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my new favorite app…



Every so often, I come across an app (or three) that I can't get enough of that changes my life enough that I can't not tell you about it. My new favorite app is called A Color Story. From the girls of A Beautiful Mess, this is hands-down my favorite photo editing app EVER. Not only does it handle basic edits for small tweaks to your photo (like brightness, contrast, etc.) but the number of gorgeous filters and special effects you can add is amazing.

Now, I have to say, I am not one who likes to go crazy with "filters". Sometimes you see a photo that had a filter applied to it and it just looks crazy (remember the early days of Instagram when everyone put that vintage blue-ish filter on all their photos?!?). Not only are there so many subtle nuances in the filters here, but you can also adjust the intensity of them. You can add some extra special effects (like light flares and color fogs) which are not meant to look like they were part of the original but do make them a bit more artsy if you want. And the best part…you can SAVE your filter combinations. So let's say you always like a certain look to your photos and use a combination of a few things to get them to look like that, you can save that combo to use again in the future…genius. Here are a few photos (all shot on my iPhone) that I tested out in a few different ways…

A Color Story - Coco

Here's a photo I took of Coco over the weekend in my bedroom. The light is great in here, but it can be very backlit. I brightened the photo up first and then applied a few different combinations of filters to get these…

A Color Story - Coco

…and then my favorite! Here's that "color fog" filter you can put over photos that makes those really bright photos a little more special.

A Color Story - Vintage Clothing

This was a pretty fun and colorful photo from the start from the Rosebowl Flea Market. This one didn't need to be fixed much since the lighting that day was perfect. But I felt like it could have use a bit of a vintage vibe so I played around with some of the moodier/vintage filters here.

A Color Story - Vintage Clothing

I ended with this one and love how this combo of filters I used and the lens flare made it feel straight out of the 70's.

A Color Story - Ruby

This was one of my favorite photos I took while waiting for food at a local cafe with Ruby. I made it look vintage, dreamy, romantic…

A Color Story - Ruby

…and also graphic with this last one in black and white.

A Color Story - Croissant

I usually stay away from using too many filters on photos of food. It's hard enough to make food look good in a photo that any sort of color tint or cast (especially greens, blues, and yellows) usually makes the food look worse. So I tested it out with this photo of a PB & Jelly Croissant (YUM, by the way!). I kept the edits light but wanted see how moody I could get before it looked too unreal.

A Color Story - Croissant

I loved this one in the end because the food still looks good but now the image has a bit of a film-like quality to it. It's a bit softer than the original and adds some mood without getting too vintage.

See what I mean? Such a good app!

{All photos by Oh Joy, edited in A Color Story


  1. As a photographer, i am always looking out for new tools and photography apps to play around with. Thanks for brining this to our attention. Will try it out soon 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this app! I am always on the hunt for a good app since I love to edit photos (for both art purposes and to repair a bad shot). I am a big fan of the girls from A Beautiful Mess so I am excited to try an app from them!

  3. I love a beautiful mess and I’m so excited to try this new app out. Already downloaded and looking forward to putting it to use! Thanks Joy for the recommendation of it. Also, thank you for shearing some real before photos! Nice to see I’m not the only one who doesn’t get always right with my iPhone.

  4. The photos look great! Could you share how you got the bottom left photo in your bedroom using the app? I have an apartment with virtually no natural light and would love to know how you did it!!

  5. Hi Caitlin!
    I increased the brightness and exposure using the “curves” tool and then applied contrast and then used the Snow filter at 76% and the Light Flare at 78%.
    Hope that helps!

  6. I just installed this app last week and thought it was the best photo editing app (for social media, anyway) that I’ve seen so far. I didn’t get quite as amazing results as yours yet but I’m going to go test it out more now! There are so many occasions where I have my phone handy and not my good camera, but my phone photos are almost never ‘post worthy’!


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