Mobile Photography - How to Edit Like a Pro

 

I’m a big believer in the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you. DSLR cameras are big and heavy. Even I don’t carry mine around everywhere! Cell phone cameras are high quality these days. You can take excellent photos with them and capture all the memories and moments without fiddling with settings or lugging around a heavy piece of equipment. Just this past weekend I only used my iPhone on a trip to a museum in Wiesbaden. Photos with a phone are quick and non-intrusive and it slides away easily so you can get back to participating in the moment.

Our day at Schloss Fredenberg. Shot with iPhone 6s and edited in VSCO.

Our day at Schloss Fredenberg. Shot with iPhone 6s and edited in VSCO.

So you’ve taken the photos. You love them but you would like to touch them up a bit. But what app do you use? Should you pay for one? How complicated are they?

Don’t worry, I’m here to show you how to edit your cell phone pics like a pro! I’ve created three videos showing you how I edit using my top three favorite apps: Pic Tap Go, VSCO, and Snapseed. I use these apps on my iPhone 6s. They are also available for android phone but there might be some slight differences on how the apps look or the functionality. I’ve never used them on an android phone so I don’t know for sure, but It might look different!

Oh and before I forget, this post is not sponsored. There are no affiliate links. Click freely!

PIC TAP GO

This app was one I found on one of my photographer online groups. One of my favorite photographers mentioned that she uses this app to edit on her iPhone so I went to check it out. It costs $2.99 and it is the only app in this article that isn’t free. But it is worth the three bucks! I really like this app. It is simple, fast, and easy to use. It isn’t fancy and I like that. Here’s my before and after:

pic tap go before and after.jpg

I used the same photo in all of my videos so you can see the difference. I tried to get similar outcomes but the creative options within each app really allow you to take the images in different directions. Pic Tap Go is clean, simple, and classic. I use it when I want to quickly edit one or two photos that have a lot of nice natural light and that don’t need a lot of post-processing. Here’s the video!

VSCO

VSCO is actually my favorite in the bunch. It’s a nice mix between the two in that it is easy to use and it offers some more robust adjustment tools than Pic Tap Go does. It doesn’t offer the most out of the three, but 99% of the time it meets my needs. There are a few more tools in VSCO which gives you more creative flexibility. VSCO is based off of film emulsions and their filters try to replicate the different film stocks you can shoot with. While Pic Tap Go provided more classic and clean filters, VSCO is a little more vintage and grainy - which matches my personal style!

Here is my before and after in VSCO:

vsco before and after.jpg

The VSCO video is a little bit longer because there are more tools to show off. Take a look! —

SNAPSEED

Snapseed is another free app which makes it awesome! It is a very robust editing tool and there are lots of features which can easily be intimidating. Snapseed gives you lots of creative freedom to create the image that you want. The workflow in the app isn’t as great at the first two which adds to the intimidation. There are some key tools in Snapseed that the others don’t have which makes me keep it around: the brush tool for selective edits and the healing tool to remove something from the photo. These aren’t perfect and if you have detailed edits you need to make to your photos, Snapseed won’t do better (or even the same) as a desktop editing tool such as Lightroom or Photoshop. It’s also my favorite for when I want to convert my photo to black and white. They just have more options to adjust the conversion which I appreciate. But it’s a very powerful tool for a mobile phone and I definitely recommend at least trying it out! It’s free so you have nothing to lose!

Here is my Snapseed before and after:

snapseed before and after.jpg

This video is pretty long because there is just so much to show you! But stick with it. I’m not that terrible to listen to!

And now you’re ready to edit those cell phone photos like a pro! The most important part in my opinion, is to just take the pictures. These moments with our kids pass by too quickly. It’s important o capture them. But it’s even more important to share the moment with them. Cell phone photography allows you to stay connected in the moment and still get that photographic momento!

And don’t forget to also get your cell phone photos printed. Chatbooks is a great tool to get those photos on social media intoa printed book that your kids can enjoy. (Ok that last Chatbooks link is an affiliate link, but it gives you $10 off your first order too!)

Share your photos that you’ve edited with these tools with me! Just tag me on your favorite social media so I can see! Or pop one in the comments below. I’d love to hear which one is your favorite or if you have a different editing app I’ve never heard about!