The Best iPhone Photo Apps to Help You Shoot Like a Pro

Written By: The Planet D

There are many iPhone photo apps on the market and it can be overwhelming choosing which ones to use. We’ve been shooting travel photography on iPhones since 2009 and it has come a long way baby!

Recently we’ve been testing out the new iPhone Max and iPhone 11 Pro. They have restored our confidence in iPhone photography again as Apple really got it right this time.

So we thought we’d update our old list and give you the best photo apps to help you improve your iPhone photography to help you shoot like a pro.

Photo Apps for iPhone

Many of these apps are also available for android. We have used a few of them on our Huawei P30 Pro camera and have included links to them below as well.

Dave loves the new three-camera system offering wide, super wide and a telephoto zoom. He can now capture those landscape shots on his iPhone in a snap.

Deb has fallen in love with the stabilization for filming walking and motion shots.

But there are still limitations on the phone that can’t replace a proper DSLR. However, with these apps, you can get pretty close!

apps for photos iphone | Shot on the iPhone

Best Paid iPhone Apps for Editing

Adobe Lightroom

This is my go-to photo editing app on my desktop and I edit all my photos here. So when they released the mobile version I had to get it.

Adobe Lightroom has continually improved with each update and gives you much of the same editing tools as the desktop version.

If you are familiar with Lightroom on Desktop, this is a must-have on your phone or tablet.

Best photo app for iPhone

Check out Adobe Lightroom for iPhone in the Apps Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

PhotoPills

Photopills is a paid app ($10.99) but worth every penny as it does so many things. If you are into planning your shots like I am for the right light it offers you a planner to do that.

It also shows you the sun and moon phases, gives a night AR that lays over your location so you can visualize and see where the Milky Way will be at a certain time of day. Perfect for awesome night shots.

Other cool features include Nd filter calculation, Star Trails calculator, a time function and a Time-Lapse Calculator.

If you are looking for an all in one planning and in-camera assistance app, then Photopills is an app you are going to want to install right away.

best photo apps for iphone | photo pills

Check out PhotoPills on the Apps Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

Pro Camera

One of the disadvantages of the iPhone in general, in my opinion, is that they do not give you the option to shoot RAW images or an uncompressed format natively.

Pro Camera is an app that allows me to shoot my photos in RAW.

This is a picture taking app that I just started using with my new iPhone 11 Pro and I love it.

For me, I like my image to have as much information as possible when taken and let me put my own look to it without pushing it through an algorithm.

The Adobe Lightroom app allows you to do this as well, but I like that Pro Camera was the first that updated for the wide-angle and telephoto lenses on the iPhone 11 Pro.

The controls and screen layout are super easy to use.

This is also a paid app, but I have found if you are looking for great control and editing tools you have to fork out a little cash.

If you want to get the most out of your iPhone, I feel that this is the best app for taking pictures that will give you what you need.

picture taking apps | pro camera

Get Pro Camera at the Apps Store.

Camera+ 2

I used the earlier version of this app for years before switching to Pro Camera.

It does everything that Pro Camera does, but I found it a bit clunker and it didn’t have support for the iPhone 11 Pro when I went to update it.

I might switch back to this in the future as I do like that they have added Focus Peaking and Siri shortcuts making it even more detailed and easy to use.

The price is right as well. For just a couple of bucks, this app turns your iPhone camera into a pro-style camera pretty fast.

Check out Camera+ 2 in the Apps Store.

Touch Retouch

This is an app I have used for years. I am not one for altering images often but if I need to get rid of a spot or a blemish or something that really distracts from the composition this is the app I use.

I find its algorithm, brushes and control work better than any of the other apps that have this “feature” included.

By using a dedicated app you just get more control and in the end better results.

ios app Touch ReTouch

Check out Touch Retouch in the Apps Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

Enlight Quickshot

I started using Quickshot about a year ago and have seen the app improve significantly. In my opinion, the filters and looks are creative and easy to use and are combined with great editing tools as well.

This app I think is a step above VSCO in that it includes a few more tools and produces a more polished look.

 Quickshot is one of the best photography apps

Get Quickshot at the Apps Store.

Adobe Photoshop Express

I feel that Photoshop Express is still one of the best photography apps on the market.

They have really stepped up the features for this app and it shows. The filters are more advanced and they have added more control with HSL and Vignette tools.

Still, our favorite part of PS Express is the healing brush and the noise reduction. We find that iPhones can sometimes create a lot of noise in the image when taking photos and PS Express helps us take that away.

Dark clouds have always been tricky on the iPhone, but with PS Express, we smooth the pixels and dots away.

The healing brush also allows you to take dust spots or any unwanted items out of the image. PS Express also gives you great control over highlights and shadows.

photo editing apps Photoshop-Express

Check out Adobe Photoshop Express on the App Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

SkySafari

I used this app a lot before I started using PhotoPills. It is the ultimate night sky app.

If you are into astrophotography and want detailed layouts on where everything will be in the sky at your particular location then this is the app to get.

It is a paid app and comes in 3 different versions depending on how technical you want to get.

I have a few friends that do a ton of night sky photography and they swear by this app.

iphone app for photos night skies

Check out SkySafari on the Apps Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

Sun Seeker

Sunseeker shows you where the sun will be at any time of day.

It has a 3D augmented reality that shows you how shadows will fall and where the sun will be.

So if you want to come back for a sunset shot of the Taj Mahal, Sun Seeker will help you decide on the perfect time to achieve your desired look.

iphone apps for photos | sunseeker

Check out Sunseeker on the Apps Store.

It is also available for android and is available on Google Play

Free Camera Apps for iPhone

Snapseed

Snapseed is another app that we use quite regularly. It is the best free camera app for iPhone and probably the most widely used.

It is an excellent all-around photo editing tool that is easy to navigate and use. It has several editing features making it my go-to photo editor app.

Snapseed includes some powerful tools that can sharpen and tune images, straighten and crop photos, create drama and texture.

One of the reasons I love it so much is it gives you control via brushes that a lot of other apps don’t.

best photography app for iPhone | Snapseed iPhone

It’s the perfect place to start when looking for a tool to edit iPhone images.

Make your app purchases for Snapseed at the Apps Store.

Snapseed is also one of the best photography apps for Android too. Available on Google Play

Hyperlapse from Instagram

Not so much a photography app per se, Hyperlapse is a perfect app to get the fast-moving effect for posting on Instagram or other social platforms. Although we do use it for Hyperlapses in our Youtube videos as well.

This is one of the best IOS photo apps to help you capture all the action then lets you choose what speed you want to export it at. It does support stabilization if your phone is compatible. So far, it doesn’t support Stabilization for the iPhone 11, but hopefully it will update soon.

Deb still carries her iPhone XS Max for Hyperlapse.

Make sure to check that out before using it as the stabilization really make the difference.

best video camera app for iphone

Make your app purchases for Hyperlapse at the Apps Store.

Hyperlapse isn’t available for android, but for my Huawei phone I use Frame Lapse and it works great. Check it out Google Play

Canva Stories

Canva Stories is one of the best free photo apps to help you with social media shares.

If you are using Instagram stories, TikTok or Facebook Stories then you are going to want to install Canva Stories. I use it all the time.

It comes with pre-sized layouts and lets you customize the look of your stories so that they stand out from the rest of the crowd.

free photo editor Canva Stories

Make get Canva Stories in the Apps Store.

VSCO

This app has been popular for a long time, not just as a photo editing app but as a bit of a social network as well.

It was the first to really use filters in an interesting way while you great control over the final product.

Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the paid apps above, it is perfect if you want to edit fast, on the go by just using filters.

best apps for photographers editing

Make your app purchases for VSCO at the Apps Store.

VSCO App is available for Android too. Available on Google Play

Long Expo 

We cannot believe how well this iPhone app works. Long expo allows you to slow down your shutter speed on the iPhone to take long exposures.

If you have a small tripod, like the Gorillapod, you can set up your iPhone and use the timer to take a shot.

Then set the desired exposure time to capture things like that velvety water cascading over waterfalls.

It works it really works!

best camera apps for iPhone
Waterfall long exposure taken with iPhone

Check out LongExpo at the Apps Store.

Timelapse Helper

If you like taking timelapse photography, Timelapse helper is a great tool.

For example: If you want to finish with 30 seconds of time-lapse video, it calculates how far apart your shots need to be taken (the intervals) and how many shots it will take to achieve that length of time-lapse.

You can punch in your numbers and it does the math for you!

Make your app purchases for Snapseed at the Apps Store.

free camera apps for iphone

Most of these apps are free or very reasonable, so get them now! Do you have any app suggestions that you can’t live without for your iPhone?

So make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Say hello to let us know you’re there so we can see your photos too! 

Read More

iphone apps for photography you must have

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • World Nomads - Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

37 thoughts on “The Best iPhone Photo Apps to Help You Shoot Like a Pro”

  1. I think you guys cover almost all the photography applications which are available at the apple store. This article contains fruitful resourses. Thanks The Planet D for sharing the article.

    Reply
  2. Sounds great. All the apps covered in this article are completely stunning. One can out a decent scope of exercises utilizing these applications to fortify the vibes of your photographs. While these apps improve the vibes of the photographs, the standard of photographs to a great extent relies upon one photographic ability. Improving photographic abilities and utilizing these applications will make wonders.

    Reply
  3. iPhone is famous for his photos clarity. And as an iPhone user, I just like the iPhone’s photo clarity. I am using PRO CAMERA for photos and I prefer this is the best app for creative photos. Thanks for sharing this informative blog.

    Reply
  4. For the iPhone photography, it’s really so important to use the quality apps. On other hands you don’t catch the good picture. Many many thanks for sharing with us the great article.

    Reply
  5. Love the advice! You should really take a look at this app for places to visit, because it beats that stuck on earth thing by tons. It’s called Stand Here and can be found in the iTunes app store. Stand Here is awesome, seriously something you guys should look into!

    Reply
  6. Thanks for the Apps, specially for newbies like me in this field. can you please recommend some average editing software too? Thanks

    Reply
  7. Thanks for these Dave. I’ve been using Snapseed a little, and am looking forward to trying out Pro HDR and Fotor. According to the reviews, though, Long Expo hasn’t been updated yet and is crashing IOS 8. Guess I’ll wait for that one.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads up Tom, we haven’t had a problem with Long Expo, yet, but probably now that you’ve told us, the next time we use it, it will crash:) Thanks for letting us know!

      Reply
  8. beautiful photos and the information about photography apps is really nice…There are plenty of Photography apps which would make sure that whatever images you have marked can be edited properly. These apps provides many features like red-eye, various effects like Unicolor, Vintage, defaults etc or let one use borders or stickers.

    Reply
  9. I’m always after some new photo apps for my iPhone so I found this post very helpful. I currently use Snapseed and Camera+ which I love because it has so many easy to use features that enhance your photos without making them look too much like they have been worked on. Thanks for sharing these, I’ll be busy downloading and playing around with them over the next few days!

    Reply
  10. Great list, guys! I use quite a few of these apps myself on my iPhone (I don’t know how I ever survived pre-Snapseed!), but I appreciate the tip on PS Express! Going to check that out right now!

    Reply
    • Super, you are going to love PS Express. It cleans up a lot of the little things than can be so annoying in an iPhone photo. I use it for noise mostly, but Dave plays around with a few things in it. Have fun.

      Reply
  11. Awesome tips! We love love love snapseed and don’t know how we ever really survived without it, but it’s always great to learn a few more handy go-tos during difficult photography situations. Amazing what iphones can do, isn’t it?!

    Reply
    • It is amazing isn’t it? Sometimes we just go around snapping shots with the phone instead of pulling out the DSLR. It’s so convenient and the photos turn out so great.

      Reply
  12. Great post. I love the apps you mention. I also highly recommend Mextures. Really unique in its approach to photo editing. Like Photoshop it works with layers and blending.

    Reply
  13. This is great. I have a few speckles stuck in my iPhone lens which show up on every photo. I guess I buy that app or learn to live with the specks!

    Reply
    • I had specks on my old iPhone. I got it in just in time before my warranty expired. If you are still under warranty, bring it in. I think it’s a common problem.

      Reply
  14. Thanks so much for these! I’ve always been envious of all the amazing photos travellers have taken just using their phones and now I know some of their secrets! I’ve used Snapseed and it’s pretty intuitive which is great for a technology dinosaur like me, hopefully the others are just as easy. (Downloading Long Expo and Pro HDR right now)

    Reply
    • So glad we could give you some ideas on how to take better iPhone photos. Yes indeed, there are many little tricks and tips to create amazing photos. We’ve barely scratched the surface, but these are certainly a great start. Let us know how you like Long Expo and Pro HDR. Cheers!

      Reply
  15. Great suggestions! I’ve never heard of many of these, but will definitely be downloading them soon. Another great one that I like is Camera+. It’s a few dollars I think, but has awesome filters and editing options. Keep up the great photography! 🙂

    Reply
    • Great addition Cory. We’ve used Camera+ as well and it is an excellent app. We haven’t used it in a while, but I’ll have to go back and check it out again. Cheers!

      Reply
  16. I love Pro HDR and Snapsneed! I have an Android and I have to say that there are a few iPhone photo editing apps which I really wish they made for Android. Those two are the only ones I’ve really fallen in love with. I just downloaded Adobo Photoshop Express (similar to the PS Express app). I love that picture of the kayak on the lake!

    Reply
  17. Great article! And I absolutely love the shot you guys took the the Pro HDR app – where was that?

    I’ll definitely be downloading some of these apps!

    Reply