Best Apps for Instagram

Best Apps for Instagram

Using Instagram isn’t about just taking a picture and posting it or adding it to stories. There is so much more that goes with it. I’ve talked about it some in my Instagram tips series, including sharing some of the process of taking great pictures and writing great captions.

While most of my posts are edited using Lightroom and my presets (get one of them for free here!), I also use a handful of other apps to edit and create my posts and my stories. These are my top apps for Instagram to create a feed and stories you will love.

Before we go any further I need to make a disclaimer. You don’t need the top of the line equipment to create epic content. Instead spend more time learning how to make your device work for you! An expensive DSLR camera is useless unless you know how to use it. When I first started out I was shooting with my iPhone or my DRSL camera on auto. Over the years I started learning a lot more about my gear through Youtube and shooting with other photographers, and I switched my settings to manual. Manual allows you to have much more control over the overall image (brightness, depth of field).

I absolutely love my camera but sometimes all the gear gets pretty heavy and I wish I could travel with something smaller that fits into my purse or back pocket. *iPhone enters the chat*. iPhone cameras has gotten so good over the years that whether you are a beginner or a seasoned creator shooting with your iPhone is so easy.

Reasons why the iPhone 12ProMax is great for creating content:

  • 3 Cameras – 0.5x (Ultra Wide), 1x (Wide), or 2x (Telephoto)
  • Capture beautiful portraits by using the telephoto lens and adjustable depth of field
  • Incredible low light capabilities using night mode
  • Live photo and burst mode (you can even transform these into a video)
  • High quality video and incredible stabilization
Best apps for Instagram


Price: Free

My bread and butter app! I often get asked how I edit my photos and what presets I use. Lightroom is where I edit all my photos for Instagram using my @presetsbylisa. These presets have all been created by me from scratch and are the exact ones I use on all my photos!

This isn’t really an app for Instagram stories, but I figured I needed to include it as any photos you see on my feed or in stories have been edited with my presets.

If you’re a newbie at editing check out my tips for how to edit in Lightroom to help get you started on your journey! Happy Editing!

Lightroom is one of the best Instagram apps for editing


Price: Free

This app is a lifesaver and helps me plan out my feed. It allows you to slot in your editing photos and you can move them around to you can see what your feed will look like ahead of time. This is great to ensure cohesiveness and consistency especially is your brand has a certain aesthetic.

You can also draft out your captions and post right from the app. They even have a new scheduling tool so you can schedule your posts to go live ahead of time.

UNUM is the best app for Instagram feed planning
UNUM is a great Instagram feed planning app


Price: Free (option to purchase different themes)

Probably my most used app for Instagram stories. They have so many amazing templates from polaroids to film templates and so much more. These will really help your stories stand out! They regularly release new packs of templates, but the price on them is usually only a few dollars.

You can customize everything from the background to the font in each template. You can even add fun stickers! I love that it can use both photos and videos.

Watch this video to see how easy it is!

Unfold is one of the best Instagram apps for stories


Price: Free

Another great app similar to Unfold but offers different templates. They have a few free options and you have to unlock the premium plan if you want to get the rest of the templates.

I find their templates fun. They have lots of options that are unique and different from the ones on Unfold. You end up having a lot more options by having both apps.

StoryLuxe creates beautiful Instagram stories
Use StoryLuxe to create Instagram story graphics
StoryLuxe has lots of Instagram story templates


Price: Free (different pricing available for photo and video)

An all around great app! Designed by my friend Tezza and her hubby, this app is a game changer. What started off as an editing app has now evolved to so much more.

You can edit photos and videos, add effects, and even select a template. I personally really love using it for editing videos and turning them into fun things like stop motions or adding dust to my images.

Tezza's app gives you lots of options for editing Instagram pictures
Tezza app has lots of editing options for Instagram
Tezza app lets you create photos with dust


Price: Free

InShot is where I edit all my videos for IGTV! It’s really easy to navigate, and I love how quick it makes video editing. The app has basically everything you could need including fonts, filters, voice-overs, and easy video trimming.

If you want to do a lot of heavy video editing, you might be better off with a full editing program. Inshot is great for Instagram or for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the more complex video editing programs.

Another great app is Splice, both are very similar so just pick one. I personally find the interface of InShot easier to navigate but Splice has better transitions. So it’s up to you!

Inshot makes editing videos for Instagram easy
Inshot makes editing videos for Instagram easy

Before After

Price: $0.99 (free version available)

Ever wonder how influencers do those before and after slide transitions? This app is it!! You can add as many before and afters as you want. If you hit slideshow, it will just filter through them all! It’s great especially if you want to show off your editing skills.

Before After lets you show before and afters of your photo edits on Instagram
Before After lets you show before and afters of your photo edits on Instagram
Before After lets you show before and afters of your photo edits on Instagram


Price: $2.79

Photoshop for dummies! If you’re like me and don’t know much about Photoshop, then this app is your new BFF! Almost immediately I got my moneys worth.

I used to stress about not getting people in my background, but now I don’t have to stress as much. As long as they aren’t touching me, I can get rid of them! I even got rid of a car once in busy NYC!!!

I am starting to further my Photoshop knowledge and taking a Masterclass by my friend Amy! I’m excited to understand the program more and learn alongside you!

Tap to see transformation!
Before editing with Touch Retouch
Before (notice the seaweed)
Touch Retouch lets you edit out things you don't want in your Instagram pictures
After ( a clean beach)


Price: Free

Canva can do it all! I’ve created my media kit, blog graphics, YouTube cover pages, my preset collection covers, and even Instagram highlight covers using Canva.

The app is very easy to use and has so many different templates to choose from if you don’t want to start from scratch. The best part is they have the dimensions already figured out to every social platform. For example, you can type in “YouTube Banner” and just like that it gives you a handful of templates in the right sizing.

This app is essential to your business! I use it to create all of my pin graphics for Pinterest like the one below (feel free to pin it to save this post for later!).

One of my pin graphics for the best apps for Instagram using Canva


Price: Free

A great app if you have a series of burst photos and you want to turn them into a video. Picture you running away from the camera or twirling in a flowy dress. The stop motion is such a cool and unique way to turn photos into videos!

Create stop motion with IMG Play


Price: Free

Did you know Pinterest is a more commonly used search engine than Google? It’s true! Pinterest is a great spot to find cute Instagram story backgrounds. I have a folder full of cute backgrounds for story sizing and then I just copy > paste them into my stories.

It’s especially great if you’re ever doing a Q&A with your audience and you’re looking for backgrounds that are more fun than just a solid colour. You can look up anything you want like palm trees, sunset, ocean, stars, forest… you name it!

Want to see more? Follow me on Pinterest.

Pinterest is great for inspiration and backgrounds


Price: Free

This is a great app to use if you want to create fun writing on your images or add in your favorite quote. It can be a great way to create graphics to share in stories or for story highlight covers or even for other platforms.

Word Swag allows you to add text overlays to images
Word Swag allows you to add text overlays to images
Word Swag allows you to add text overlays to images
Word Swag allows you to add text overlays to images


Price: Free

I use Afterlight depending on the kind of effect I want as I love the soft look it can add to your images. Before starting with the Tezza app, Afterlight was my go-to for adding a more vintage look to my photos.

Afterlight gives you different filters for Instagram pictures
Using Color Shift effect
Afterlight gives you different filters for Instagram pictures
Using Dust effect


These are currently the apps I’m using to create my posts and stories on Instagram. Any that I’m missing or need to try out? I’m always looking for new tools to create even better posts and stories for you.

Hope you found some new apps to try and enjoy playing around with them!

xx Lisa

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Get my list of the top 12 best apps for Instagram to create your Instagram feed theme ideas and creative Instagram stories. #instagram #instagramfeed #instagramstories #socialmedia #instagramtips | Instagram stories apps free | apps to edit Instagram stories | Instagram apps photo editing | Instagram tips and tricks | Instagram influencer tips | Instagram apps photo editing | Instagram apps design | Instagram apps stories | Instagram apps stories | free photo editing apps for Instagram

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  1. June 21, 2020 / 5:11 PM

    In all of this, the lightroom felt good to me. However, much better editing can be done through Canva. Thanks for this blog.

    • lisahomsy
      July 1, 2020 / 8:47 PM

      What are you editing on Canva? If you’re editing photos then I’d have to disagree but for blog and graphic stuff yes I love canva!

    • lisahomsy
      August 13, 2020 / 8:03 AM

      I use Canva for creating m pinterest graphics, but as a photographer you can’t beat lightroom for professional editing

  2. shafinah.neville
    July 24, 2020 / 1:40 PM

    omgosh i didn’t know Tezza had an app! 😍😍 I’ve always loved her dust effects and it’s SOOO hard to get good ‘natural’ looking ones out there !

    • lisahomsy
      August 1, 2020 / 11:02 AM

      Yes she’s got an app!!! It’s pretty great I use it for video edits mostly because I have my own presets but the effects are cool!

    • lisahomsy
      October 3, 2020 / 12:08 AM

      Yeah it’s a great app!!!

    • lisahomsy
      February 19, 2021 / 8:17 AM

      True!!! Yes I love the app especially for video editing. For photos I use my own presets

  3. January 9, 2021 / 11:55 AM

    Lisa thanks a lot for put it all together here

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