Top Ten iPhone Photography Apps

One of my favorite workshops to teach, while working at Apple was about iPhone Photography Apps. In those workshops I shared my Top Ten apps. Over the years that list has changed a bit, as new apps appear and old apps leave the iTunes Store. Here is my current list of Top Ten iPhone Photography Apps.

1. On that list, year after year, has been Hipstamatic. It was one of the first "iphoneography" apps I downloaded and I still love it. It originally was a camera app, but after a gazillion requests from users, they added post shooting editing features. You can mix and match up "lenses, film, flash, and cases. The combinations are endless and range from subtle to quite dramatic. I have an ebook coming out soon called the Hipstamatic Lens/Film Guide, if you want to learn more.

2.  I have also included Diptic on my Top Ten list for years. It's a great way to make collages and tell a story with a group of photos.

3.  No list would be complete without a couple of retouching apps. For scenes, still life, flowers, etc. I use Touch Retouch. I particularly like their line tool that magically makes telephone wires disappear. That's a really handy feature when you live in Mexico and so many lines are above ground.

4.  I do not use Touch Retouch for faces. Instead I prefer using FaceTune. It is quite subtle so you can make a 60 year old face look like a well rested 50 year old instead of a wannabe 20 year old. I am not fond of getting rid of all wrinkles. I earned mine and would just like to soften them a bit.

5.  A few years ago Apple had huge Waterlogue images displayed in their stores. Waterlogue takes your photograph and turns it into a watercolor. It does one thing and it does it well. You have a number of watercolor options. My favorites are natural, vibrant and soaked for that very wet brush look.

6.  Sometimes painting and filter apps can be a bit heavy handed for me. And there is not always an option to adjust their opacity. That's why I like Image Blender. You can use this app for double exposures, layering and images within images. I use it mostly for blending an original photograph with a painted or watercolor version of the same image. It gives me complete control over how much I want of an effect.

7.  I often want to to add a quote, "Happy Birthday," or some other text to an image. I have tried quite a few font apps and my favorite is Typorama. This font doesn't just add text. It makes your words an interesting graphic design.

8.  Sometimes I want to photograph at a time of day when the light is just plain old boring. To add some interest to light, I like to use the Mextures app. I have saved many a landscape image, that I probably would have deleted without this app.

9.  iColoramaS is one of those apps that has a steep learning curve. It transforms your photographs into collages and paintings. The artistic possibilities are unlimited. There are entire websites and FaceBook pages dedicated to iColoramaS. I have barely covered the surface of iColoramaS and can't wait to go deeper.

10. The app for my number 10 spot was difficult to choose. There are a number of other apps that I really like and use quite often, however I finally decided on ColorStory. It just has some great filters.

Runner Ups for my Top Ten...


  1. The answer to the question I wanted to ask was answered with #7.
    Miss you.

  2. How do I use Instagram on iPhone 5? When I want to take a pic, it takes time to turn on phone, find camera, and set shoot. Can it be done faster with another way? Thanks, Maxine

    1. When was the last time you updated your operating system? Go to settings-general to check.

  3. I like to creat books from trips with photos and LOTS of text. I've used Blurb in the past but it's not as friendly to taking text from a blog. Any suggestions for alternatives? I'm headed to SMA - do you offer classes?