By Susan Marque for Tech Connect

Photo Apps That'll Make You Look Like a Star

Photos have been altered since the beginning of photography: combining negatives, coloring on images, and of course making people look better in their portraits. And it was standard practice for Hollywood hopefuls and movie stars alike to take their headshots to professional photo-retouchers before printing hard copies to leave with casting agents.  

Now that everything has gone digital, everyone wants to look their best — from corporate website headshots to family holiday photos or selfies. With a new breed of apps you bring out your inner star-quality, while staying natural and totally you.

Here are apps that will let you enhance your photos like a magazine pro:

Photo Wonder is far more powerful than its kid-friendly menu might suggest. To make you look like a star, you can use the edit menu to crop or sharpen. You can also remove blemishes or brighten your skin tone in a digital photo from your phone. The most wondrous feature is the filter camera. Before you take a photo, open the app and pick a filter from the options. Frame your photo and you can instantly see what it will look like with a filter before you take the shot. It’s like having a magic mirror that only shows your good side. Bethany Muhl, a licensed acupuncturist, said that she loves Photo Wonder. “I was looking for a picture of myself for some new promotional materials, and realized I could use Photo Wonder,” she said. “It worked perfectly.” (IOS/Android – Free with optional in-app purchases)

Camera 360 Ticia Lea Rouckus is an aesthetician who specializes in eyelash extensions. She said that she found out about Camera 360 at a lash convention and got hooked immediately. “I love to use it now for my clients to show them their results. And I don’t have to worry if their make-up got smudged off, or they have a red mark, because Camera 360 hides any imperfection.” Camera 360 lets you make a photo sharper, paint on your photos — for example, to make it look like a Van Gogh — or add color to your lips. (IOS/Android – Free)

Aviary is now an Adobe app, offering many of the same free editing tools as Photoshop. Select a photo, click the “enhance” tool, and then select the portrait option to smooth out your skin automatically. Or you can add a frame to a photo, crop it, adjust the lighting, or even draw on your image. Clicking the “effects” tool opens up an array of filters that further enhance your image. Try Signet Pro for classic black and white filters, or Glo Pro for further softening and brightening to make your skin look close-up worthy. (IOS/Android – Free)

With these apps, one thing is for sure: You can put your best face forward before you post.


Susan Marque got her M.F.A. in creative writing from The New School, writes for magazines, television, and is currently working on a memoir. She is also a healthy food expert, loves both food and tech, and all things photo related.  Her photo art has sold in Beverly Hills and London.