Hi everyone! Sarah here again. When last I left you, we were discussing taking photos with whatever camera we have handy. These days, for me (and I’m sure many others), it’s my cell phone camera. It sure makes things convenient to be able to upload immediately and share with friends & family. My cell phone is something that I always happen to have with me. And as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you!

If you’re like me, sometimes you want to get creative with your photos, even the ones you take with your camera phone. Well it’s easy with Apps. Apps are relatively easy to use and even a novice can be an artist when using these handy little tools. But which app should you use? There are many and it can be overwhelming if you’ve never dipped into the photo app foray. I’ve read many blogs, talked to friends & family and based on my own experience have compiled a list of apps for you to get started. So let’s discuss shall we?

There are apps only available to iPhone users and only apps available to Android and then there are some that work on both systems. Below are categorized lists for each.

Apps for both systems:

Instagram – This is a free app that adds fun filters & frames to your photos and was just recently added to the Android catalogue of apps. You can use this app as the camera or take photos from your gallery and manipulate them. Then share them on your Instagram account or Facebook or Twitter or any of your linked social media sites. I LOVE Instagram and use it almost everyday!

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Adobe Photoshop ExpressAndroid or iPhone: A free app that offers a few photoshop features for photo editing. It offers In-App purchasing of bonus packs of enhanced features. Personally I find this app limiting, but if you’re wanting quick editing that’s slightly more advanced than your camera’s default editor this may be for you.

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Retro CameraAndroid or iPhone: This is a free app that has several different camera types & filters and as the name suggests adds a “retro” look to your photos. I find this to be a fun app to use when you’re wanting to experiment.

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Pudding CameraAndroid or iPhone: Another free app like Retro camera that offers different camera/lens types and filters to enhance the look of your photos. It has a feature to upload directly to your social media sites right from the app. It’s another fun app to use when you’re wanting to play around.

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Photo ShakeAndroid or iPhone: Use this app to create photo collages of your photos and then post them to your social media sites. These are fun when you’ve got several photos you want to showcase but don’t want to spam your own Facebook wall! And best of all…it’s FREE!

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Android camera/photo Apps:

(I personally own & use a Samsung Galaxy S2 even though I’m usually a hardcore Applephile and almost bought an iPhone 4S. I was afraid the apps would be limited with an Android but was surprised to find they weren’t bad. The Android market still has a lot of catching up to do with Apple but I think they are well on their way. And since Androids now make up half the cell phone market you can be sure this list will be ever-improving in the months to come.)

Camera 360 – Next to Instagram this is probably my favorite photo app. I really enjoy the effects and the user interface. You can’t go wrong with this app on Android.

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Pixlr-o-matic – If you like to add a vintage look to your photos then this app is for you. Much like retro camera, it has more vintage filters for your photos. There are color overlays and lighting effects and even frames.

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Daily Photo or 365 Photo – Are you working on a Project 365? Well these apps help you keep track of your daily photos. Developers say that upcoming updates will include daily reminders & widgets to keep you on top of your Project 365!

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PicsArt Photo Studio – This app includes a photo editor, special effects, drawing, doodles, frames, stickers & clipart. I find this to be more for the silly side of photo taking or when you want to send friends & family cute picture mail!

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QuickPic – A no muss no fuss photo gallery that’s super easy to use and is more visually stimulating that the standard photo gallery that comes with your phone.

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PhotoGrid – Another app dedicated to creating collages of all your camera phone photos! It offers a few varying layouts & designs slightly different than Photo Shake.

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Camera ZoomFX – The only paid app on the list at $2.99, it’s almost like having the controls of a typical P&S camera. It has many of the features of the other apps all rolled into one. With over a million downloads, it’s pretty popular.

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iPhone camera/photo Apps:

Camera + – From everything I’ve read & what users have told me, this is the best photo app out there. Currently it’s being sold for $0.99 (on sale), a bargain for all that it does. There are lots of great editing options and it’s heralded as an app that makes photos look like they were taken with a fancy dSLR. I personally wish they’d make this one for Android so I could try it out for myself. It looks like a great app.

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Photo 365 – Like it’s Android cousin, Photo 365 helps you keep track of your Project 365 photos, by cataloguing them for you and making them easy to view & share. Cost is $0.99.

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Snapseed – Currently only available for iPhone, a version for Android will be coming soon. With this app you can add grunge textures or vintage filters or even boost the color and add drama to your photos. It seems like a high quality photo editing app but a bit pricey at $4.99.

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Notica – This app lets you attach notes to your photos. So if you’re working on a Project 365/52 or just scrapbooking daily life/Project Life photos, this app will help you not only capture the photo but do a little journaling too! I wish this was available for Android as well! Cost $1.99.

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Hipstamatic – Much like Instagram, it adds filters & frames but you can also choose different “lenses” & “flashes” when taking your photos. And also like Instagram, you upload to it’s own site as well as your social media sites if you want. Cost $1.99.

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Dynamic Light – Want to create HDR images with your camera phone? Well this app can let you achieve it very simply. Their sample images are stunning and I wish Android had an HDR app this good. Cost $0.99.

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TouchRetouch – Use this app to remove unwanted objects in your photos. The results are pretty amazing. Cost $0.99. There is a free version but all images will be watermarked with their logo.

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There are many apps out there and many offer the same sort of features. It’s up to you to decide which ones you like and work best for what you like to do. These listed are just a few of my personal faves.

Which ones are your go to photo/camera apps? Let us know!

Sarah Harbuck is a freelance photographer in the East Texas area specializing in artistic portraiture. “Like” her on Facebook: AMZphotoartdesign or contact her at sarah@amzphoto.com for information.

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