No More Dark Phone Pictures

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I knew when I got a smart phone that it wouldn’t take as good of pictures as my fancy camera.

I was ok with that.

I just wanted to be able to take some shots of the kids without having to lug the big dawg around.

Then my husband got a newer phone than me and the camera was much better, and I was green with envy.


Still, even his phone doesn’t compare to the beauty of Saying NO to Auto by shooting in manual. But I discovered the next best thing to have NO MORE dark pictures from the phone auto setting, and I’m so excited to share!

No More Dark Photo Pictures

First of all, I try to take pictures in the best light possible, but some settings I just can’t control. I don’t even like the flash on my phone camera–it’s horrible! I met the cute Amanda from Kevin and Amanda in June, and after we got a picture together, I was lamenting how dark it was from my silly phone camera. She excitedly showed me the app on her phone that has changed my phone picture sharing life forever: Instaflash!  It’s .99 cents–SO worth the investment!

Here is a before and after showing the simple slider at the bottom. It selects for you at first, then you can adjust.

picture slider

I’ve looked at a lot of photo editing apps, and was never satisfied until this, and I use it with nearly every picture I share from my phone. It has a slider, and that’s it–simple!

How to lighten phone pictures

 Even pictures taken outside in beautiful light gets improvement. I hope this helps you, would love to hear about any other phone apps that you love!


Join The Discussion



  1. Stephanie says:

    Not on the Google Play Store. Boo. 🙁

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I don’t even know what the google play store is…what is it?

      • Melissa says:

        It’s the Android app store. 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    Shucks, is it not available for android? Looks so cool. 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Oh bummer, I was wondering about other phones….;(

  3. Kymberli says:

    Is this app for iPhone only? I couldn’t find it on Google play store.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Google play store is the android app store.

  5. Kymberli says:

    Well that answers my question. 🙂 Google play store is for Android phones, like my Galaxy S3.

  6. Kymberli says:

    Looks like a very cool app though. Thanks for sharing. I’ll watch the play store to see if they ever make an Android version.

  7. Gina says:

    As someone that shoots in M – my camera phone drives me batty with the dark images it creates. Even adjusting the exposure just washes everything out as if I used the flash- it doesn’t do what I really want it to do. So frustrating. I just checked the google store & this app isn’t coming up- I hope they make it available soon though or I may just give up completely on my phone pics.

  8. Nicole says:

    I so want to take better phone pictures. I feel like the only one bringing out the regular camera at most events, but I just can’t stand not having semi-decent pics (semi-decent compared to your awesome photography since my Canon G10 and I can only do so much 🙂 ). The purse I carry when with the kids is large so I can carry the real camera around wherever I go.

  9. Hannah says:

    Thanks! I’ll check it out! Have you tried Pic Tap Go? It is my favorite app!

  10. Just bought the app – can’t wait to play with it! Thanks for the great tip as I too get so frustrated with my dark phone photos.

  11. Claire says:

    I love PicTapGo for their lightening option. Plus I can send pics straight to Instagram in full frame instead of crop. Iit might be available for Android. I’ve never looked. I also love that I can warm and cool images down a bit. It’s the next best thing to having photoshop on my iPad. 🙂

    • Becky says:

      I second the PicTapGo app. The Brightside “filter” is awesome, and has opacity levels too…plus you can layer filters too! Definitely my go-to!

  12. Valerie says:

    You might want to edit your post to specify iPhones and not just smartphones because its not available to android users.

  13. Well, I guess I know what app I am buying next 🙂 That is way too cool!!! I had no idea there was an app to “add” flash!!

  14. GretchenP says:

    i got it immediately (how could i not on the recommendation from you two fabulous photogs) and LOVE! thank you!! 🙂

  15. Dana says:

    I’ve never heard of this, but I’ll have to check it out! My favorite app for editing is Snapseed– I just wrote a post about my top 5 favorite apps if you’d like to check it out-

  16. Heather says:

    I use and love camera+

  17. Getting this app right now….LOVE it.

  18. emily says:

    great tip… although bummer about it not being available for android… :o)

  19. Great tip! Downloading the app now and anxious to try it out. Thanks!!!

  20. Leanne says:

    Is this still available? I searched the app store on my iphone…says it doesn’t exist…

  21. Kara says:

    I love finding new photography apps that are FABULOUS! Thanks for sharing. Off to download it now:)

  22. Kara says:

    I love finding new photo apps! Thanks for sharing. Off to download it now:)

  23. I totally need this; downloading now! Thanks Kristen! 🙂

  24. Jenny says:

    Sold!! Thanks 🙂

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  26. Amie Lamm-Griffin says:

    I use the lights on filter in PicTapGo for almost every picture.

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  28. Shirley says:

    Thank you, this app seems amazing .
    I’m wondering if there is an app that fixes the opposite problem. I have some really great shots that came out overexposed and my son’s face is completely washed out and I would love to fix it but I don’t know how to use photoshop. Thank you so much

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Unfortunately, photoshop can’t help images that are too bright/washed out, because details is lost;(