by Northeast Ohio based artist, and photographer DeShawn Scott

Camera+: Although you can make photo adjustments using Camera+, I solely use this application to take photographs because of the manual controls. In fact, the featured image for this blog post was created using this photo app. Those of you with the iPhone 7/Plus (not sure with other phones), you already have some great manual features baked into your phone. For those of us using the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6S, this app works great.

4. Mextures

Best photo apps for OS and Android, Love + Lust, Photographed by Northeast Ohio artist and Photographer, DeShawn Scott

Mextures: Anytime I want to add a “creative touch” to my photographs, this is my go-to photo app. Mextures offers two categories to enhance your photographs, Textures, and Formulas. Within Textures, you’ll find a plethora of film grains, light leaks, and gradients. In Formulas, you have choices with names like Destroyed Film, Anomaly, and Outfitter. In addition, there’s a section called “Guest Formulas” that features presets by artists worldwide. With Textures and Formulas, you can tweak them to your liking. Making adjustments to exposure, contrast, color temperature, and other areas are easily done within the app, as well. If you like film preset options, Mextures has lots to choose from – whether or not the presets are exact is up for debate but they’re cool to use. Lastly, within the app, you can purchase additional bundled textures, and formulas… my favorite is the X-film bundle.

5. Glitche’

Woman in rabbit mask, photographed by Northeast Ohio artist, and photographer, DeShawn Scott. Photo app used, Glitche'

Glitche’: The makers of this app define it as, “A modern photo app that destroys photos.” For those of us who occasionally like to take our photographs in another artistic direction, this is definitely the photo app. Glitche’ isn’t about adding saturation or HDR effects; it’s about manipulating your photo into an expressive work of art. You’ll find effects such as PXLGRID, LCD, Invert, or Water (my favorite). The app is fun to use and you’ll spend a lot of time messing around with it.

I’m sure you have some favorite apps as well. For me, these five are all I really need when creating and sharing mobile photos. Feel free to comment below about your favorite mobile photo apps… I’d love to check them out. If you primarily hang out on Instagram, look me up.

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