7 Best Instagram Filters & Effects in 2024

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by Jayed Miah
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Do you ever find yourself looking at the beautiful pics on Instagram and wonder how they got the perfect light, perfect location, and perfect background? What if we told you, you can do it too with the right Instagram filters?

Whether you want to become an Instagram influencer or just share eye-catching content with your friends and family, you need to start using Instagram filters and effects — #nofilter is simply #nofun! Our expert PhotoDirector team is here to show you the best Instagram effects, the best Instagram filters, how to use them, and more.

If you’re short on time and looking to create Instagram photos like your favorite influencers, try PhotoDirector. It comes with a vast collection of optimized Instagram filters, effects, and a built-in royalty-free stock library.

How to Add Instagram Filters to Your Photos

Using photo filters is a remarkably effortless way to enhance your images on social media. Quick and easy to use, filters are overlays you place on your pictures, so you don't need to spend hours editing. You’ll find a range of in-app Instagram filters for the photos you post on your feed and Instagram Stories.

Once you've taken or uploaded a photo, you can edit it by choosing from a wide array of optimal Instagram filters:

  1. Select any picture from the gallery/camera roll.
  2. Tap Next, then select the filter you’d like to apply.
  3. Once you have your filter, you can make further adjustments to the strength of the effect using the slider.

  4. Tap Done to save your changes.
  5. To save the photo to your gallery/camera roll, tap on the save icon at the top of the screen.

Use Instagram Filters To Elevate Your Feed With PhotoDirector

Instagram filters have come a long way since Sepia, but they still leave a lot to be desired. If you're looking for an easy way to make your photos stand out, then it's time to try a dedicated photo editing app.

Many free mobile apps allow you to fix or enhance photos and apply retouching techniques with a few clicks.

Thanks to its catalog of over 400 filters, PhotoDirector has become one of our favorite apps. Users can easily preview and apply multiple effects simultaneously, unlike Instagram filters and effects, which require you to download and upload constantly.

Running short on time? Seamlessly remove objects and switch out drab, overcast skies for vibrant sunsets with AI-powered features. Resize your images instantly with InstaFill and add a color background to avoid your pictures being cropped by Instagram. 

Regular updates mean you'll always have access to cutting-edge features and presets. The most popular Instagram filters and effects can't compete with a dedicated photo editing app.

Top Instagram Filters & Effects

1. Best Instagram Filters for Selfies

PhotoDirector App - Before Filter
PhotoDirector App - After Filter
PhotoDirector App - Download

Have you ever snapped a beautiful photo or a fun selfie only to look at it and immediately delete it? Sunburns, breakouts, and brow creases can ruin an image for many people. 

There are not really in-app Instagram filters in particular that are dedicated to enhancing selfies you want to post. However, if you're going to post an Instagram Story, the choices are endless - and often overwhelming. But what do you do when even the most popular Instagram filters aren't doing the job?

Luckily, PhotoDirector makes it easy to soften and smooth skin, resulting in a subtle but flawless finish. 

Portrait tools such as Face Shaper and Face Smoothener work to alleviate those fine lines and gently glow your skin for the perfect selfie. Unlike on Instagram, you can use PhotoDirector to target the areas you want to enhance and fine-tune the results. You can also add the "Dewy Skin" filter to give your skin that nice Korean glass look that you won’t find among the Instagram filters offered in the app.

2. Best Instagram Filters for Food pics

PhotoDirector App - Food Filter

Taking food snaps and sharing them online has become an extra appetizer before every meal. Give your posts extra bite by applying Instagram filters that enhance your images' color, texture, and flavor.

With all the artsy-fartsy filter names on the platform, finding the best food Instagram filters can be a real challenge. Who could have guessed a filter named Lark would be so alluring when your image is a feast of color?

Thankfully, PhotoDirector keeps it simple with a great selection of easy-to-find filters with a clear preview and example images that can’t compete with what the in-app Instagram filters offer. There’s even a filter category called Food!

Use the strong contrast between light and dark to bring out the details of your food with Dark Food filters. Accentuate every color on your dish with Color PoP, or let Faded Film add a soft, washed-out look for dinner pics with a retro feel.

3. Best Instagram Effects for IG Story

PhotoDirector App - Instagram Filter

Want to make your Instagram Story stand out from everyone else? Give your pictures a grainy, overexposed effect with Retro Cam. Vintage and retro aesthetics are trending on social media now, with influencers editing their posts with retro Instagram filters for a shot of nostalgia.

If vintage is your vibe, PhotoDirector comes loaded with retro styles that will rival even the best Instagram filters. Add warm vintage tones with Mellow Fade, or explore the monochromatic beauty of Black and White. Better still, get creative with tons of effects such as Glitch to give your images that grainy, worn-out look.  

Instead of focusing on a single picture, why not tell your story with a photo collage? PhotoDirector has a range of themed collage templates such as Shadow and Polaroid. Beautifully designed, these captivating templates are straightforward and will instantly enhance your memories.

4. Best Instagram Effects to Highlight Your Subject

PhotoDirector App - Animated Filter

We're naturally drawn to the brightest areas in an image, so it's essential to make sure we're drawing attention to where it fits most. Unfortunately, even the best Instagram filters and effects are a little cartoonish and far more likely to attract attention than highlight the subject of your image.

Busy backgrounds with distracting elements destroy photography. Keep the subject of your photo sharp and in focus with high-quality effects. PhotoDirector's blur tools and bokeh filters are a great stylistic technique to produce striking, professional-looking images. Experiment with an excellent collection of customizable blur styles to subtly draw focus.

Another fan favorite is the Wrap-around effect which puts you and your friends at the center of attention. Select from a range of whirls and heart shapes to make you stand out - perfect for your OOTD shot!

5. Best Instagram Filters for Landscape

PhotoDirector App - Sky Replacement Before
PhotoDirector App - Sky Replacement After
PhotoDirector App - Download

Among the most popular Instagram filters for landscape shots has got to be Lark. Already featured in our Food Pics section, Lark increases the saturation levels for blue and green tones while desaturating the reds, leaving you with a slightly washed-out 'cool' effect.

While the Lark filter is fantastic among Instagram filters at upscaling your outdoor pics, the chances of unexpected weather and cloud cover can turn a powerful display into a flat, gray background in seconds. If you want to add color, depth, and vibrance to your photos, PhotoDirector's AI Sky Replacement feature can defeat even the moodiest of skies. 

AI editing technology has made sky replacement easy. It even comes with a "Guided" module if you get stuck. Simply select one of the sky templates, then adjust the colors and shading to match your image. They range from natural, subtle bright blue skies with fluffy clouds to cotton-candy-colored sunsets. 

Sky templates even come with an integrated animated feature to wow your followers!

6. Best Instagram Effect for OOTD

PhotoDirector App - Instagram Effect for OOTD

If you are a fashionista, you most likely have come across this effect in your Instagram feed: Outfit collages!

Influencers like to add this effect to give their OOTD (Outfit of the Day) shots the attention they deserve. This effect can’t be recreated within the Instagram app itself, so you would have to use a photo editing app like PhotoDirector.

PhotoDirector has a dedicated Cut-Out tool and offers a variety of different backgrounds for your outfit shot – from Vintage styles to patterned backgrounds to simple brush strokes.

You can even transport yourself to another city thanks to different scenery backgrounds such as New York, Paris or London. This is perfect if you want to recreate outfit styles specific to certain cities.

The Cut-Out tool automatically detects the object in your photo and replaces the original background with your favorite pattern. You can also easily crop an object from one image and copy it to a new one for multiple shots of your outfit in one photo. 

7. Best Instagram Effect for a Retro Feel

PhotoDirector App - Before Noise
PhotoDirector App - After Noise
PhotoDirector App - Download

She’s done it again: Kim Kardashian set yet another trend by simply posting pictures on Instagram.

Her recent photos have a certain grain look, like they were shot by a vintage camera. This “retro” look caught the eye of many followers and popular influencers like Kendall Jenner (yes, some things stay in the family) who then went on to recreate this look in their own feed, sometimes even adding black-and-white Instagram filters for an extra vintage feel.

Of course, there is also a Hefe Instagram filter for all of us nostalgics, but it doesn’t come with a grain effect. No problem – we’ve got you covered.

With the PhotoDirector App, you can add the grain effect by simply adding filters in the Effects tool tab. You can further adjust the level of “noise” or how much grain you want. Once you have adjusted it to your liking, you can directly export your photo to Instagram - simple as that! 

Best Instagram Filters & Effect Editor Free Download

When posting to Instagram, you want to ensure that you're sharing content that will intrigue your followers. Only using Instagram filters and effects can be restrictive. Using apps like PhotoDirector can help you create photos that will blow everyone away.

So, what can PhotoDirector do? Let's take a moment to review some key points:

  • You can select from over 1000 animated effects templates like elements, overlays, and lively wrap-around photo effects to alter your visuals.
  • Harness AI-powered features for seamless object removal and sky replacement.
  • It has a catalog of over 400 usable Instagram filters, including favorites such as Mellow Fade, Dark Food, and Dewy Skin
  • When you use PhotoDirector, the sky's the limit for not just Instagram filters, but also features to optimize your feed like Skin Smoothener, Dispersion, and InstaFill.

If you need help becoming an Instagramer, allow our experts at CyberLink to walk you through our Instagram photo editor.

Download the PhotoDirector app for iPhone or Android today!

Instagram Filters & Effects FAQ

1. What Instagram Filters & Effects Are Trending?

The most popular ones have to be makeup or skin filters for soft skin. Other trending Instagram filters used for reels or stories are outline effects where the object in a video moves into a certain outline. And last but not least: The good old green screen effect that replaces your current background with one that fits your Instagram reel. This is very popular for dialogue reels when you switch from one person to another by simply swapping the background scenery, or when you do product reviews and want to show the product website behind you while narrating.

2. Which Instagram Filters or Effects Are the Best?

The best Instagram filters or effects depend on the topic of your post and whether it’s a photo, reel, or story. For photos, Clarendon still takes the crown as one of the most classic and effective Instagram filters that serves a lot of purposes: highlighting or intensifying shadows in your images to make them pop more. As for reels and stories, not only do trends change quickly, but most of the Instagram filters or effects provided by the app itself or the community are high-quality and usable for many different reels. The duplicate effect or cartoon style effect is very popular right now, but this might change in a few months again. We will keep you updated!

3. What Instagram Filters Do Influencers Use?

Since most influencers promote not only a product or service but also themselves, they use a lot of skin-enhancing Instagram filters and effects to make their personality stand out. Popular Instagram filters for beauty influencers include skin softening or baby doll filters, whereas Lark for sceneries is popular for travel influencers, as well as Hudson for portraying the bustling city life.

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