Basic Photo Editing on your iPhone

I previously wrote a post about how to take better photos on your phone about the tips & tricks I’ve learned for getting the most out of my camera app. Today’s post is all about editing those photos. That means moving beyond the point and click and into the exciting world of editing and beyond! And the best part is: you can do this all on your phone! With the help of a few adjustments and apps you can make your photos really pop.


My primary goal when taking photos is to capture the best picture I can using the photo tips I’ve learned so that I can keep editing to a minimum. If a photo is poor to begin with often times no amount of editing can save it. With that said, I usually only ever adjust three settings: brightness, contrast, and saturation. That’s it. I find adjusting any more than that can quickly make the photo look “fake” or, frankly, edited. [Gasp!] The goal is to bring out the natural beauty of the photograph, not change it completely.

Filters & Apps

My absolute favorite photo editing app is VSCO. It offers some of the best filters (mostly free), customizable adjustments, and user-friendliness around. I don’t always apply filters to my photos, but if I do its typically N1 or N3 from the VSCO app (the photo at the top of this post uses the N3 filter). And I always apply them lightly. I like to keep the filter’s opacity at 40% or below. Other photo apps I like are Snapseed for blur effects like tilt-shifts, and A Beautiful Mess for fun add-ons like text or borders.


Lastly, but still important, is the art of photo cropping. The tip that always stuck with me is to avoid chopping off limbs (i.e. hands and feet) if at all possible. If you must crop out either, do it at just above or below the elbow or knee. Never at awkward places like the wrist or ankle. Again, this is just a guideline and I’ve definitely chopped off hands and feet before, but following this rule of thumb helps the photo feel more professional and less amateur.

Do you have any tips for editing photos on your phone? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!


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