A strong social media presence is crucial in today’s digital world. However, posting just anything on your accounts is not enough. A profile filled with low-quality photos will displease your consumers and could even hurt your credibility as a brand.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a trained photographer with expensive equipment to improve your photo editing skills – all you need is a smartphone or device with a decent camera and some of these great (and affordable) photo editing apps.
Photo editing apps enable you to modify photos so they appear higher-quality. You can use photo editing apps to watermark your photos, adjust their contrast and brightness, or otherwise improve your photos’ quality. With the features included in most photo editing apps, you can elevate a dark, unexciting photo into the highlight of your social media page or marketing campaign.
Below are the 12 best photo editing apps for business.
Best app for: Filters
VSCO – or Visual Supply Company – is one of the most popular photo editing apps out there. Small businesses can use the platform, which lets users create a profile and share photos, much like a social media platform, to increase their online presence.
This app provides a great selection of filters and basic editing capabilities such as exposure, contrast, saturation, temperature and fade. The editing control allows you to transform photos into engaging content.
On top of that the VSCO community provides users with a marketplace of ideas. You can follow other users and plan content that reflects major photo trends. VSCO is available for both iOS and Android, and it syncs across multiple devices, so you can edit photos from anywhere. VSCO’s free version includes 10 presets, basic editing tools, and the ability to explore other photos and share photos.
To upgrade, you can pay $7.99 per month or $29.99 per year for a VSCO membership, which includes more than 200 presets, advanced editing tools, and inspiring tips and tricks.
Best app for: Retouching
One of the main highlights of TouchRetouch is its ability to remove unwanted items from your photos. Nearly everyone has experienced this: You line up the perfect shot and snap the photo, only to see a trash can or group of people in frame. You can use TouchRetouch to remove these objects, presenting the subject of your shot the way you want it to look
With TouchRetouch, you can remove unwanted elements like shadows, people, buildings, wires and spots in the sky. The app is easy to navigate; simply highlight an area with your finger and tap Go. You can also use this app to perfect other elements of your photos. Use the clone stamp tool to fill in any gaps, duplicate elements or match backgrounds. The app also comes with some tutorials so you can learn how to use the program and understand different guidelines for photo editing. TouchRetouch is available on both Android and iOS for $3.99.
Best app for: Precise editing for beginners
Snapseed is a Google product with more than 25 tools and filters for editing photos, including healing, brush, HDR and perspective. These tools give you the power of precise editing to create professional-looking photos. The brush tool, for example, can be used to edit a specific object or area of a photo instead of the entire frame.
You can also save your favorite filters and automatically apply them to later photos, which allows for quick editing on similar photos for your small business. Other tools and features include cropping, rotating, tuning and creating double-exposure photos, which blend two images so you can choose and edit blend modes. Snapseed is a free service available on Android and iOS.
Where many photo editing apps hide their best features behind a paywall, full access to the Snapseed platform is free.
Best app for: Creative business owners
Mextures Photo Editor allows you to apply textures, light leaks and gradients to your images. It has a nondestructive workflow, so you can adjust and edit photos at any stage of the editing process and not worry about your file’s quality diminishing. Mextures is ideal for creative business owners looking to create engaging, heavily edited photos. The app’s robust services include more than 150 textures, the ability to stack infinite filter layers, and standard editing tools such as exposure, contrast and tint.
You can save and edit your own formulas, so it’s easy to apply the same mixture of adjustments to multiple photos. Mextures is available for $1.99 on iTunes, but some in-app purchases are required to use certain features.
Best app for: Adding text to photos
Adobe Photoshop Express is the mobile version of Photoshop, Adobe’s flagship photo editing software. Unlike Photoshop, Express is a free service. In addition to standard editing and photo adjustment features like cropping, auto-fixing and brush tools, Photoshop Express offers tools to add text to images. This feature allows you to overlay text on your images so you can create memes, issue announcements, or include company information on your photos.
Photoshop Express also lets you edit photos in raw formats and resize and blend images. It is available on both iOS and Android devices for free.
Best app for: Shooting and editing
Camera+ is ideal for business owners looking to shoot and edit photos in one complete program. It provides a few advanced shooting modes, like stabilization for capturing sharp photos and burst for taking rapid action shots. After you’ve taken a photo using Camera+, you can edit it directly in the app.
The program includes basic editing functions – like cropping, adding borders and applying captions – and more advanced features, like clarity, scene modes and lightbox. The clarity tool analyzes and enhances your photos, while you can use scene modes and lightbox to capture photos in the right light and select which ones to keep and which to delete immediately after taking them.
Camera+ has built-in social media integrations, so you can quickly upload a photo to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. It also syncs with iCloud, so you can use Camera+ to edit photos on any iOS device. Camera+ is available for $4.99.
Best app for: Blending and overlaying images
Price: $0.99 or $1.99
Superimpose is ideal for business owners looking to create professional-grade photos that overlay and blend together multiple images. You can easily blend two images, smooth out edges, add masks or mask out different portions of an image, and adjust the color, exposure, contrast or saturation of both images. This app includes moving, scaling, resizing, rotating and flipping tools as well.
This app is a simpler, mobile-friendly alternative to working with layers in Adobe’s Photoshop – you can easily superimpose an image on another, and make adjustments on the fly without advanced knowledge of masks or image blending. This app’s focus is blending images, but it provides tools to edit existing photos as well. Superimpose is available on iOS devices for $1.99 and on Android devices for $0.99.
Best app for: Color pop
With more than 7 million installs, A Color Story is another popular photo editing application. This app is perfect for business owners hoping to create fresh photos and videos with colors that pop. Along with basic editing functions such as cropping, A Color Story has more than 500 filters available. Once you finish editing your photo, you can save it to a grid and start to edit others, helping you create a cohesive photo grid for social media.
While many of the filters and features are free to use, there are also filter packs available for in-app purchasing. A Color Story is available on iOS and Android devices.
Best app for: Precise fine-tuning
Adobe Lightroom Photo & Video Editor is a great application for both beginners and advanced users. You can use one-tap presets that automatically enhance your photos, or manually adjust details like exposure, color and curves. The user interface is simple and easy to get used to, so you won’t waste time learning how to use the program.
This app is available for free on iOS and Android. If you want access to premium features, there is a subscription fee that starts at $1.99 per month.
Best app for: Enhancing photos with lens flares
LD – Premium Content Creator is a photo editing app that allows you to add typography and color grades to your pictures. You can add dynamic light rays, portrait layers and atmospheric textures as well.
This app is especially useful for advertisements or creative projects. If you want a dramatic yet natural look that doesn’t appear overly edited, this is the program for you. You can turn a simple photo into a cinematic experience with the use of light and other effects. The app is available on iOS and Android. It’s free, but the unlimited version costs $2.99 monthly or $23.99 annually.
Best app for: Old-school photos
Afterlight is suitable for both new and advanced photo editors. Users with advanced skills can use its tools to change curves, selective hues and saturation, and tone. Other tools include the option to add overlays, frames, artwork and text. Photo editing basics, such as typical color, exposure, sharpness and crop tools are also included. Beginners can benefit from Afterlight’s regularly updated selection of filters as well.
Afterlight is available on iOS and Android devices. The app is free, but its premium features cost $2.99 for a monthly subscription, $17.99 for a yearly subscription or $35.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Best app for: Batch processing
Darkroom is a great option for editing multiple photos at once. The app allows you to create Siri shortcuts, edit RAW or live photos, manage hashtags related to your photos, and sync your entire photo album. You also get a ton of filters to choose from and can even create your own. If you’re feeling uninspired, Darkroom can choose frames for your photos based on the color scheme and other elements.
The application is only available on iOS. You can use the free version or pay $4.99 for a monthly subscription or $29.99 for a yearly one.
Photo editing apps offer the following small business benefits.
Editing your photos can improve your social media presence and marketing campaigns. Using condensed photos on your website can also decrease its load time and keep customers on the page. When so many photo editing apps include free introductory tiers, why not at least try one out for yourself?
Saige Driver, Sara Angeles and Matt D’Angelo contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.