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Instagram has quickly become my favorite social media platform (are we IG friends?). It is such a fun way to interact with people, without all of the crazy shenanigans Facebook keeps pulling (I’m still not a fan of the timeline format).

I find that Instagram is particularly beneficial to the baking community, because we are all about visuals. And while they say a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes they need a little help – a caption, an arrow, some stickers or labels.

I often get asked just which apps I use to jazz up my pics on Instagram – here they are! I keep them all in a folder on my iPhone so they’re easy to find. Each app has various pros/cons. Usually I use them separately, but sometimes I work with multiple apps on the same photo.

icons

1. Pic Stitch is a pretty straight forward collage app. It allows you to select from various templates to compose a grid-like collage.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pros: Post one collage image instead of several individual pics. App also provides simple editing options to fix the color/lighting.
  • Cons: Picture areas are only square/rectangle shapes which can be limiting, depending on the photos you want to combine.

Oreo Bites

2. Pic Collage is like scrapbooking. You can load multiple pictures, layer them on top of each other, pick different backgrounds and add stickers.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pros: There are some really neat background options, and the stickers are fun to add some humor or whimsy to a photo.
  • Cons: The design area is a tall rectangle, and not restricted to a perfect square (which is a challenge if you are designing the photo for Instagram; see pic 4 below)

3. Studio Design is my new favorite photo app. It reminds me of Photoshop in that you work in layers, or “overlays”. It’s a social app; upon creating an account, it has you auto-follow other users (pic 4). As a newbie, I like to scroll through and see how others are using the same app for their designs.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pros: It has such beautiful, professional-looking graphics, frames, stickers and font options. You can change the color and transparency of any overlay, as well as re-size and rotate them. Also, the design area is a perfect square, so pictures are Instagram-ready when you publish them.
  • Cons: There is a learning curve to this app. It does so much, it really takes some experimenting to get a grasp of all its features. You cannot change the order of the layers around (if you can, I haven’t figured out that part yet). So if overlay A is under overlay B, but you want it to be above it, you have to delete overlay A and re-add it.

4. Color Cap is a great app for adding text to photos. They also have a variety of stock backgrounds – so if you want to post an announcement or quote of some kind, you can pick a patterned background instead of a photo.

  • Cost: Free – black text only. I paid $0.99 for the expanded color palette.
  • Pros: It is straight forward and easy to use, offering a variety of font styles.
  • Cons: It does not allow you to rotate the text, only allowing left, center or right alignment.
  • Note: To achieve the below photo (besides having an awesome subject to work with – love ya Pam), I rotated my picture in my phone’s photo library, uploaded it to Color Cap, created the #occpmupanel and saved it. Went into my photo library, rotated it back to the correct position (so now #occpmupanel is vertical), reloaded the new image into Color Cap and created the @cakeballlove text.

5. Labelbox is just what it says… labels.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pros: Makes cute labels if you need a simple line of text.
  • Cons: You have to stretch out the label first, then enter the text. It will auto-fit to longer text. If you are only entering a few words, you may need to delete the label and create a shorter one.
  • Note: I used Pic Stitch to create the collage, then Labelbox for the blue banner.

labelbox

6. Instatext allows you to create text-only messages to post on Instagram.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pros: It’s easy to use and has a variety of backgrounds to choose from.
  • Cons: It displays @InstaMessageApp on all backgrounds. I get it, that’s how they get the word out, but it annoys me, lol.

imapp

7. Flipagram is a slideshow app. I’ve only used it once, but it’s pretty neat – see it here.

  • Cost: Free
  • Pro: Display several photos in one post. If you have iTunes on your phone, you can add music to go with it.
  • Con: There’s a bit a learning curve, its a little tricky.

Quick Tip – all is good in moderation. Apps are great when tastefully used, but you don’t have to use an app on every picture you publish.

And there you have it! These are the apps I use and enjoy. If you take anything away from this post, download Studio Design and practice, practice, practice. 🙂

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