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The smartphone has not only revolutionized the way we live but also completely altered the landscape of modern photography. If you have any doubts just go to a concert and try to see past the ocean of glowing screens snapping shots or filming their own shaky and out of focus rendition of the show.

Yes, pretty much everybody on the street has a camera on them at all times thanks to their phone. But accessibility is just the surface. If you truly want to see how phones are changing the world of photography you have to look at the apps.

While most of the popular photography apps are simply a portal for people to share their photos with friends and family, there’s actually a lot more to be found. When you get beyond the shallow depths of social apps and your phone’s stock camera and find the apps that can be used as actual tools to help you hone your craft and expand your options, that’s when you find out how to really use your smartphone to really change your photography. And hopefully I can help.

PetaPixel, possibly the best photo blog on the web, published 5 Essential Photo Apps for Your Phone and one app stands out above all the rest.

VSCO Cam has built up quite the reputation among photographers so there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of it already. If you haven’t you need to rectify that immediately. VSCO Cam is likely responsible for about 80% of the best photos that pop up on your Instagram feed and rightfully so. It’s filters and effects are the closest thing to film you’ll find on a smart phone and are definitely your best bet for professional grade photos. While they’re a little guilty of the “Free App Now, Paid Upgrades Later” model of doing things, this is one app where the content is worth the price and you won’t suffer any buyer’s remorse once you see your new filters at work. If you ignore all the other suggestions on this list, make sure you don’t ignore this one.

Parts of this article were republished with permission from PetaPixel’s 5 Essential Photo Apps for Your Phone so check it out if you are in the market for stepping up your mobile photography game.

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