Top 5 iPhone Photo Apps for the Holidays

‘Tis the season for egg nog, ugly sweaters and holiday photos. Instead of lugging around your camera to your latest party on top of all the gifts you need to carry, consider taking your holiday photos with our top 5 iPhone photo apps. (Sorry Android users.) It’s never been easier to capture your family and friends’ natural beauty.

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Although these apps won’t magically turn you into the second coming of Richard Avedon, they will add some extra spice to your holiday shots and might just save you an appearance on

1Camera+ ($0.99)

Camera+ is essentially the default iPhone camera on steroids and then some. It features advanced camera options like image stabilization and a burst mode for shooting multiple photos in rapid succession while supporting an extensive library of post-processing tools to tweak your iPhone photos to perfection.

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Although Camera+ is a very powerful tool, the user interface feels rather overwhelming and clunky with its multiple pages of options, thus taking away from the simplicity of taking a photo with your phone.

2Diptic ($0.99)

Why have one photo when you can have two? Diptic allows you to splice up to four different photos together to create one unique image. Does your son refuse to take a photo with his Aunt Gertrude? No problem—just take photos of them separately and add them together later with diptic.

3Color Splash ($0.99)

Feeling artsy? This nifty app allows you to turn any part of your image from color to black and white and back again with a swipe of the finger. Fat finger syndrome is also not an issue since the app employs a pinch to zoom feature that allows you to manipulate your photo with the utmost precision.

4Hipstamatic ($1.99)

Complete with its faux Holga façade, Hipstamatic has long been the darling photo app of both amateur and professional photographers alike. The app lets you combine a myriad of “films” and “lenses” to create the perfect stylized photo with no clunky post-processing required. It is this simplicity of use that makes the app so successful.

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The only real gripe with Hipstamatic is that what you see in the app’s viewfinder does not always translate exactly into the final photo because of how the software crops your image. It will take several shots to get your photo framed perfectly, so be prepared for some trial and error.

5Instagram (Free)

Instagram is hands down the best photo app that’s currently available for the iPhone.

The camera takes a photo in the iPhone’s native rectangular format, but allows you to zoom in and crop your photo into a neat square afterwards, thus negating the viewfinder problem found in Hipstamatic.

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The user interface for its post-processing software is very intuitive and lets you apply a wide range of color filters and selectively blur images for faux depth of field with ease.

Also, did I mention it was free?