App Review // A Color Story

100% of my blog & Instagram photography is taken with my iPhone 6.  I can not wait to upgrade to at least an iPhone 7 (maybe a plus?? who knows!) because of the portrait feature!  I am a strong believer in the best camera to get is the one you will use...and with the ability to have an amazing camera right in our pocket, why should be assume we need the DLSR to take the best photos?  I'm not knocking the bloggers that use high end equipment - but if I didn't have my iPhone, this blog would not exist.
I want to say it was about 2013/2014 or so that I gave up using my DLSR for blog photos.  It became too much of a hassle to import things to my computer, edit and the export.  The files were huge and I felt the headache was unnecessary for the reward I was getting from the process.  Plus I find it much easier to shoot, edit, and upload photos (and video!) right from my iPhone.  I can shoot a batch of blog photos on the weekend, edit on Monday's lunch break, and throw them in to blog posts Monday night.  BAM! - A whole week or two of blog posts done and done.

I've mentioned before my favorite apps for subtle edits and the apps I use for blog photos.  Today I want to do an in depth app review of my go to app for blog & Instagram edits.  Honestly, if you see a picture from me it has most likely gone through A Color Story first.

What it is
A bright fresh photo editing app that has over 100 filters, 40 effect, & 20 tools.  Subtle, professional edits imitating the perfect color balance and lightness achieved in professional software.  Professional tools (such as a curves feature) wrapped up in an easy to use interface.  Free download includes all tools, essentials filter pack (my personal favorite), ability to save editing steps, plus more.  Available on iTunes & in the Google Play Store
A Color Story website here

What it does
A Color Story allows you to edit your mobile photos with the precision of a professional software.  I've always had a thing for Photoshop actions.  These preset edits are subtle enough to enhance your photos with out looking too processed.  A Color Story app allows for this subtle edit perfectly.  While I personally feel some packs are better than others, each filter is distinctly different.  In some photo apps the wide range of filters are so close to each other that it is hard to tell the difference.  This app offers filters the vary widely, perfect if you find it hard to make up your mind!  The best part about this app is the Essentials Pack - the best pack for natural edits to blog photos - is free in the app download.
 Original // Edit
Filter - Everyday 40%
Filter - Lite Bright 27%
Original // Edit
Filter - Everyday 75%
Filter - Lite Bright 27%
Filter - Lipstick 75%
My four favorite filters for naturally and subtly editing my photos are Pop, Everyday, Sharp, & Lite Bright. These filters are all from the essentials pack.  After I apply one or a few of these filters - not at their max strength, of course - I find that I often don't have to do much brightening or contrast editing.  I do take my photos under pretty good lighting (see my lighting set up here) so I find that a combination of these few filters work perfectly for me.
A Color Story also allows you to save your edits as presets to apply later.  So lets say you're always styling your photos in the same or similar lighting - like flat lays for your blog or always taking outfit photos around the same time of day - applying these presets will save you a ton of time if you have multiple photos to edit.  Applying the same types of edits over the same style of photo will give your blog a look of consistency as well.
Another feature I love is effects.  My current favorite set of effects is not included in the free download - but to me, all the packs offered are worth the price tag for the creativity!  This effect pack is called Glow.  The hazy, light leak effect gives an otherworldly feeling to photos.  
With the newest update you can also save your favorite filters, most used effects, etc so you don't have to remember which pack they belong to.  You can also find a Recent Edits feature under the Saved edits tab.  That way you can see which pictures you've applied edits to and decide if that edit would look great on a picture today.

Obviously I didn't touch on the most professional option in this app - ability to edit curves.  I think that this option is a great feature to get photography buffs to play around with the app...for the everyday iPhoneographer I feel it's not a necessity.  Personally, I hardly ever use it (mostly because I've never understood curves!) but it is fun to have if you need to subtly tweak something.  All other editing tools closely resemble the native editing tools in Instagram.  I've found that I love Instagram's brightness, shadows, and fade feature over any of these same features available in other apps.

How it helps you
As a professional or casual blogger A Color Story offers professional edits at a cost considerably less than professional photo editing software.  If blog photography seems daunting to you and perhaps its the reason you stopped blogging or the reason you won't start a blog of your own, pick up your iPhone and download this app.  You'll achieve professional looking photography in a few taps.  The ability to save your editing steps is key to achieving a cohesive look to your blog or social feeds.  This app has the best combination of filters plus the ease of applying the same style over every image.
Original // Edit
Filter - Pacific 62%  Filter - Pop 38%
Filter - Ice Ice 16%  Filter - Punch 49%
Effect - White 100%  Effect - London 38%
Effect - Positano 100%

Instead of spending late nights editing your photos perfectly using some tools you may not quite understand, this app will simplify it for you.  Because this app returns professional edits to you in a single tap you can feel confident fitting blogging in to your everyday schedule as you edit photos on the go.

I hope this review was helpful.  I love finding new, go to apps for photo edits!  If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

xoxo, Moe

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