Forget Photo Maps: 7 Apps to Make Your Instagram 3.0 Pictures Stand Out

Instagram 3.0 was rolled out today, and it was all about giving users an improved browsing experience, geolocation capabilities and photo maps. In other words, no new Instagram filters. Since there aren’t any updates on that front, I’m going to show you how to make your photos stand out despite the limited filters available to everyone on Instagram.

But first, let’s get one thing out of the way: Instagram filters could possibly be the absolute best thing that has ever happened for cell phone photography. With a simple tap on the screen, the photo app gives the everyday individual the power and creative ability to make an image that is unique, different and capable of fully expressing some form of emotion or thought. The ease of filters combined with social sharing and instant feedback from ?’s and comments gives Instagram users the extra incentive and motivation to compose photographs on their phones, rather than aimlessly snapping randomly at whatever is in front of them at the moment.

Instagram gave anyone and everyone floating in the online social world a visual platform to express how they perceive the world around them. However, nowadays, thanks to the popularity of Instagram’s 13 built-in filters, we’ve hit a new wall in cell phone photography: everything looks the same!

The decreasing amount of originality is not due to Instagram becoming out-of-date. Rather, the obliteration of the appreciation for your favorite filters was bound to happen given that the app now has over 50 million users. Fear not! This is not the end of charming and innovative cell phone photos! What is happening is that Instagram is evolving into a tabula rasa for cell phone photography. And on this blank slate there are plenty of ways we can further push the way we express ourselves. Here are are a few of our favorite iPhone camera apps we love to mix and match our Instagram with:


LINE camera – FREE

What could be more fun than throwing stamps all over your photos? LINE camera is a fun app that mimics Japanese Purikura style photobooths. If you follow my personal instagram account (@mellylee_) you’ll often catch me expressing my strong distaste for Los Angeles traffic.


Phonto – FREE

Phonto is simply just an application that let’s you put font (hah! get it?) onto your photographs. You either can take a photo or load an image from your camera roll, then pick a font, put some text on your image and ta-dah!

LabelBox – FREE

If fonts aren’t working for you, then this app let’s you place labels on your images instead. We often use this app to thank our features after we finish doing an interview on the NMR Instagram (@NewRockstars)

Camera Awesome – FREE

This camera is one thing: AWESOME. One reason being that it has a lot of built-in presets, filters, textures, frames, etc. The second being that this is app was been free since it was first released.


Snapseed  – $4.99

Snapseed is one of my favorite and most used photo editing apps. Though it might be on the pricey side, this app has one of the most intuitive user interfaces along with allowing amazing control over image quality.

VSCO Cam – $0.99

The main appeal of Instagram initially was that each filter gave the user’s photos a nostalgic and vintage feel. Well, VSCO does a much better job with imitating real film. Check it out!


PicFrame – $0.99

What’s better than seeing one beautiful photo? Seeing a bunch of beautiful photos collaged together! With PicFrame, we’re able to give our followers a better view of what goes on during our rockstar interviews.

Well, there you have it! Be sure to follow NMR on Instagram @NewRockstars! Comment below if you guys know of any more apps that would make your Instagram pictures look better.


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