seven brilliant apps that’ll up your instagram game.

Hello, my name is Chloe and I am an addict. I’ve always had an addictive personality, whether it transpired as sneaking lollies from the jar, foregoing social commitments in favour of Candy Crush or throwing all I have into whatever madness-project has taken over my mind at the time. My drug of choice, though, is Instagram. When I seriously have to knuckle down and get some work done, I chuck my phone in the next room (seriously) so that I can’t be tempted by pretty pictures of beautiful things. I guess it’s escapism in the way that reading a good book or getting sucked into a TV show is: life can be great, wonderful, all that you need, but there’s still a part of you who’d like to be living on a yacht currently moored on some Greek Island or another, and if there’s someone who you can live vicariously through doing so, more power to you both!


Luckily for me, Instagram is a pretty good thing to have all the time in the world for- I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I make money using the app (more on that later), and I’ve also made some seriously wonderful friends through it, too. What a time to be alive! Today I thought I’d do the old chuck-phone-in-next-room thing, pull up the blog and plug out some of the tools I use (in the form of other IPhone apps, mostly) so that you too can feed your ridiculous obsession. Grandma, if you’re reading this- and you probably are- I know that there are real-world things to write about but I’m here and it’s something xx. 

Anti-Disclaimer- I am receiving absolutely no compensation from any of the developers mentioned below. I’m sharing for the love of it- and because my DM space is chockers, constantly, with people asking for advice on everything from filters to hashtags to getting in on that #ad goodness. I have about six million apps on my phone specifically for photo things, so I know the good from the bad, too. Real talk. 

Snapseed- This little app packs a massive punch for a handheld photo editing app. Official sounding sentences aside, it’s the closest thing I’ve found to Lightroom for mobile and it’s brilliant for adding your own touch to photos, for elevating them rather than changing them. The ‘selective’ (focusses on one colour or colour group in any given area), ‘ambiance’ (sheds light on darker background areas of a shot and lets the foreground pop) and ‘curves’ (manually adjusts base hues in the photo) take our most handy and never-not used for sure. Clever little things.

AColorStory- If you’re more into filtering: ie. grab a pretty palette, whack it on the shot, step back and admire your genius and artistic finesse, then A Color Story is just what you need (I say, leering, pulling open one side of my oversized jacket to reveal dozens of small bottles and trinkets hanging inside). It’s smart, it’s quick, and it’s beautifully curated. Also I have a bit of a clever-crush on creator Elsie, and reckon that all she touches is pure gold. My favorite filters tend to be light, bright breezy and pink-or-blue, but there’s really something for everyone from the moody noir lover (Cherry Pie, B&W pack) to the sunset-adorer (Low Tide, This baby also stocks a great range of bokeh and light filter bits and pieces, to give your feed a little extra sparkle or six.

Tribe- This is where the vast majority of my #ad posts come from- that is, how I make some money doing what I love. TRIBE connects brands and campaigns with micro-influencers (that’s meeee!), who create content and post it to their pages. I’m a member of a heap of influencer platforms, but I love tribe for their ease-of-use, their passionate display of small businesses (in fact, La Bohéme Collective is on there) and their ability to link well-known brands with the people who adore them. They’re also Australian so they get our market. It’s a big heck-yes from me!

FocalMark- FocalMark is pretty simple in that it’s a hashtag generator. They keep an eye on the trending tags for you to tack on to the end of your post, so you don’t have to. Did I mention brilliance? It’s a great way to find people who have the same interests as you, and to be sure that your content reaches them, too. The location tags are particularly excellent, and are a brilliant way to find the good stuff in a city or town- especially helpful when you’re travelling through!

Luminance- This app does really well at a lot of things, but the only one that I use it for (ie: the only one that Snapseed and ColorStory can’t do) is it’s colour slider. Straight outta lightroom, the colour adjust filter is pure editing win. It let you play with the saturation, the cast (as in, coolness or warmth) and the brightness of any given colour throughout your photo. See you later, sand that is more yellow than powdery white! Let’s see more blue shine through, and get that green in a moody place. How good.

Pinterest- Jessica Stein has mentioned in the past that she gets her inspiration from posts on Pinterest, and if it’s good enough for Australia’s OG fashion travel blogger then it’s sure as shit good enough for me. Sorry Grandma. It’s the perfect place to glean inspiration from when you’re feeling like nothing you’re putting out is good enough (hello, winter blues), and it’s top notch when you want to get any and all information about living an ‘insta-worthy’ life. I know that’s a dickish kind of phrase, but honestly Pinterest has all the best hiking spots, beaches, bars and blissed out places you could ever want, and I’m positive you’ll take a photo or ten once you’re there.

Preview- Honestly, I’ve saved the best ’til last. Preview changes the game. On the surface it seems simple enough- a way to lay out your feed before you post it, so that the overall aesthetic of what you do is more-art less-jumbled mess, but the features this little app has hidden away are incredible. More hashtags (that fit in well with a feminine / travel / girlboss kind of theme, hellooooo), a simple and effective editing interface with a whole heap of filters, a caption planner and analytics, if you’d like to sign up to their subscription service. In all truthfulness, the feed-preview that started these sweet souls (and that they are, check out their instagram for all the love they show their users) is the best bit of all, it takes out the guesswork and the post-ten-times-before-you’re-happy bizzo and creates for a very wonderful space.

What’d I miss? If one of your favorites didn’t make the list, feel free to comment and let me know. If you’ve got any further questions about any of the apps mentioned, please ask! Happy Monday x

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