This post is lovingly dedicated to Tamara, who — and I’ll never forget this — texted to let me know she was on her way to the delivery room. I promptly wished her luck, and didn’t expect to hear from her for at least another week. To my surprise, my phone buzzed almost immediately: “How are you using those emoticons? Is this an app?”
After I finished chuckling to myself, it occurred to me that most busy parents don’t have the time to sift through the hundreds of thousands of apps available to make the most of their smartphone. As a photography enthusiast, for example, I am always fussing to find the latest ways to edit, crop and share my photos.
If you’re a parent who’s using the built-in iPhone camera software, it’s time to upgrade! Here we present to you the Top iPhone Photo Apps for Parents.
1) Instagram (Free)
There’s a reason why the Instagram app was purchased from Facebook for $1 billion (yes, with a B!). The growing community of Instagrammers are loyal to the free program because of its ease of use: it has an easy camera, easy ways to edit and easy ways to share photos through email, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.
With more than 15 filters, Instagram allows you to express your creativity and makes the simplest photos look like it was taken by a pro. The tilt-shilt option allows you to play with a photo’s depth of field (aka making an area of a photo standout by blurring the rest) with only a few flourishes of your finger. (For a couple examples, check out the photos of our MommyJuice or Happy Mornings Tea for Nausea giveaways: both show standard filters and use of the tilt-shift feature.)
Like other social networks, use hashtags to label your photos and search for photos you are interested in (i.e.: #pregnancy, #momsrule, #baby, #aww).
And with its recent acquisition with Facebook, you can be assured that Instagram is going to be around for a long time. According to Kevin Synstrom, Instagram’s ex-CEO, the app will be built into Facebook’s network and mobile photo experience.
2. Diptic ($.99)
If you’ve ever wanted to capture multiple moments in a single image, Diptic is here to help. The almost free app (just $.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) allows you to take photos in your phone’s gallery and assemble them into a fun collage.
Whether it’s just two images or six, play with Diptic’s user-friendly interface to play with each photos dimensions. The app is capable of simple editing features as well, such as tweaking brightness, contrast, hue and saturation.
The best part? You can upload your new project straight into Instagram to apply any of their fun filters.
This app is perfect for capturing your family’s day out, birthday party or weekend trip. Also available for Android.
3. Labelbox (Free)
Labelbox lets busy Mamas get in touch with their crafty Martha Stewart side with a simple swipe of the finger and a couple clicks on the keyboard. This free app allows users to label photos from their camera gallery with decorative “tape” or ribbon.
To use, simply pick a photo you’d like to label, choose one of the app’s cute tape designs, swipe on the photo where you’d like the tape to go and then type in what you’d like it to read.
4. Pocketbooth ($.99)
Let your kids enjoy the spontaneity and old school charm of photobooths without shelling out 5 bucks for every strip. With Pocketbooth, capture the unique personality of your child(ren) with one tap of a button.
The beautifully designed app allows you to take photos in color, black & white, sepia or antique and lets you adjust booth effects, timing, paper stock and pose options. Each strip is saved directly to your phone’s camera gallery, but also lets you share it via email, Twitter and Facebook.
If there’s a strip you particularly love, Pocketbooth can print and send you the real thing via snail mail.
Also available for Android.
5. Photosynth (Free)
Being a parent means that your attention is constantly split into a million different directions. That’s why a single photo can’t really capture a single time or place. Our world is 360 degrees, and Microsoft’s Photosynth app allows you to record it all.
Of every panoramic photo app I’ve tried, Photosynth is by far the easiest and quickest to learn and use. The app “stitches” together the images practically by iteself: all you have to do is move the camera and follow the on-screen directions. And the app doesn’t just take photos left-to-right, try it up and down to capture more of your setting!
Photosynth.net stores and shares your images. Perfect for vacations, parties or any beautiful moment you want to keep forever.