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6 essential apps for embellishing your photography

Kawaii Photo Booth (free)

In Japan, kawaii is slang for “the state or quality of being cute,” and this photo app certainty lives up to its namesake. Although it has been popular in Asia for a while, Kawaii Photo Booth has only recently caught on in the West. That app lets you use all sorts of imagery, from cute emojis and hats to anime and manga stickers, to give character to your selfies and photography. Kawaii Photo Booth is available for free in the App Store, but its more advanced features are only offered via in-app purchases.

eyeZer Beam ($1)

Beam G

With this app, Dr. Evil won’t be the only one capable of summoning sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Now, you can unlock your inner superhero (or villain) and shoot laser beams out of your eyes, head, or wherever else you’d like. If you’re feeling bold, you can also set fire to your selfies within the app, giving them a certain fire that Tinder users will surely love.

InstaRage (free)


Ever tried to meme yourself on Reddit and failed horribly? You’re not alone. But you don’t necessarily have to fail, especially when InstaRage is available. The app allows you to superimpose your favorite memes, such as “Forever Alone” and “Trollface,” on top of your own face. This can create some ridiculous situations with friends, and might stop you from turning your own unaltered face into a meme. Like they say, if you can’t beat them, join them, and that is doubly true for meme culture. InstaRage is available free of charge, though in-app sticker packs cost $1 apiece.

VSCO (free)


VSCO offers more filters and fancy effects (what it calls presets) specific to nature and travel photography, although some require purchase (between $3-$4). VSCO also features a vibrant community that includes both professional and amateur artists and photographers who share their naturalistic photography with each other. With professional-grade tools and advanced camera controls, VSCO is one app that will bring your photography to the next level.

Photoshop Express (free)

PS Express App

Speaking of professional-grade photography tools, there’s perhaps no tool that is more synonymous with photo editing than Adobe Photoshop. Adobe released an Express version a while back, which, while not as powerful as its desktop counterpart, still lets you crop photos, adjust exposures, and carry out a variety of tasks. One thing that sets Photoshop Express apart from similar photo editors is that it allows you to create your own presets, which can be a huge time saver when editing photos on your phone or tablet.

Split Pic (free)

Split Pic

The Tumblr-friendly Split Pic allows you to take two of your favorite photographs and seamlessly split them down the middle. It’s perfect for creating before and after pics, cloning yourself, or splitting your face with a friend. It’s also available on the Apple Watch, and offers a gallery of stickers to overlay on your photos. For some additional inspiration, you can check out the “Hall of Fame” gallery or use the integrated social media buttons to post your creations so everyone can see how clever you are. They might even split their sides open laughing.

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