A Color Story Filters <--- Elsie's Faves

Before + After edited with A Color Story Happy weekend, you guys! I'll save my chit-chat for the end and just cut to the chase. I'm here to share my go-to A Color Story filters with you! 

If you haven't downloaded A Color Story yet, it's available for free now in the app store! I am SO excited to share more about it. In fact, we decided that we're going to share tips and tutorials for A Color Story here every Saturday this season (and yes, we're taking requests in the comments!). 

OK, so here are a few quick snapshots that I took around the house yesterday. Forgive their randomness, I just wanted some new photos to show off the filters with! 

Edited with Essentials-Pop #AColorStory AppEssentials is the free pack that comes with the app. By the way, you also get 20+ tools, sample effects and the ability to create and save your own custom filters for free. There are also a bunch of fun packs you can purchase as well as a discount if you purchase everything. 

We handpicked a bunch of really great filters for Essentials so you could get a good idea of the quality of the rest of our filters before you purchase anything. It's also cool with us if you never purchase anything. We made sure it would be a fun and useful app for free! 

Anywayβ€”I have a couple of favorite filters in Essentials. Everyday is my go-to. It's my ideal edit for 90% of my photos… bright and sunny and a little warm. I also love Pop, which is what I used for this photo. Lite Bright is fun. Ice Ice and On Lock are great for a less warm photo. Lipstick is a VERY unique filter because it makes reds redder (and yes, it actually makes it look like you're wearing lipstick!). 

Before-afterHere's a before and after so you can see what I was working with. This is edited with Pop. One of the things I love about a lot of our filters is that they brighten for you. It's like it wipes away a layer of gray and reveals more color. Love that! I typically don't use any tools (like brightness or contrast) until after I add a filter because a lot of times I don't need them! 

Edited with Vintage-Prime Time #AColorStory AppThis was edited with Prime Time from the Vintage pack. Filters in the Vintage pack are inspired by iconic vintage photography… think everything from the Kennedy's to Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. 

My favorite part are the filters called Summer Of 69, Summer Of 79, Summer Of 89 and Summer Of 99. My favorite is Summer Of 99 because it's VERY unpredictable in how it manipulates color and very cool for reds and pinks. 

Edited with Organic-Gentle #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Gentle from the Organic pack. I love this filter because it is soft and bright, a bit warm and very natural. 

Edited with Fresh-Fresh Air #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Fresh Air from the Fresh pack. This is one of my favorite filters for brightening, color pop and whiter whites… all in one click! 

The opening image (with the yellow dress) is also edited with Fresh Air. 

Edited with Deep-Peony #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Peony from Deep. Deep is a pack that's intended for sunset photos, pretty skies and landscape-type moments. It's not typically what I would use to edit interior photos, but it still looks pretty cool. If you want inspiration for images that would look awesome with the Deep pack, check out Arielle Vey's feed

Edited with Chroma and Blush-Punch #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Chroma from the Chroma pack. Chroma has my favorite filters for making colors pop! Especially if you have a colorful background. 

Edited with Boho-Lazy Sunday and Essentials-Ice Ice #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Lazy Sunday from the Boho pack. I tend to think of Boho as a less intense little sister to Deep. 

Also, Suki's face! :) 

Edited with Blush-Punch #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Punch from the Blush pack. Blush is a pretty, romantic pack. It's a little more soft and subtle and was always a crowd favorite in all of our testing rounds. We called it Blush because a lot of the filters have a very slight warm or "blush" tone to them. 

Edited with Black+White-Laura #AColorStory AppThis is edited with Laura from the Black & White pack. B&W hasn't been featured as much, so far. Maybe I should do a whole post on them soon because they are VERY GOOD filters. They are just bright enough to have those pretty milky tones I LOVE in black and white photos. Oh, and they're named after Twin Peaks just for fun! 

Alright! Chit-chat time! Emma, Trey, Jacki and Doren are coming to visit for the weekend. We are going to celebrate Emma's 30th birthday one night and then celebrate the launch of A Color Story the next night! Woo hoo! SO so so excited to see them. 

Request timeβ€”Please let us know what type of A Color Story tutorials you'd like to see here on the blog! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Color Story app. 

  • Would appreciate if you could list the different filter packs and what types of photos you think they’d be best with. It would be super helpful to have it all in one place to refer to when editing photos. Thanks! I’m having fun exploring them!

  • I’d like to know the best way to use the curve tool! It’s always what I’ve had the most trouble with in editing systems like Lightroom.

  • I’d love to see a full list of all the filters/packs with an example photo, and/or a description of the most common use (like Deep being used for landscapes, as you mentioned here). I probably won’t want to buy EVERY pack (hello, tight budget), but I’d love to be able to clearly see which ones would work the best for my pictures! I love scrolling through and seeing all the great user examples on Instagram. This is truly a spectacular app! Congratulations to the whole team!

  • Really interesting that you use the filters before the tools…. I’ve been doing it the other way round, will give this a go to avoid the washed out look! Great app πŸ’›

  • I should clarify– I know filters and recommended uses are listed with the filter packs within the app. I’m interested in seeing some specific before and after pics for each, so I have a better idea of what the overall effects are.

  • I’m with Hannah and Deborah. A full list would be really useful. Loving your app so much it may have to take over from VSCO…never thought that could even be possible!

  • I’d like to see step by step editing instructions for photos to get bright whites! especially for indoor photos, where natural light isn’t the best and the lighting can come across more yellow than white. It’s nice to know what filters are used, but it would be especially great to know if any other steps were involved.

    Also, I agree with the earlier comment about the guide to which filter packs are best with which kinds of photos. Obviously we can play around with all of them, but a quick guide would be helpful. It’s annoying to have to go back to the shop page in the app for reference. Thanks!

  • I’d definitely like to know about how best to use the curve tool, and exactly what it does. This app couldn’t have come at a better time I’ve not posted anything on Instagram for ages because of the severe lack of natural daylight makes my photos look so flat and boring!

  • This is such a great app!! I already purchased all of them and I’m planning on taking a lot of photos this weekend to play around.
    I second the suggestion to explain the best way to use curves… I’ve never had photoshop so I don’t really know ‘how’ to use it best. All I notice is that it brightens part of the photo, so why/when is it better to use curves rather than the brighten/contrast tools?
    Thanks!! LOVE it so far!

  • So, I’d love to join in the fun, but don’t have an iphone or android. Will this app work with my mac computer (I’m slightly app illiterate)? Either that, or can I twist your arm to start developing for Windows phone? There has to be at least another 10 of us out there…

  • Hi Elsie! This is such an amazing App! It’s both functional and gorgeous. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to really get into to using it! I take a lot of pictures of food, so I’d love to see how you guys edit your food photography.

  • I think a great way to show how the filters affect a photo is to show them exactly how you did with the Photoshop or Lightroom Actions: use one specific photo and make a sampler with each filter within one collection.
    I haven’t had the time to REALLY play around with app yet, just a general overview, but I’m already drooling over all the awesome tools and filters. And, seriously, manual tools in the in-app camera? That’s just too good!!!
    VSCO has a worthy rival.

  • Yesss I would love to see a post featuring the black and white filters! Looking forward to the Android release. This looks like SUCH a fun app! Thanks for all your hard work AND for making this free. I know app development is a long hard road with no idea how much it will pay off in the end! And cross-platforms? Phew.

  • I’m excited about these posts. I love the filters but I’ve been having trouble trying to find something that looks right. I learned my mistake–I’ve been bumping up the brightness and contrast before adding a filter which is my usual MO with Afterlight. This little tip has really helped! Thanks for this. It’s nice to know which filters are intended for which situations.

  • I completely agree with the statement about wanting to know how to use the curve tool. I need tips on when I should use this and how.

    I also really love tips on how you guys use the effects… do you have tips on when to use flares and bokey or light leaks or color fog. I love them all and would love tips on what types of photos to use them on

  • I’d love to see a post about the best filters to use on photos of people. Skin tones are hard to get right sometimes and some filters really throw them off, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • I know I’d love to see a post that lists specific filters that highlight certain colors in your photo. Some people prefer warm, homey photos, and some people enjoy crisp, blue-hued photos, and some people just like bright whites and pure colors. It would be awesome if you guys could list the specific filters that are the best for each style/preference of photo!

  • I know I’d love to see a post that lists specific filters that highlight certain colors in your photo. Some people prefer warm, homey photos, and some people enjoy crisp, blue-hued photos, and some people just like bright whites and pure colors. It would be awesome if you guys could list the specific filters that are the best for each style/preference of photo!

  • Hi elsie!! Thank you for answering my questions!! That made my day!! I absolutely love the app it is amazing and super easy to use. I am so happy, you live close to me!!

  • Please share where you found that adorable dress. It screams wear me every day this summer!

  • I just purchased a Color Story and purchased all the filters (thank you for the discount). I really like it, but the filters are definitely overwhelming to select from since there are so many.
    Could you make a post about what each category of filter is meant for what purpose, such as the pack Deep is meant for sunset like pictures. It would be very useful to many I believe!

  • Yeah- a lot of our filters have brightening built in so if you brighten too much beforehand they look crazy. I always do it after now because I realized it’s easier and it doesn’t hurt the quality at all!

    xx- Elsie

  • Thanks so much Naomi! I really appreciate that.

    B&W tutorial- can do! I LOVE those filters. I feel like I might have a black and white phase coming soon. haha! -Elsie

  • Yay! That is what I need the most help with, as well. I can tell it’s an awesome tool, but I have no idea how to use it. πŸ™‚

  • Oh good!!
    Yes, when I used to use other apps I always brightened first. But with ACS it’s not as necessary. πŸ™‚

    Let me know if you have any other roadblocks or questions!!
    xx- Elsie

  • Yes! Have this down on our list Molly! This is probably the most requested info, I’m just trying to figure out the best way to present it.
    xx- Elsie

  • Thank you all for this app!! It is so helpful and could not have come at a better time. The Pop Filter makes all my snowy pictures a million times better!! I love playing around with it, and it is perfect for me since I primarily take pictures on my iPhone. πŸ™‚

  • I live in (what feels like) eternal winter, so Im having lots of weird white balance issues with the strange winter light. My photos are always too warm or to cool and Im having trouble adjusting within the filters or the tools. So some tips on the best white balancing filters and tools would be great! Loving it so far though! Also, is there or will there be a way to create a list of my favorite filters so I can grab those quickly?

  • I would love to see more “before” pictures included with the examples as it helps me get a good idea of how each filter works.

    Great work with the app. I bought the Chroma and Blush packs. I feel that even the free filters included in the Essentials pack do a great job of creating bright, crisp photos, especially when used in combination. And the app design is clean, simple and easy to use. It’s a big thumbs up from me.

  • loving playing with the app so far πŸ™‚

    & super pleased with the idea of both a list/examples for the different filters + a tutorial for curves!

  • Really liked how helpful this post was, I totally agree that a little reference guide to the filter packs would be great. I haven’t downloaded any yet, but know I will if I can see some examples and fit them into my style. Yes to the curves. I messed about with it but don’t really know what I’m doing! I think the app is fantastic, and it’s really revitalised my desire to take better photos and post more on Instagram. I also agree that it’s so much better and easier to use than VSCO. I’m deleting that from my phone right now to make space for my Color Story filter additions! Fantastic work guys.

  • Ditto! I’m a visual learner, and I also would like to see a picture with a before and after for each filter so I can get a much better idea of what I’m looking for.

  • I can’t find it available in the Google Play Store (Android)…is it there yet?

  • Yep, I went and got the app and downloaded all the packs as soon as I was done reading this post. Lol! Anything that helps my iPhone photos look a little better is worth it, since my iPhone is my camera for my blog. Thank you for developing this app! It’s a lot of fun, and I’m having a great time playing with the filters! But yes, a tutorial would be very well received. πŸ˜›

  • It seems that everyone above is much more advanced than me! I was “just playing” with a photo and got to one I really thought was a keeper, but I couldn’t find a “save” button.
    Could you give a very elementary, baby-step tutorial for first-timers? Open photo, filter, SAVE, tools, Save. I couldn’t get a filtered photo to tools to save!

  • I’m with C on this one! I’m always curious whether there were any other steps involved. I’ve also noticed on your Instagram account that you’ve often been posting which filter was used (thank you!) and sometimes it will read something like “Airy > Clear.” I’m assuming that means Airy was used first and then Clear was used next? However, I’d love to see a tutorial with more specifics as to what “level” each filter was on for the photo. Thank you for developing such a WONDERFUL app!

  • not a tutorial request, but an update request (i know, i’m greedy)…. would LOVE, if at all possible, an option that creates a menu of my personal recently or frequently used filters. i’m falling in love with my favorite filters and then forgetting which ones they are! first world struggles of having so many great options, i guess πŸ™‚

  • Love A Color Story App! Very neat library of filters and effects–used “Blue Skies” today for the perfect look. πŸ˜€ Color in general is also one of my very favorite things, so I’m also loving seeing all the #acolorstory photos being posted.
    Way to go, ABM Team! Your products are modern, chic, and best of all, FUN, as always. #propsandpraisehands

  • Oh my goodness, this is the app I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for! Amazing girls, I love it so much! Thank you x

  • Something I’d love to see in the app is when you tap and hold on the photo it momentarily reverts back to the original until you let go. Instagram does this, and I love being able to really see the exact changes the filter/edit is making in a photo. I also tend to toggle back and forth quickly a couple of times to get a feel for how intense I want to make the filter or if I’ve brightened too much, etc. Thanks!

  • It’s a beautiful app! However, I ran into some trouble; I purchased the bundle on my iPhone and also downloaded it onto my iPad , I should t have to pay a second time for the filters since it’s the same account and never had any problems doing so with other app purchases. Any insight and help on this issue would be nice.

  • Thanks for this, I would really like to know at what percentage you use each filter – because I always find 100% too much.
    Thank you!! Xxxxx

  • I’m loving the app so far, I was using the brightness and contrast first so will try the filter first! Like others I’d love a post which shows the best type of photos for each pack!

  • I agree with all the suggestions above! I’ve only purchased the organic pack so far and used it to make a killer photo of my son in the snow over the weekend, it’s seriously so special and printed amazing on my cannon printer.

    I’d also love suggestions for which pack will have the best options for food pics, people pics, indoor pics, outdoor, etc. For those who may only purchase one or two, it would be good too have the options listed that way, so we get the biggest bang for our buck!

  • Would love to see some examples of how to edit pictures taken in the dark/at night. I know these filters are geared towards bright light, but it would be nice to see some night pictures or even just pictures with really bad indoor lighting edited with this app! Most of the examples I’ve seen, the before pictures already have really good lighting, and it’s not always easy to get that in pictures!

  • Loving the app SO much. Now if it could just include a couple basic photo collage/text options it will be THE most perfect photo app of all time! I know your first app offers some but would be so great to have it all in one spot πŸ™‚

  • Great app!!! I have really enjoyed playing around with the filters.
    Is there any way to use the filters on photos I have stored on my Mac?
    I know the app doesn’t work on the Mac, but I don’t know if there is a way to get any photos from my Mac onto my phone so I can edit them with this app.

    Thanks for the great resource!

    Dawn

  • Thanks for the examples!! I would love to learn more about curves — what they are, how they work, what sorts of results you can get using them. They’re totally new to me but all the photography pros seem stoked about them πŸ™‚

  • I’d love for you to do a tutorial on some of the lighting features, like the flare/bokeh, leaks, and color fogs. They are so cool but I’m not always confident in adding them and how intense to make them. The filters have been so fun… I bought the entire set because I couldn’t decide on just one πŸ™‚

  • Loving the app!!!! Congrats on its success! Can you quickly explain the difference between the 3 crop tools? Especially the second option! Thanks!

  • I downloaded your app but every time I go to purchase one of the “extra” filters it automatically closes the app. Been trying to purchase the total $7.99 pack of filters with no luck! I have an iphone 4, could that be a problem?

  • Hi Susie! The app is optimized for iPhone 5 and 6, so there might be some bugs with the older phones. I would try updating to the most current version of iOS and see if that helps. Feel free to email us at hello AT acolorstory DOT com if you need anything else! -Jacki