Design, DIY

Best Apps for DIY Design and Photography

The age of social media is upon us and everyone is using it to express themselves through thoughtful posts, videos, and most of all pictures. It’s easy to see why photography is more popular than every, since everyone has a camera on their phone – everyone can be a pro at photography right? Well, it’s not so simple.

While photography is more accessible than ever to everyone, knowing how to take a great picture (and most importantly making it look great) may not be such an inherent skill. Thankfully we’ve got some tips, and some apps, that will help grow your budding photo skills into a blossoming photo bush!

Getting started with Smartphone Photography

Brilliant smartphone photography tips and tricks

Smartphone photography is more than just your phone (although a good phone helps) it has a lot to do with your ideas, your surroundings, and how you see the world. I would suggest getting started honing those skills at first. I’ve been a smartphone shutterbug ever since before smartphones! I remember snapping pics on my old LG flip phone before it was cool (such hipster), heck it was before you could even post it anywhere other than MySpace.

It may seem pretty simple, but a good place to start if you have no idea is – watch other people, or photographers that you admire, and mimic the fundamentals that you see in their photos. If you like macro photography, get outside and try some stuff – if you like more of an interior design theme, then get to staging your room and start snapping – you’ll quickly realize the areas you need to improve, or the gear you need to invest in.

Using a Smartphone Camera Lens Kit To Boost Your Photos: Pixter Review

I have been rocking my Nexus 5 for years and the camera on that phone wasn’t the best, but for the phone and how long it lasted (and the price I paid) it was an awesome camera. If you can’t afford fancy lenses try grabbing some of the cheap smartphone lenses like the ones you find on amazon – I have a few of these and for macro photography they actually produce respectable images! If you find it hard to keep your shot steady you might also want to invest in a tripod for your phone, it may seem (and look) silly but you will thank yourself later.

Photography Leads To Design

Why Every Designer Should Be A Professional Photographer

Not in all cases, but in most (my case at least) – beware: photography leads to a desire to design! When I got my first legit camera and started snapping photos, my inner shutterbug longed for more – I took a graphic design class in college thanks to this photography desire, and I was hooked. Opening up Photoshop to primp my images lead to finding out all the things Photoshop can do, and discovering myself and what I could do as well.

Getting started in Design is quite similar to getting started in photography, get inspired by others and typically those that are great at design are great at dropping hints and tips (think tutorials) on how things are done. There are a ton of great design blogs out there that offer advice on how to do this or that in many different ways. It’s knowing how to do things in different ways that allows you to grow your “eye” for design – once you have developed your way of seeing things you can take any program or app and design your next masterpiece, or beef up your prized photograph. Now that you are ready to get started, let’s dive into some great apps

DIY Design and Photography Apps

In our modern world laptops and computers are still as relevant as ever, but for most of us – our lives have become very busy and time is of the essence. Smartphones have helped us to gain back some of our mobility, freedom, and dare I say… time. If we can do it on the go, on our smartphone, we are not only more likely to do it in the first place – but the result might be even better since we can pull out our phone anytime inspiration strikes! Here are some great mobile apps that we have tried, and think you should try to up your Design and Photography mobile game!

Photoshop Touch for phone

Of course, the granddaddy of them all – Photoshop. Yep it’s on the phone now, and it actually works pretty well. If you need a familiar interface for editing on the go then Adobe has you covered with popular Photoshop features such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters. Photoshop Touch lets you Apply precise tone and color adjustments to your entire composition, a particular layer, or a select area. If all else fails, photoshop it.

AutoDesk Sketchbook

If the design bug bites on the go be sure to have Autodesk SketchBook downloaded so you can sketch it out! Sketchbook is a painting and drawing application designed for people of all skill levels, who love to draw. It is probably one of the cleanest and smoothest drawing experiences you can get on a mobile device. You can even drum up your audience by sharing a Time-lapse recording! Who wouldn’t like to capture in-app video of your drawing process to share with your network. You don’t even have to have an account anymore to try it out, so download it and start drawing as if you had a never-ending sheet of paper in your pocket!

RetouchMe App

If you just need a quick way to clean up an image of yourself or a model to share on social media – then RetouchMe is one of the quickest easiest tools for the job. RetouchMe is a unique photo correction app that allows you to ensure a perfect face & body processing without any photo editing skills. RetouchMe will turn your snaps into a model portfolio in a few minutes. Make your models cover ready like you had a pro magazine editing team in your pocket with quick waist slimming, tummy reduction, correction of wrinkles, moles, blemish and pimple remover, teeth whitening and more!


Fontli is a simple way to capture and share beautiful photos of type around the world. Once you publish a photo, it will show up on your followers’ feed and they can like, comment on and share it. You can also follow typographers, designers, illustrators and other typoholics around the world to get your daily dose of type love. Think of this as an instagram for font lovers. You never know what good ideas will come from this treasure trove, or who you might inspire as you post what you love.

Paper – Sketch, Diagram, Take Notes

As creative designers and photographers, sometimes we just wanna doodle or capture our ideas on paper right when inspiration strikes. Paper is the best way to capture and connect your notes, photos, and sketches. You can create checklists, spotlight details in photos, and sketch diagrams with unbeatable speed and ease — Paper is like a wall of sticky notes for everything that inspires you on the go.


Exify is a collection of tools for people who take their iPhone photography seriously. This app gives you quick access to information about your photos like, Exposure and lens information, Image size and color space, Photo location, elevation and maps as well as local time and UTC – even tells you what your camera model and manufacturer are – if you are a total photo data nerd this is the holy grail. You can also edit your photos straight from your Photo library!


Need to touch up those photos to masterful levels on the go? Try Snapseed. Snapseed is a complete photo editor for pros developed by the guys at Google. With a beautiful user interface this app allows you to do the basics like crop, rotate, and adjust the white balance – but you also have access to advanced features (includes 29 Tools and Filters) like healing, vignette, curves, and text right in your pocket. It uses a layers system similar to what we are used to with PS, What else can I say?

We hope you found these apps useful, and are well on your way to mastering design and photography on your smartphone! Do you use any of these apps? Let us know if you have a secret weapon that you like to use! Thanks for reading!

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