Saturday, July 18, 2020

My Favorite FREE Photo Apps

Dear Reader,

I love photography - I love the artful kind, the playful kind, the browse-pinterest-for-pose ideas kind.  I love it.  There's something about photography, capturing those special moments (or even just "mundane" moments) that really speaks to me.  I don't know if it's because of chronic health issues, or my ADD, but being able to look back on them (I use prime photos to back up all my photos and get daily reminders of "this day, years past"), helps me to remain grateful and puts a smile on my face.  Memories flood back, and a deep appreciation for my life so far ends my day on a high note.

Now of course, some of those photos are a bit "hmm" because of the quality of the phone, or camera . . . but smart phones have obviously changed all of that.  And then you have add ons, or clip ons (in fact, I even have a little lens kit that you can clip on the phone, how cute, right?  You can buy it here - no affiliation, just recommending).

But, no matter the set up and equipment, it still isn't on par with high tech digital cameras . . . but you can get reallyyyy close when you use these FREE apps.  To me, they are a game changer, and the best part is free.  Now of course, you can always get paid versions that are going to cost a little, but really even the ads aren't too bad on most of these (usually less than five seconds).

So if you're looking for a way to spruce up the smart phone photos, here you go:
(but first, save this pin for future reference)

Bohemian Catholic Favorite FREE photo apps

My absolute favorite app:
Adobe Lightroom

Bohemian Catholic Adobe Lightroom Collage

Quick Tips: Even though it comes with fantastic filters, search apps in the store under "free lightroom filters" for even more options!  Really play around with these, by "copying" the settings, and "pasting" them onto your image.  A filter can really change the image, and I find the ones that make the color pop, really give a nice, smooth, professional finish :)

My quickie for collages and text overs:

Bohemian Catholic PicCollage collage

Quick Tips: It is free - but you will have a watermark at the bottom corner.  So depending on what you're using your image for, you might want to invest in 2$ to 3$ (sometimes the app is on sale), so you can avoid the watermark :)  In my case it was well worth it!  And now, you even make a "click" collage, with some photos AND a video that someone can "click" to animate in the collage.  So cool!

My quick, fancy texts pictures:

Bohemian Catholic TextArt Collage

Quick Tips: This app is great for a solid ground up image - pick a color background (or use your own photo, or a supplied stock photo), and choose from almost 700+ fonts that are SO pretty!  What's really great about the app, is that you only have to watch ONE ad in a session of editing (vs some that want you to ad watch every few minutes).  And sometimes, the ad is just an image you can click out of within five seconds.  For a free app, it's not ad heavy at all, and the font options are limitless.

My pretty, moving pictures app:

Bohemian Catholic Pixaloop Collage

Quick Tips: When the app first loads, a huge ad appears that will suggest buying the app.  Wait five seconds, and the "x" will appear in the upper right hand corner to dismiss this ad and you can use the free version just fine!  I've mainly used it to animate Bible verses for my Instagram stories, and some outdoor images :)
My little tips from over the years of taking photos:
- if you can, especially when little kids are involved, get on the floor.  The perspective of a shifted height can get some really interesting angles and add a little personality to the photo
- outdoors rarely need filters ;)
- don't be afraid to pose people.  Obviously offer kindly first, and if not interested, don't force it!  BUT I have never had anyone (after the eye roll) regret it after they see the results of a few pose ideas that enhance everyone's features
- earlier in the day is better (one, most people have more energy in the mornings, and I feel like that shines through.  Plus two, if photographing in nature, the morning sunshine has a nice cool breeze and freshness in the air.  And again, outdoors rarely need filters)
- capture special occasions, but also capture the "mundane" ones.  I cannot stress this one enough, because when I look back at my "photos on this day, in years past" (via Prime Photos), I smile the most at the personal ones - not the "fancy", professional ones.  Those personal, little moments of the kids playing, or a selfie on date night with the hubs.  It's those moments that I love to stumble on even more than the gallery wall.
- use the add ons, but the apps are just as good.  This one might be just my opinion, but even though I bought the lens kit (and have fun with it), I will say that outside of capturing a season in life (engagements or babies in the family), I rarely use them.  I choose a "live focus" on my Samsung Galaxy s10 phone camera - which automatically focuses on a subject, blurs the background image (and can be adjusted after the fact).  And with the apps listed here, can really create something that visually shines :)
Here a few examples of what I've done over the last few months for reference (specifically the Adobe Lightroom)

Okay, there you go . . . simple, straightforward but hopefully helpful to get those beautiful blog and social media images without breaking the bank :D

Did you know about any of these apps, if so, which one is your favorite one?  Is there one you think I should know about?

Much love

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