10 Top Instagram Photo Apps

If you’ve discovered the joy of Instagram already, beware… reading this post will blow your instagram lovin’ mind! If you’ve yet to discover one of the most popular photo apps on iPhone and Android this post may change your life…

Top Ten Instagram Photo Apps copy

design elements source /// rhonna designs insta lovin’ bundle 1 & 2

I have been bitten by the Instagram bug pretty hard. I love the idea of capturing life in fun little photos randomly throughout the day.  You can do as much or as little as you want. There are no rules.

Some people participate in fun photo a day challenges like the Photo a Day challenge from Fat Mum Slim. Or smaller challenges like the one I’m doing right now called Project Lipstick from Fresh Mommy Blog by Tabitha Blue.  This challenge is only for a week. I tend to have commitment issues, so the week long challenge is a little better for me.

What I’ve really fallen in love with is the creative side of Instagram. There are hundreds of other photo apps that help you enhance your photos above what you can already do with Instagram.  Some apps even have a bit of a digital scrapbook feel which I like. I have people asking me all the time what apps I use, so I thought I would list my 10 favorite. I’m going to start with #10 and then work my way up to the ones I use the most, all they way up to my all time favorite #1.

Now keep in mind… I use an iPhone so all of the apps are from the Apple App Store. I’m not sure of the availability in other formats.

Ten copy

Cuptakes /// $.99

Cuptakes is actually an app that has a library of wallpapers for your iphone.  What I have done with Cuptakes is create a screen shot of all the wallpapers that I like and then keep it in a separate album in my photo section. Then when I need a fun background for a photo collage I can find one there.  Here is a screen shot from my album…

Pros /// Fun colorful designs that are updated monthly.

Cons /// You can’t directly use in a photo app.


Nine copy

Label Box /// Free*

Label Box is a fun way to add a “washi tape” effect to your Instagram photos. I use it a bit, when I have a picture that I would like to add a little flair to. 

Pros /// Label Box has some super cute labels that you can dress your pictures up with.

Cons /// You have to *pay for premium labels {which of course are the ones you want} and it’s $.99 for a set of four. I ended up paying $3.00 for mine. I’m not in love with the fonts selection that they have so I generally leave the tapes blank and add the lettering in another app.

Here is a sample of what you can create with Label Box…


Eight copy

Picfx /// $1.99

Picfx is a fun and easy to use app where you can play with all kinds of effects with you photos. You can change the colors, create a vintage look, black & white… My favorite effects are all the fun effects that play with light in your photo called bokeh effects.  Picfx has some that are fabulous and not too intrusive to the photo.

Pros /// Several different effects for adding that creative touch to your photos.  I especially love the Light Set. This app is easy to use and easy to understand. Even beginners can pick this one up.

Cons /// Can’t really think of any, love it.

Here is a shot that I enhanced with the Light Set from Picfx. It was enhanced with a couple of other apps, but it shows off the bokeh that I was talking about…


Seven copy

Cuptakes Frames /// $1.99

Cuptakes Frames is created by the same crew that created Cuptakes. This app however, let’s you place one of your photos from your camera roll with in the frames that they have created to use as your wallpaper on your phone.

Pros /// Fun and stylish frames that are updated every month with several new frame options.

Cons /// The frames are lovely, but you can’t do anything else with the photo and you have no ability to change the photo window size.

Here is a photo that I inserted into a Cuptakes Frame. The collage aspect is from another app…


Six copy

Lens Light /// $.99

Lens Light is another fun way to play with light in your photos. You can add that ever popular bokeh, or fun light leaks, stars or hearts to your photos. You could sit and play with this fun app for quite awhile. 

Pros /// So many different options for light play with you photos, I LOVE it!!

Cons /// It’s a little more advanced that the Picfx but easy enough to learn. You just have to play around with it a bit before you find your groove. Totally worth it though.

Here is a photo that I used the Lens Light app with. The lettering is from another app…


Five copy

Bubble Frame /// $.99

Bubble Frame is one of my favorites!  It’s relatively new to the photo app game, but has become super popular pretty fast.  This app allows you to create photo bubbles, if you will.  You create a fun background and then create bubbles for your photos. I use this app a ton and I ADORE it!!

Pros /// So many fun, creative options with you photos… I LOVE this app!!

Cons /// It’s early in the life of the app so the selection is a little small, but they are working hard to build their design options.  The release that will be coming out soon has some fabulous designs from Miss Whippy Cake herself!!

I am going to give you two different photos of mine that I have used Bubble Frame with, just so I can show the versatility…

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Four copy

Camera+ /// $.99

Camera+ is hands down the first place I go to enhance my photos.  This is the app that helps you to brighten your photos and help to crisp them up a bit. Plus they have some photo effect options.  I don’t really use the camera part of the app, just the light room portion mostly. I’m just used to the regular camera that came with my phone. This is one of those apps that can take a ho-hum pic and create a stunning photo.

Pros /// This is a powerful app that can help enhance your photo library. Totally worth the money, love this app!

Cons /// It’s a little more challenging and will take some time to get the hang of, but totally worth it!!

Here are two versions of the same photo, the one on the left is enhanced with only the Clarity function in Camera+.  It can take the dull photo on the right and make it amazing!!


Three copy

Insta Lovin’ /// Starts at $6.00 

Here we are getting down to my absolute FAVORITES!!! Here is another newbie to the block, but I know will make some MAJOR waves in the Instagram world.

InstaLovin’ from Rhonna Designs is the bread to my butter. This is not an app that you would buy on your phone.  It is a series of digital design kits that you purchase on your computer and then add them to your phone through iTunes and the Photo app. This my friends is going to change the face of Instagram as we know it.

Pros /// You can create some of the most stunning pieces of digital art, just on your phone. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these digital kits. I can’t say it enough.

Cons /// It does take a bit to load onto your phone, but you can figure it out with some great video tutorials that you receive when you purchase the kit.  They are a little pricier, but worth the money.

I’m going to show off four of my favorite pics that I have used Rhonna’s Insta Lovin’ designs on.  Also, all of the design elements on this post are from the Insta Lovin’ bundles… Isn’t that cool, you can use them with all of your digital designs, not just on your phone.  Almost all of the images come in a png format, and brush format {for use in PSE or PS} and a TTF {True Type Font or ding bat} the TTF is what you will use on your phone.

As with most of my photos, I’ve used several different apps so for this example you are just looking at the digital design elements, not the backgrounds or bubbles and such…

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Two copy

Phonto /// Free

Phonto is another super fav…The minute saw someone put writing on one of their Instagram pics, I knew I needed to figure out how.  Phonto is by far my favorite typography app, plus you can use the Insta Lovin’ digital designs with it. You can easily add text to any of your photos.

Pros /// SUPER easy to use and a fabulous library of fonts to choose from, plus you can add your own True Type Fonts if you would like. LOVE it!!

Cons /// I don’t really have any at all!!

You’ve seen some of my photos already with text added to it, but here’s one more just for good measure…



Fuzel Pro /// $1.99

Fuzel Pro is I think hands down my favorite app right now for use with Instagram. This app takes the idea of creating photo collages and bumps it up SEVERAL notches.  You can use their collages, or you have a cutting tool that you can cut and slice away to create a piece of Instagram art out of your photos.

Pros /// The app is so well designed, the user interface is clean, stylish and easy to navigate. You have so many options with this app, you never feel like your hands are tied.  I ADORE this app, and will never need to look for another frame app ever again. This one is too powerful to even waste my time or money.

Cons /// I don’t really have any, I LOVE it!!

Here are some examples of what I’ve created with Fuzel Pro…

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So there you have it… My top ten favorite apps for Instagram. What are some of yours? I would LOVE to follow you guys on Instagram. Leave a comment here with your user name and I will look ya up… You can follow me at WhipperBerry or just click here to follow me via Followgram.

Heather copy


  1. says

    Awesome list! I’ve just obtained an i-phone so am just discovering the joys of instagram (which I already love) but I’ve now added phonto too! Thanks!

  2. says

    LOVE this round-up, Heather! I have an Android, so I can’t get most of these (boo!), but I’ve bookmarked them so, hopefully, when Android catches up I can get them…;) I’ve been tossing around getting Rhonna’s fonts for weeks now…you’ve convinced me…I’m diving in…;)

    You are awesome!!!

  3. Heather Johnson says

    LOVE this post. Heading off to invest a few dollars in some new apps. Thanks for all the fun info. I have recently caught the Instagram bug too. You can follow me @familyvolley.

  4. says

    Loved your list – have a little App shopping. Another one that Jenny @Picky Palate introduced me to is Pro HDR – I use it a lot.

  5. says

    What a great article! You listedany of my favorites and many I’ve never heard of. I also like line camera:) my username is @amandachalae and I’d love for you to follow me!

  6. Dawn M says

    Great list of apps! I have a couple of them already and love them. First question is about the digital ones. How much room do they take on your phone? I am loving them and want to try them. Second question has to do with the iPad. I had my phone first and when I got my iPad I wanted to put instagram on the iPad but it isn’t made for the iPad, so it’s very small and I took it off. So did I miss something somewhere or did you just use it in the small format on your iPad? my user name on instagram is winkasheart.

    • says

      Yea dawn, I just used the small version on the ipad. As for the space that the digital art takes up on the phone… I will have to check, I’m not sure.

  7. says

    I was so dang excited when they came out with Instagram for Android phones. I was at the point where I almost spent the money on an iPhone, just for the Instagram. lol. Thanks for sharing these! I am going to check and see if I can get any on my phone. My Instagram username is ANelson726

  8. Kristi says

    Loved all of these ideas and have already downloaded two of them. I am sure I will do more soon!! I am going to follow you and my instagram name is kristijrn!!!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for sharing… I had never heard of some of the app’s you listed.. Love them!!
    You can follow me on instagram my screen name is corinda2000

  10. Leasa says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I follow you on Instagram and was wondering what you used to create all your awesome photos. I have already downloaded Labelbox before reading this post and now will have to look into some of these other apps. Again, thank you so much for this post. I love your blog and your Instagram feeds.

  11. says

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for an app like Phonto for a long time. Love it even more that it turns out to be free! My sister and I have recently become obsessed with Instagram, so I had to immediately call her up and tell her about your post. Again, thank you Heather. (And I’m thehappytulip on Instagram)


      • Lorie says

        I thought that’s what you did but wasn’t sure!! U have a lot to learn, I love how you did the font on the pic of your son, so is different styles and over lapping I have to figure that our!! Thanks so much I love this lost and your blog I DL all of these photo apps…hehehe

  12. says

    wow! thanks so much for this awesome post! i just started following you on instagram. I just added phonto and look forward to playing with it. =) you can follow me at mcpattys. =)

  13. julie says

    Thanks for the info but unfortunately my phone is not that smart to add any thing. Thanks for sharing, God bless.

  14. says

    You have managed to combine my fave passions – photography, instagram, digital scrapbooking and my iPhone!

    I have created a few collages and added text but excited to try something more now :-)

    I’m janmary on Instagram

  15. Jen D says

    Totally love your list!! Thanks for sharing! I’m an Instagram addict and 2 other photo apps I recommend are Line Camera & Snapster. Line Camera is free and I love using the bokeh heart effects; Snapster has a small price (? $1.99) but I definitely love using the Pop filters to my photos for a rainbow effect!! My name is @jendcnguyen on Instagram!!

  16. says

    Camera+ was the first photo app I purchased and a clear favorite. I always take my photos with it’s camera, I feel like they turn out a lot better than my regular camera pics (But I have a iphone3, the camera is just crappy). My other lightroom-esque app I use is CP Pro, another powerful editing program. Great list!

  17. says

    I use all of these except for the last 2 but I am on my way to get both! What an awesome list! Another tip I have is not about an app but about instagram itself. If you look at the pages you admire the most wht do you see? Usually a very clean coordinated look. If that is what you are after limit yourself to using only one filter or no filter for every image and you will begin to see your feed looking just how you want it! You can find my personal IG @lvjaybe :)

  18. says

    Came here by way of Rhonna’s blog…she enticd me saying you used an Android…but alas…no. Great post anyhow. Thanks so much.

  19. says

    I saw this pinned on Pinterest and after 3 minutes I can say that Bubble Frame is my new favourite app everrrrrr.
    I’m already a fan of Lens Light, Camera+ and Label Box and another one I love is VSCO CAM, I love the faded b&w’s you can get with it :D
    I’m off to follow you now :) I’m @michelle_kennedy on there :D

  20. says

    awesome post ~ thanks so much for sharing!
    i’m cindylitwin on instagram … i’m already following YOU! {{ love your feed ~ so fUn! }}

  21. Lisa says

    Heather, LOVE all your suggestions!! Already had some and you showed me some new favs! Is there a way to use the Cuptakes wallpapers for a photo wallpaper, and if so, which app do you use for that?


  22. Karen says

    I love instagram and am totally addicted! I had some of these apps but will enjoy checking the others out. My name on instagram is klhuyler.

  23. Hilary says

    So…I LOVE instagram but is there any way to download them to a computer or keep them? I am new to instagram…Thanks

  24. Hilary says

    This might post twice…sorry…is there anyway to keep or download your instagram pics to your computer??

  25. says

    I pinned this when you first posted it and just barely got a fun toy that I can actually get on instagram with woohoo! Thanks a ton. I’m a instagram newborn but I’m over @raegunramblings thanks for giving me a place to start with all the fun editing

    rae gun ramblings

  26. Tina says

    Great list! Camera + is one of my favorites too especially “clarify”! I’m also obsessed with Picframe. It’s a scrapbooking/collage app. Oh, and Picfx has a ton of picture enhancing features!

  27. says

    Okay so I just got in on the iPhone today! And of course after I got it all set up my first thought was “i remember a cool photo app post on whipper berry!” Can’t wait to try out these apps! THANKS!

  28. Norma says

    Thank you for this! :) I too have been bitten by the instagram bug! All of these apps sound great I am on my way to invest in a few. I’ll have to put a hold on Rhonna designs (I am in love!!) You are awesome Whipperberry!

  29. EmilyV says

    Just found your blog and downloaded a couple of these apps, can’t wait to start trying them out. My name on istagram is kasavv. Thanks again

  30. says

    No mention of Filterstorm? It may be a little more pro than your average photo app, and it’s definitely not a frame app, but it’s the kind of robust photo editing we expect from something like photoshop. It maintains an entire history from the moment an image was opened so you can at any point go backwards in the timeline and has the important adjustments–curves, levels, sharpening, text, HDR (mimicking), etc., etc., as well as being able to mask for specific edits and paint them in or out. I LOVE this app. Most of the time it’s a one stop shop–I don’t do pre-made filters much, so customizing on a per image basis always seems perfect to me. I usually describe it as Aperture for your iPhone.

  31. katie says

    Don’t forget Smilebox, the iPhone app is really cool and lets you frame and make do scrapbooking and the move it to instagram. Tons of options. Have a look.

  32. says

    i have never heard of FuzelPro before…thanks for this will check     <a href=http://techieetweet.blogspot.com/2013/05/five-free-apps-to-enhance-photos-of.html>FIVE FREE APPS TO ENHANCE PHOTOS OF INSTAGRAM</a>

  33. says

    wow i found some more apps this is interesting thanks for this help…
    <a href=http://techieetweet.blogspot.com/2013/05/five-free-apps-to-enhance-photos-of.html>FIVE FREE APPS TO ENHANCE PHOTOS OF INSTAGRAM</a>




  1. […] Wow all i can say is love them! Idea is here: Pedestal Photo Frames My FAVORITE online shopping place. They have new deals everyday and the prices are the best for most things out there. Check it out, your will get addicted. Website: Groopdealz How come i never thought of this? I have tons of ribbon and its just in a crazy mess. Idea from: Organize Your Ribbon My mission companion use to make these. Wow they are amazing and melt in your mouth. This is a very similar to her recipe and have the hubbies approval. Recipe here: Almond Bars When i saw these ideas i was so sad that i switch from my iphone to the galaxy S3 since not all of them are avaliable yet for my phone. Hopefully they come up with some Android versions soon cause these are the best photo editing apps i have seen. Find the list here: Instagram Apps […]

  2. […] Wow all i can say is love them! Idea is here: Pedestal Photo Frames My FAVORITE online shopping place. They have new deals everyday and the prices are the best for most things out there. Check it out, your will get addicted. Website: Groopdealz How come i never thought of this? I have tons of ribbon and its just in a crazy mess. Idea from: Organize Your Ribbon My mission companion use to make these. Wow they are amazing and melt in your mouth. This is a very similar to her recipe and have the hubbies approval. Recipe here: Almond Bars When i saw these ideas i was so sad that i switch from my iphone to the galaxy S3 since not all of them are avaliable yet for my phone. Hopefully they come up with some Android versions soon cause these are the best photo editing apps i have seen. Find the list here: Instagram Apps […]

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