A good Instagram feed makes your life look amazing, even if that Oscar party you attended served macaroni and cheese on paper plates, but had a red carpet for you to get some serious Instagram-worthy snaps. And, there are apps that will help you step up your Instagram game so your feed looks even better. One thing a friend and I do when we're feeling blue is post photos to Instagram that make it seem like we're living a dream life in Los Angeles, when we're really sipping Prosecco while it's 107 degrees in the San Fernando Valley, and bemoaning those student loans we can't afford to pay.
Fortunately, it's fairly easy in L.A. to make everything seem super-fancy and exciting, especially for our friends back in Ohio and Maine. And, sometimes you really do sit next to Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing at a literary Salon hosted by Emma Roberts, Story and Soul, and Belletrist.
I do get to do cool stuff sometimes, like attend an advanced screening of the forthcoming movie Ingrid Goes West, which is all about the satire of Instagram versus real life, and all the things we do to make our online lives look fabulous while we're really scrolling through our phones while eating discount snacks from the gas station, which is pretty much my regular life versus the Jennifer Grey-Emma Roberts elbow rubbing.
Obviously, you know that Instagram is not real life (but, hey, doesn't it look like we're really at the Oscars?), which is why you can have some fun with your curated insta-life with the help of a few apps that will turn you into an Instagram all star.
1. EyeEm Selects
EyeEm Selects is a new feature within the EyeEm app that helps you find the best photos on your phone, according to its website. It scans your camera roll and uses computer vision to suggest photos to upload, you know, because we're not always the best judge of our own photos.
"EyeEm Selects is a great way to unearth the hidden gems among your photos," the website explained. "Chances are, your camera roll is full of pictures you didn’t share right after shooting them. Update your app to start finding them — all without having to search yourself."
2. Facetune App
Do you ever wonder why some of your friends look like they've just had three hours of styling after hiking 10 miles? It's because of the Facetune app, basically your new secret weapon. Facetune has options like augmented reality, live image editing, and groundbreaking AI powered features, according to a press release. This app will seriously up your insta-selfie game.
Afterlight is like Instagram on steroids. With 74 filters, 78 natural textures, and 128 frames to choose from, this app can make your photos look fantastic before you even start to mess with them on Instagram.
Prisma is one of my favorite go-to apps for turning photos into artwork. According to their website, "Prisma transforms your photos and videos into works of art using the styles of famous artists: Van Gogh, Picasso, Levitan, as well as world famous ornaments and patterns. A unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence helps you turn memorable moments into timeless art."
5. Camera Noir
I love the mystery, longing, and romance of black and white photography. If black and white photos are your jam, then you need Camera Noir. This app describes itself as "Built for professional photographers but easy enough for amateurs, it turns your photos into stunning black-and-white images."
6. Magic Hour
You may have heard photographers talk about the "magic hour." I was just re-watching Parenthood on Netflix, and there is a scene when Sarah first starts working for Hank as a photography assistant. He asks her to grab him a different lens so he can capture "magic hour." She messes up and brings him the wrong one. What's the big deal, it's a whole hour, right? Wrong. "Magic hour" is actually just a few minutes when the sun is ideal for taking photos during the first and last hour of daylight. The Magic Hour app can make it look like you're always living in "magic hour."
If you're living in the '90s in your head, this app can make your photos reflect that. According to the description on iTunes, BitCam is the digital camera you would have used on your mini pocket computer back in 1996. BitCam is perfect for your throwback and flashback Instagram photos as you try to show your followers what life was like back in old-timey days, you know, when everything was made with little square pixels.
VSCO is a photo-editing app with a social component, and it's free. The app describes itself as having superior image editing technology, and a social component enables users to create profiles and follow each other as well as share and explore content on VSCO. If you're really into photography, you want to interact with other photogs, and you want a solid free app, this is for you.
If you've been loving those snaps your friends share that beautifully intertwine words and images, they might be using Over — a photo-editing app that allows you to add text, and other images to your pictures. If you want to stoke your creativity, this app can be a lot of fun, and it makes you look really profesh.