How to Use Photo Editing Apps to Create Cohesive Brand Photos (And My Favorite Editing Apps) | Austin Brand Photographer

I still prefer doing most of my editing on my computer, whether business or personal. I am usually on Lightroom Classic- because I get more creative control and I get to fine-tune very special details. I think I’m old school, in that I like to use my computer for everything. That being said...

If you’re a local Austin blogger, traveling entrepreneur, always on-the-go, or even if you just don’t like working on your laptop, it is super easy to get your photos to look on-brand, cohesive and consistent because of the awesome photo editing apps we have these days.

In order to make sure all of your photos are cohesive to your brand and looking consistent on social media, using a photo editing app is a great alternative to Lightroom or Photoshop on your laptop.

Here are a few things you want to consider when using photo editing apps for helping you create that consistency and cohesiveness you want for your brand:

Stay loyal to the app(s) that works for you

If you’re going to use a phone app, and especially going to use its built-in presets, it is important to figure out which app(s) you are going to be loyal to. You’re going to likely need to stick with that app(s) to keep your brand aesthetics cohesive.

Figure out which app has the right features for your situation, the best filters for your specific brand, and that is going to be easy for your level of editing skills.

It’s okay to use multiple apps for different reasons

Staying loyal to one app doesn’t mean to you can’t test drive apps, use an app for a specific thing, or use multiple. You may need to do the basic lighting fixes in one app and use a filter in another. That is totes okay. Most apps do share many of the same features and tools, but there will be differences in all that make them unique, including presets/filters.

Create custom presets

Once you figure out the right combination, document some of the things that you usually do to fix photos, the filters that you use, and anything else that can help you keep cohesive brand visuals. Once you have done so, create a custom preset. I would definitely utilize this feature for your brand photos!

Photo shows a phone with Adobe Lightroom CC opened to editing screen. Lightroom is a great app for on-the-go-entrepreneurs like bloggers. It allows you to use presets and customize photos for your brand.

What are the best apps?

Now you’re probably thinking, “which apps are best?” So glad you asked, girl! I wanna share the ones that I like and what makes them so great! Oh, and if you don’t know what some of the features I’m mentioning are, or don’t understand what the heck I’m talking about- tell me in the comments or contact me and I will help you understand!


This app is so freakin amazing! Not only is it FREE, but it has a ton of great editing tools for you. This app is less about slapping on some easy-to-use filters and more about tweaking and fixing individual photos to get what you want. If you don’t know much about photography, this might be a learning curve for you.

When to use this app: when you want to really customize a photo or tweak some more detailed parts of your photo.

What makes it unique: the amount of editing tools is unparalleled to most editing apps! They have selective brushes, HDR features, healing, vintage filters, lens blur, and even double exposure and text.

Adobe Lightroom CC

The Lightroom Classic CC app is amazing- but if you’re mobile, the mobile app is a great solution for your editing. The app now allows for presets that sync, so it’s a no-brainer if you want to use your favorite desktop presets on mobile. You don’t NEED Lightroom for this feature, though. You can actually purchase Lightroom mobile-specific presets through Etsy or other online markets.

You can also download this lighter version of Lightroom to your computer if you have an Adobe subscription. It is different than the desktop app, simpler, but effective and useful.

It includes all the good stuff that a photo editing app should have: tools for adjusting exposure, white balance/temperature, cropping, etc.

When to use this app: If you have specific presets that your brand uses, if you have Adobe presets you want to use, if you need to tweak some photos, etc.

What makes it unique: it’s an Adobe product, so it syncs to your Adobe cloud account. This is fantastic if you want to edit some of the photo on the computer and some on your phone.

Afterlight 2

This app is the shiz y’all! Not only does it include the basic tools you need, it has all kinds of fun tools like double exposure, stickers, overlays, color shift, just so much cool ish! This is very much an app for creatives. Check it out!

When to use this app: when you want to get creative or if you have a spunky brand that could take advantage of some of the fun features.

What makes it unique: it has some great tools like overlays, hue adjustments, color shifting, light leaks, lots of presets and more (quote overlays, stickers, adding text) that allow you to get creative and use your imagination!

Adobe Photoshop Express

When to use it: it has good tools for fixing the usual basics but it also has presets and stickers if you wanna make it more creative and fun. It also has several text options if you want to add a text over your photo.

What makes it unique: it’s an Adobe app, so if you want to sync it to Photoshop, it can be done really easily- this is a major plus if you still like to do some editing on your computer!

A Color Story

I absolutely LOVE this app. It includes some basic editing presets for free and a great variety of affordable presets and effects, usually between $1-2.

It includes a ton of editing tools for adjusting exposure, saturation, HSL, grain, contrast, curves, etc.

When to use this app: if you have a colorful brand that could take advantage of some of the color-enhancing features, or if you just need to tweak some photos with the usual stuff

What makes it unique: I really like the preset packs- The presets are made by different people, so that gives it some variety.


Another great app that is highly recommended. All the good stuff you need for editing photos and more!

When to use this app: if you want to apply some great film-inspired presets or if you want to artistically share your photos, this is a good platform for it.

What makes it unique: there is a bit of a community-type feel on the app, where you can share you photos with others and there are a lot of film-inspired looks in VSCO. They have a subscription-based option, with extra presets and tools for you to use. Or you can purchase from the shop, so you have options!

RNI Films

This is an awesome app for film-inspired presets. It’s simple and easy to use but not as many extra tools as some of the apps mentioned above.

When to use this app: if you are a fan of film-like images, this app has some good ones. If you need detailed touch-ups on the photo, you might want to try doing that in another app and bringing it into RNI for the filter.

What makes it unique: the film filters are nice, some are included for free, or you can purchase more mobile presets for an affordable price. They also have presets for Lightroom that can be purchased on their site if you really love these presets.