Featured contributor: Nicolle Soto


Be honest: when you open Instagram, do you go straight to watching stories or do you scroll your feed?

If you’re like me, you check to see if your favorite accounts uploaded any new stories and immediately start watching.

We all know creative, dynamic, and interesting stories get the most engagement, but sometimes Instagram’s native stories tools can feel limiting.

Not anymore, my friend!

Today I’m sharing 8 apps to help you easily create amazing videos and images for stories and IGTV that’ll shoot your engagement rate through the roof and have your audience wanting more.


1.  Unfold

Download: iPhone | Android

One of the biggest complaints about Instagram stories has been the inability to resize photos and still create a cute story. Enter: Unfold! This free app (with some in-app purchases) provides minimal and elegant templates that help you create beautiful and engaging stories.

You’re able to choose from 25 free templates and customize the background color, text, and image placement to create your perfectly sized and styled stories.

One of my favorite features is the ability to make a “New Story” group. This not only allows me to easily organize my own story themes, as well as my clients’ stories, but it also lets me design stories in the order I want to share them and export a page or the entire story — making uploading a breeze.

2.  CutStory

Download: iPhone

Instagram stories can be a maximum of 15 seconds long, but sometimes we have waaaay more than 15 seconds worth of stuff to talk about. The CutStory app takes an existing video and trims it into 15 second segments, then automatically saves it to your phone’s camera roll.

This has been my go-to app for cutting down long videos for Instagram! Just a heads up that the videos do have a watermark on them, but it only costs $0.99 to remove it for life. Totally worth it for painless video trimming and quality stories content!


3.  InShot Video Editor

Download: iPhone | Android

You no longer need expensive software to edit amazing videos. InShot makes it easy to crop your video to fit stories and IGTV, trim, cut/delete, and merge videos, and add music, effects, voiceovers, emoji, and text — all on your phone.

4.  Canva – Photo Editor & Design

Download: iPhone | Android

If you don’t want to mess with InDesign or Photoshop, but still need to create some on-brand and correctly-sized graphics, Canva is your best friend.

Canva offers pre-sized templates for every social media platform and with the paid version, you’re able to upload your brand fonts too.

I’ve found that the free version offers everything I need to create branded stories graphics, though. You can start with a blank template or use one of Canva’s premade templates and add your own information. The customization options are endless!


5.  Repost Story for Instagram

Download: iPhone

Instagram just recently introduced a new feature that lets you easily share a story you were tagged in. But what about all the stories you weren’t tagged in that you want to share?

Repost Story makes it beyond easy to save any public account’s story or post to your camera roll for you to repost on your own account.

This app is perfect for businesses looking to share more user-generated content (UGC) with their audience. Use it to collect images and videos featuring your product or service, then create a highlight showcasing the content for everyone to enjoy.

Reminder: Be sure to follow regramming etiquette before resharing someone else’s content.


6.  Spark Camera Video Editor

Download: iPhone | Website

This app makes it insanely easy to capture video of moments over a longer period of time — think a day, weekend, or even your next vacation.

Using Spark Camera, you’re able to create a video using snippets captured throughout a time period. The app saves exactly where you left off, so there’s no splicing or heavy editing needed. However, Spark does offer editing tools for you to personalize your video once you’re done, making this a perfect tool for IGTV!


7.  Hyperlapse

Download: iPhone

Sometimes a little sped up video adds a fun new perspective to your stories! With Hyperlapse, you can easily create epic time lapse videos to share with your audience. The app instantly stabilizes your footage, allowing you to get creative about where and how you film.

My two favorite things about this app are:

  • the ability to customize the speed of each video after it’s filmed.
  • the timer at the bottom of the screen that shows you how long you’ve been filming and what that equates to in time lapse seconds.


8.  Hype Type Animated Text Videos

Download: iPhone

If static text on your images and video just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, try using Hype Type. This app allows you to add motion text to your content and offers dozens of animation choices. Hype Type also offers video editing tools, so you’re able to do things like add music, adjust speed, and flip or reverse your content.

The app itself is free to use, however Hype Type does add a watermark to all content unless you subscribe ($19.99/year).

Consider yourself armed and ready to create engaging Instagram stories, IGTV videos, and even Instagram ads! If these apps are new to you, consider downloading one or two and giving them a try today. Your audience will love your creative stories!

PS – If you’re looking for more information about how to use Instagram stories for your business, check out this post: How to Use Instagram Stories to Grow Your Business


Trying to figure out what to even post on Instagram Stories? Download our 10 Content Ideas for Photographers freebie!


Nicolle Soto is our fabulous Dream Team Member and Instagram Strategist. Based in San Diego, Nicolle works with small business owners who are looking to sell their products or services and build a loyal, engaged community using Instagram.

Need a plan to successfully market your business on Instagram? Add Nicolle’s services on to your brand + website design package!

She’ll create a plan tailored for your business that outlines customized goals, strategies, and best practices, so you can stop wondering what’s working and get back to doing what you love. Click here to learn more!


Eight apps you need to make your photography business stand out on Instagram!

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We're Britt + Kelsey!

You know how photographers often struggle to fill up their calendars with dream client sessions? Well, we create custom brands and websites that attract + speak to photographers’ unique clients, so they can book dream sessions over and over.

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