As a result of Facebook’s ownership, Instagram has become one of the largest social media conglomerates to date. Aside from the business aspect of the app, however, Instagram exists as a digital form of self-expression, user interaction and, of course, creativity.
Lately, the race to Instagram fame has intensified among young emerging influencers, and the finish line hopefully ends in steady online careers, entrepreneurship and paid business collaborations. But whether your goal is to become an influencer or merely maintain an envy-appropriating feed, you will need the proper tools to do so. Here are five apps influencers use that will help step up your Instagram game.
1. Adobe Lightroom CC
The Adobe brand has established itself as an advanced, reliable and professional software suite. If you really want to make your Instagram game stand out like an influencer’s, Adobe Lightroom CC should be your go-to editing app.
Although the software requires a pricy Adobe subscription for some of the editing features, there is a free version available. Likewise, if you find an Instagram star whose feed you adore, you might be able to buy their Lightroom presets so that your photos can be edited like theirs with the simple click of a button. These presets are usually compatible with the free Lightroom version.
However, be careful not to cave into purchasing overpriced presets. Before purchasing an influencer’s presets, which could cost you more than $100, check Etsy for similar downloadable presets. You can thank me later.
If you crave a profile and editing style that will be unique to your personal brand, though, it may be in your best interest to subscribe to Lightroom. The app version will cost you $4.99 a month, and the desktop version, which includes even more advanced editing tools, will cost you $9.99 a month. But if you’re a current college student, you might be able to get a discount.
Instagrammers are professionals when it comes to making all their posts align with their brand’s tone and voice. Ever wonder how they do it? They plan out every single post — yes, seriously.
As tedious as it may sound, intentionally planning every post is crucial to sustaining a coherent, aesthetically pleasing profile. Plann allows Instagrammers to preview their profile with future posts so they can rearrange photos according to style preference. In addition, you can write captions, save hashtag lists and schedule posts inside the app.
However, when using Plann or similar apps to plan your posts, remember to pay close attention to photo lighting, hue, contrast and clarity when arranging your photos. Also, don’t forget about balancing busy and simple photos if you chose to incorporate both into your profile aesthetic.
3. Google Photos
iPhone storage full? Yeah, mine too. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an Instagram lover, you probably always have too many photos on your phone. Luckily, the Google Photos app provides a loophole to the “unable to take photo; phone storage full” dilemma.
Register your email with a free Google account if you do not have a Gmail already. Download the free app, login to your Gmail, give the app access to your photos and get ready to be wowed.
When you take a photo with your phone camera or download a photo to your camera roll, the photo will automatically upload to your Google Photos account. Once the photos are backed up, click the menu button in the search tab, go to “free up space” and press “delete.” Then, reopen your camera roll if your phone has a “recently deleted” album feature, and permanently delete all of the photos.
And there you have it — all of your photos will be saved in the Google cloud, and your phone storage will be freed up.
AirBrush is yet another editing app, but unlike the mobile version of Adobe Lightroom, AirBrush excels in spot touch-up. Adobe software, like Photoshop and the desktop version of Lightroom, have similar tools to touch up small, undesirable photo content.
AirBrush was originally created as a body-retouching app, but please do not get caught up in crafting the perfect body. True Instagram influencers profit from honesty and transparency, not artificially slim waists and photoshopped booties. The reason AirBrush is necessary to improve your Instagram game is that, surprisingly, the acne tool can be used to remove more than just hormonal breakouts.
You can use the acne tool, which mimics Adobe’s patch tool, to hide fly-away baby hairs, cover that annoying pimple in the middle of your forehead or even remove unwanted spots or people from the photo, because sometimes you just don’t want that photo-bomber peeping in the background.
5. Canon Camera Connect
Canon now makes cameras with built-in Wi-Fi functions that are perfect for any Instagram creative. Investing in one of these cameras will allow you to download the photos straight from your camera to your phone’s camera roll.
That’s right; no more removing your SD card from your camera, inserting it into your computer, downloading your photos to your computer, sending your photos from your computer to your phone, etc.
When you download Canon Camera Connect, which is free by the way, follow the step-by-step guide to sync your phone to the camera’s Wi-Fi. From then on, you will be able to live shoot footage from your phone, and download the photos from the SD card directly to your camera roll. Your photo-editing life, and therefore Instagram game step-up, just got a whole lot easier.