How I Shoot: My 3 Favorite iPhone Photo Apps.

By Posted in - How I Shoot & Photography Tips & Travel Blog on February 4th, 2013 Camera + on the iPhone.

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Like most iPhone users I’ve become addicted to taking photos with it.

It’s just so fast, convenient and lightweight that it really makes shooting fun again. I LOVE it! The quality of iPhone photos have come a long way in the past couple of years, which makes it a serious contender with my DSLR when we are traveling. What I really love about shooting with the iPhone is that the different apps really allow for a lot of creativity – it’s endless. As a street photo addict it makes taking photos on the sly so easy! Win!

I thought for the first How I Shoot edition of 2013 I would focus on my three favorite iPhone photo apps. I’ve purchased dozens and these three are by far the best. I highly recommend them all!

1. Camera + [on sale: $0.99]

Camera + on the iPhone.

Courtesy of Camera +


Hands down this is my go-to photo app. Camera+ takes really clear, sharp photos making it perfect for just about anything you want to shoot. I shoot probably 85% of my images with this app. Another thing I really like about it is that it doesn’t automatically move each photo you take into your camera roll. You review your images in the Camera+ lightbox and then you choose which ones you want to save/move into your camera roll. This is great if, like me, you tend to take a lot of iPhone photos. Of course you do! Who doesn’t? Now you can be selective about the photos that make it to the next round and you can trash all the rest. Just remember to trash them, letting them sit in the app can cause a serious backlog and you’ll run out of room on your phone for more photos. We definitely don’t want that to happen! It has a lot of other features too like iCloud Lightbox sync, FB & Twitter sharing, editing and FX effects filters. I don’t use any of those through this app but one thing I do like is that it has a balance bar for your horizon line so you can see as you are taking photos if your image will be tilted or not. No more crooked photos! It also allows you set your own focus and exposure which is fantastic and provides a lot more creative control. It also has a self timer, a burst mode and a flash, which you can keep off if you choose.

2. Hipstamatic [$1.99]

Hipstamatic on the iPhone.

Courtesy of Hipstamatic


I Love, Love, Love this app. This used to be my favorite camera app until I discovered Camera +. The truth is, I still love this app, it just isn’t as sharp as I would like it to be. But when it comes to feeling creative or shooting food this is my #1 photo app. Hipstamatic has something that no other photo apps have – the ability to swap ‘lenses’, ‘film’ & ‘flash settings’. It a recipe for endless fun! You simply choose which lens & film you want to use and voila!- instant unique photo! Change your film or your lens for a totally different look. There is so much you can do with this app, it is truly addictive. You do have to pay for the extra SnapPak’s or HipstaPak’s (these contain new lenses, film & flashes) and they run .99 for each pack. I think there are 3 or 4 packs that come free (and occasionally they offer freebies) with the app but if you get addicted to Hipstamatic, like I am, you’ll end up shelling out a buck to try out the new packs when they come out. There are a couple other reasons I love this app: 1). It has a multiple exposure pack – yah! I love multiple exposure and I was psyched when they included this in the last update. Not many photo apps have a multiple exposure function and this one works very well. 2). This is also my go-to food shooting app. Food looks fantastic when shot with the Foodie SnapPak!

If you like to take photos of food with your phone you’ll want to buy this app and the Foodie SnapPak right now.

3. Pro HDR [$1.99]



Pro HDR on iPhone

Courtesy of Pro HDR

If you like HDR images, then you’ll love this Pro HDR. Set up your photo and then drag the two exposure boxes over the light and dark areas of your images. It takes about 10 seconds for the app to capture both exposures but then it combines them to bring the best out of both. The app does a really good job of automatically removing ghosts but you’ll want to remain as stable as possible while shooting. For best results, putting the camera on a solid surface really helps. After the image has been processed you can add some customization to it with the brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth & tint controls. Unlike a lot of HDR apps, this one creates images that look extra special instead of ones that are too processed and looking like a hallucinogenic nightmare. I’ve tried out a lot of HDR apps and this one is by far the best. You’ll be addicted to creating beautifully amplified iPhone images after just one use.

There is a free version of this app – Pro HDR Free that you can try out. It leaves a watermark and the results aren’t as nice as the full version.

What are your favorite iPhone photo apps?


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(14) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    February 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I have all 3, but I’ve never used them! I will start testing them out.

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      You’ll love Hipstamatic Andi – so much you can do. What do you currently use? 🙂

  • Sheila -

    February 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the list. I haven’t used the last 2 apps before. Getting them now =)

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks for commenting Sheila! I hope you have fun with those apps! 🙂

  • Jannet -

    February 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Good list, I really like Snapseed, glad I got it free on a limited sale on the App Store some months back, I didn’t know it was so expensive at the usual price.

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Snapseed is fantastic! That’s my go-to editing app for sure. You’re lucky you got a great deal on it! 🙂

    • Shrinivason -

      April 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm


      Take a look “Photo effects plus.” It has so many options to give effects to your photos.

  • Stenn -

    February 6, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Hipstamatic is an absolutely amazing app! One of the things that I love about Hipstamatic is its ability to document moments that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I like Blender and Photoshop express for iPhone. Blender is fantastic as it has the ability to blend multiple images together which I love.

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks for commenting! I’ve heard good things about Blender and I’m def. going to get it now – thanks!

  • Arienne -

    February 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    This is great as I’m getting an iPhone 5 tomorrow! 🙂

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Very exciting Arienne – welcome to the addictive world of the IPhone! 🙂

  • Jade – Wannabe iPhonographer -

    July 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Sweet, I’m getting the i4 soon and I was wondering about good photo apps. I have hipstamatic on my 3gs now but I find i’m often overwhlemed by choice. having it just for food photography though sounds good, I’ll have to try that out.

    Have you ever used any of the iPhone lens attachments?

  • Jeff @ Go Travelzing -

    November 3, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I use all of those. I also like Photo Toaster. I mostly use it for editing though.

  • Sammy -

    February 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Tanks So Much! This Really Helps 🙂 I Take Lots Of Pictures That Often Go On Tumblr And Such,
    Even Though I’m Only 14.
    Your Inspiring!! I’ll Be Looking At Your Page More Often 🙂