By Jane C
Hi, I’m Jane, and I’m a self-diagnosed Instagram addict. When I pull out my phone and take a picture, it’s not just a photo but a potential Instagram. I think of Instagram as my personal photo diary, a record of my day-to-day that I love to share with others just as much as I love to look back on it on my own from time to time. I look at it to remind myself of beach days, homemade valentines, summer ice cream cones, and bang trims gone horribly wrong. If I’m ever in a bad mood, I’ll scroll through photos of me and my friends or my pets, re-read my exceedingly witty photo captions that will never be funnier to anyone other than myself, and revel in triumph that I did not, in fact, die at Lollapalooza though I always think I will. It’s something that I put time into (haha omg Jane get a LIFE) and that I genuinely enjoy.
As much as I love the app, and seeing all your pets, cool brunch outings, and embarrassingly adorable #tbt’s, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling Instagram’s clunky one-size-fits-all filter set doesn’t always seem to fit jussst the way I’d like. Instagram is personal and each account unique! It should be fun! If you’ve ever spent minutes agonizing over which filter to choose only to resign and hit share thinking “ugh, I guess Valencia looks the best,” while even though it usually does, it doesn’t have to be this way. And that’s why I love these apps. They’ll make your Instagram totally yours.
VSCOcam – VSCOcam is a free, user-friendly multipurpose photo editor. VSCOcam comes equipped with its own set of filters like Instagram, but also allows users to edit and control basic elements like brightness, temperature, and contrast in order to get your image just right. Once you’ve finished perfecting your photo, VSCOcam makes it super easy to share it to a variety of social media networks.
GirlsCamera – Cute til you can’t. GirlsCamera is a photo editing/sticker application with a variety of frames, sticker sets, text options, and filters to choose from. Add glasses, hats, hearts, popsicles, fun phrases, stars, and animals to your pictures. Did your dog party this hard on New Years?? Disclaimer: I do not endorse giving dogs beers or cakes but kisses are totally fine.
Afterlight – If you’re going to download one app on this list, download Afterlight. $0.99 will buy you more filters than you have food pics, the closest thing to a timetravel machine for your photos – authentic looking vintage effects, frames that fit anything, and endlessly customizable options for editing. One of my favorite ways to use Afterlight is to apply borders on the sides of photos to get them to that 1:1 ratio. There’s no bigger Instagram buzzkill than having the perfect photo but having to sacrifice crucial details for the Sake and Sanctity of the Square. And plus the borders look nice!
Perfect365 – Perfect365 first came to me in an advertisement on Facebook, an ad for selfie GOLD. Didn’t have time to get ready before going out? Perfect365 will do it for you! All of it! Hair, lipstick, blush, eye shadow, liner, and HEY even a new face shape, wow! Perfect365 comes with a set of preset makeup palettes, but if you don’t see the exact look you’re going for, you can apply makeup as you like. If you’re feeling bold, make yourself over with the “Fantasy” or “Goblins” options, close your eyes and with a quick prayer to the goddesses above, send it to all your crushes. Works like a charm. P.S. you’re beautiful just the way you are. #nofilter
Bleach London – There are certain days of the year that people seem to LOVE to Instagram: Mother’s and Father’s Day, Halloween, and New Years Eve. Competing for attention in a feed of sparkly dresses, champagne, and party hats, my friend used this app to create the best NYE Instagram by far. She edited her selfie with a glittery background and alien balloon and oozing blood stickers and it screamed ultimate cool girl. The only way to describe my feelings upon seeing it is love at first sight. She was the ‘cool girl’ and after obsessing over how amazing her Instagram was, I was soon ‘that girl’ sending a weird late night Facebook message asking which app she used to make it. When I downloaded the app for myself, I fell even more in love with its “Selfie Booth,” rainbow filters, and Lisa Frank-esque stickers.
Honorable mentions include: LINE Camera, Snapeee, and DecoAlbum.
Follow me on Instagram @janeroxfosho! I will always be your eleventh like.