It seems that  content creation has become a photo-driven process (or at least the content we are attracted to most).  Today though, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to get a beautiful photo. All you need is your smartphone and a steady hand. Most everyone with a smartphone has taken a photo, but it’s not the photo-taking part that is so captivating. It’s how you are EDITING them that attracts us. Regardless of the platform you are using, it’s safe to say a picture done right really is worth a thousand words.


Photo Cred: Mortal Muses

With the rise (and plateau) of Instagram along with other photo editing apps you may have on your home screen, one is beginning to stand out amongst the rest: this gem is called VSCO Cam. Read on to learn more about the next big app in mobile photo sharing and editing!

VSCO Cam, which stands for Visual Supply Company, is a free app you may download  which allows you to edit your photos. Not only are you taking aesthetically pleasing photos, but VSCO Cam gives you the chance to edit with more filters (or presets as they call them) with better, more photo realistic options that truly have the photographer eye in mind.

Users receive 10 free presets with the app, which is a little less than Instagram provides. The only difference is the option to purchase more presets which come in separate “packages”. For example, they have a package titled “Skin Tone” which includes presets that allow subtle tone adjustments to the subject’s skin. Each package contains a few more presets, depending on the package, which range from .99 cents to $5.99 per package. They even have a couple free ones! For the enthused photographer, this cost is a pretty sweet deal considering what you get for it.

The most unique thing about VSCO Cam though is the fact that it is not meant to be a social network, but simply a place where photographers can share their passion with others. There are no  ”friends” or “likes”. VSCO Cam is a purely visual experience unlike any other on the market. You can display your photos for others on what VSCO calls “The Grid”. The Grid is a minimalists approach to displaying beautiful photos and nothing more. If you can’t stand the thought of not sharing your creations, NO WORRIES! You can shoot it right over to your own camera roll, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or send it via email straight from the VSCO Cam app.

In order to see if this new photo editor was all that, I decided to do a little test of my own right here at the FLIRT office. After downloading the free app I took three separate shots of the same thing (FLIRT’s amazing view of Millennium Park and Michigan Avenue). I took one photo with just my iPhone camera sans editing, another with Instagram and a third with VSCO Cam.

This is what we got:


iPhone camera


instaInstagram with Rise filter


Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

VSCO Cam with m5 preset


The VSCO image came out much more clear, and does not look over-edited. The even more wonderful thing about VSCO Cam is that is does not stop with a mobile app. There are actual packages that you are able to purchase that allow you to use during your editing process with programs such as Lightroom. These packages, although slightly on the pricier side and with no free trial, have the ability to speed up an editing process. The replicas of actual film filters give your photos a professional-grade touch with little effort.

If photography is not your job or hobby, then just enjoy the free app! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and with this app it’s hard not to make something beautiful. As our smart phones become more high tech, especially the cameras, the need to make a picture just look better is no longer the issue. VSCO Cam is part of the movement that will not only enhance your photos, but will encourage smartphone users to take beautiful photos intentionally, not just as an editing afterthought.