In a world where your worth is measured by the amount of digital hearts under your Instagram posts, keeping abreast of all the latest ways to improve your images is no bad thing.
As Business Insider wrote:
"Even Instagram's preset filters feel passé. A regular 'grammer can spot Valencia a mile away."
But many people are put off editing their photos as they don't have a clue what brightness, exposure or contrast actually mean. Luckily, it turns out you don't need to know a lot to make your pictures look professional. Here are some of the best handy websites and apps that will do the work for you.
1 | Afterlight
Although it will cost you 79p, Afterlight has a 74 filters plus a huge amount of textures, adjustments and photo-editing tools. It also boasts 128 'simplistic and adjustable frames' which means more time staring at your phone, but much prettier results. The app also has a really intuitive user interface with everything you need easily labelled. Insta glory has never been so easy.
2 | VSCO Cam
The free iPhone app VSCO is what all the achingly cool hipsters use to make their snaps of Berlin looking so fresh but vintage, ja? VSCO allows you to easily lighten images without losing their focus and comes with a large selection of free filters and even more you can buy if needed for your brunch masterpiece. One word of warning: the minimal design and lack of names for functions means VSCO Cam takes some figuring out - unless you read the online instructions, which of course you won't.
3 | Boomerang
The video app from Instagram creates mini videos that replay on a constant loop with fairly captivating results. You can add filters and cut them to perfection. The more dramatic loops work the best on Boomerang, so anything that burst, breaks, falls, or happens at speed will impress your followers no end.
4 | Phonto
Putting words over your uploads can often look a little '12-year-old girl on Snapchat', but free app Phonto have found how to do this really well with over 400 stylish font choices. You can also add text inside thought bubbles or placards and there are tonnes of pre-designed stickers which can be added creatively into your shot.
5 | BLACK
BLACK is a free photo editing app that will bring your monochrome images to another level. Compared to Instagram's 3 black and white filters, here you have 10. Plus you can play with vignette, shadows and control the tones and contrast of the photo with the professional Curves tool.
6 | Whitagram
Some of the best Instagram accounts are curated thinking of the feed as a whole not just individual uploads. To master this look, no further than free app Whitagram. Upload images onto the app and place them onto a white background where you can play around with their sizing and position.
7 | Pic Stitch
Pic Stitch lets you easily combine multiple photos onto one image, ideal for when you take too many pictures one weekend and don't want to bore everyone to death by uploading them one by one. On the free app you can even combine videos into collages, choose from 245 different layouts, 15 different photo aspect ratios and - if you're feeling particularly expressive - add music.
8 | Prisma
This new free photo manipulation app boasts nearly 11million iOS downloads and is now available on Android too. Instead of applying a filter over the top of images like Instagram does, Prisma rebuilds your photos by combining them with the style of another image, often the style of a classical painting to turn your 'grams into a work of art.