Feature photo by Julie Audoux

Smartphone photography isn’t just about capturing a moment on the go anymore. It’s everyday art and the ability to create wherever you go. It’s freedom from heavy gear. And, it can be a push to stretch your photography skills beyond the easy capture. As we photographers love to remind everyone, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CAMERA!

…Except, yes, photography is a little easier with the right tools. And, editing is a whole lot more fun when you can manipulate your images to meet your true vision. So, while your first photography love might always be your big camera and computer, we think you’re creating pretty darn amazing mobile photography as well.

Here are 15 must-have smartphone photography apps for photographers. Because we all know that a photo isn’t about what we see, but how we see it.

Photography apps for taking pictures:

Smartphone cameras are pretty great, but sometimes you need a little something extra. We asked our Click Pros for their recommendations and they told us they loved these two mobile photography apps for getting the shot. Note: Some of the editing apps mentioned below also have camera capabilities.

1. Camera+ 2

Create RAW files in manual mode ON YOUR PHONE. Yep, you can do that with Camera+ 2. Or, select one of the other creative modes, like portrait, slow shutter or macro for an improved phone camera experience. Camera+ 2 also offers powerful editing tools and creative filters.

Available for iOS for $3.99.

2. Moment – Pro Camera

Shoot in RAW format with full manual controls AND a live histogram on your phone. And, as if that wasn’t everything, you can also shoot with a slow shutter speed or in burst mode. Oh, and you can use it for video too!

Available for iOS for $5.99.

 

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Photo by Divya Wolf, taken with a Fujifilm X-T3, edited with Adobe Lightroom Mobile, Snapseed, and Mextures.

Pro Tip: Get a selfie app!

Consider downloading the remote shutter app or live-view app for your camera and GET IN THE FRAME! Apps like Canon Camera Connect allow you to connect your smartphone to your DSLR for a better remote shutter experience. No more excuses for amateur selfies!

Check out these apps—

Photo editing apps for photographers:

Editing is part of the artistic vision for mobile photography, just like it can be for any other photos you create. Choosing the right photo editing app can be key. Our Click Pros told us they love these apps for editing mobile photos. Let us know what apps you love!

3. Snapseed

So many photographers love Snapseed, which was developed by Google, for its full range of pro editing options — like curves and white balance, for example — made simple. Plus, you can edit in RAW and save your edited photos at a high image quality. Oh, and it’s free.

Available on iOS and Android for free.

4. VSCO

Using VSCO presets and filters can help you quickly give your photos a polished look. Or, use their creative tools for a DIY edit.

Available for iOS and Android. Free download with a yearly membership price of $19.99.

5. Adobe Lightroom Mobile

When you need (yep, need) the features and editing tools of Adobe Lightroom but you’re not at a computer, Lightroom Mobile will do the trick. We love being able to edit our mobile photography with the same love and precision as our camera photos. Also, the ability to shoot in RAW with the Lightroom camera is pretty awesome.

Available for iOS and Android. Free to download with in-app purchases starting at $4.99.

6. Distressed FX

If you love adding texture to your photos, check out Distressed FX. You can choose from a variety of overlays and textures to turn your phone pics into unique art.

Available on iOS for $0.99 with in-app purchases available.

7. Filmborn

This app from Mastin Labs allows you to emulate the actual look of film in your smartphone photography. Choose from films like Fujicolor, Ilford and Kodak, and use live-preview to create the look you want.

Available on iOS for $2.99 with in-app purchases available.

8. Lens Distortions

Create more dramatic photos with artistic effects like lens flare and light rings. Or, change up the entire atmosphere in your scene by adding rain, snow or fog.

Available for iOS and Android. App download includes a free selection of effects, or get LD Unlimited for $2.99.

9. Mextures

Mextures offers over 150 textures, such as “analog light leeks” and “dusty vintage film scans,” with adjustable opacity and a variety of blending modes. Plus, you can stack an unlimited number of layers to create exactly what you want.

Available on iOS for $1.99 with in-app add-ons available.

 

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Photo by Melissa Bissel, taken with iPhone XS on Live Photo mode with the long exposure feature and edited using VSCO.

 

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Photo by Celia Sloan, taken with iPhone 7 and edited with Snapseed.

Mobile photography planning apps:

Sometimes you need a little help planning before you even take the photo! Landscape photographers might want to know the location of the moon or Milky Way on a given date and family photographers can get help planning session times by checking when the sun will rise and set. Our Click Pros told us they loved these mobile photography apps for planning.

 

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Photo by Jennifer Carr, taken with a Sony a7R III using the Photo Pills app.

 

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Photo by Lucy Ketchum, taken with an iPhone X and edited with VSCO.

10. Sun Surveyor

This handy sun and moon guide not only gives you details like golden hour and blue hour, but lets you see how the sun, moon or Milky Way will look using augmented reality. Plus, use features like a 3D compass and interactive map.

Available on iOS and Android for $9.99.

11. PhotoPills

Here’s a cool app for landscape and night-sky photos! PhotoPills allows you to see when and where the sun, moon or Milky Way will be in position at a location so you can imagine, plan and execute your photo using one app.

Available on iOS and Android for $9.99.

12. Sun Seeker

Light is everything in photography, so why wouldn’t you want to know EVERYTHING about the sun? On Sun Seeker, not only can you see sunrise and sunset times, you can view golden hour times and the sun’s hourly direction intervals. How cool is that?!

Available for iOS and Android for $9.99.

13. Tides Near Me

If you’re shooting at the beach or in a coastal location, it’s helpful to know the high and low tide times. Tides Near Me will give you that info and more for free!

Available for iOS and Android for free.

14. The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE)

TPE lets landscape photographers see how light will hit the land in any location on any day and time. Features like augmented reality, night mode and sight lines are so handy for landscape photos. Plus, TPE has cool advanced features, like a light pollution overlay.

Available for iOS and Android for $9.99 with in-app purchases.

15. LightTrac

LightTrac lets you see sunrise, sunset and twilight times for any location on any date. Plus, track the phases of the moon along with moonrise and moonset times for your location.

Available on iOS and Android for $8.99.

We can’t write a mobile photography apps post and not mention the Click Magazine app and Clickin Moms app! Read your favorite stories and get inspired with Click. Or, stay connected with your photography buddies, ask a questions and share your photos on the Clickin Moms app.