Telling Stories with Pictures


Thanks to the mobile phone, we will leave behind many more photographs than our ancestors could ever image. Not only that, but our photos will automatically include date and place information in the file. With little effort on our part, we can also add even more descriptive information – all embedded in the photo file.

There’s one problem. Since this information is embedded in the file, the viewer won’t see it until they open the image file in a program that will display it. Fortunately there are some fun and creative apps so you can display your story with the photo. One Australian company, The Lens Lab, has created a series of iPhone apps to punch up your photos. These apps are easy and fun to use and the results are eye-catching.

I talked about Supermatic [iPhone & iPad – $1.99] last month. Use it to combine photos and text with design elements and templates into a quick, easy and fun digital scrapbook.  You’ll find tools to crop, straighten and adjust brightness, contrast and saturation on your photo. From there you can experiment with a number of filters, add text, graphic elements and frames. When ready, your masterpiece can be saved on the phone and sent to your favorite social network. The More button takes you to your phone’s Share Sheet giving you even more options. Supermatic has a Premium upgrade ($1.99) that makes it possible for you to install your own fonts, use your own PNG files, save your own favorite templates, use all their premium fonts and their custom color picker tool – very useful to pull a color from your photo.

A quick graphic created with LetterGlow

LetterGlow [iPhone – $2.99] turns your iPhone into a graphics studio. If you like Canva, you’ll love LetterGlow. Begin by selecting one of the included templates or use the blank “new project” template to build your own. There are preset sizes to choose from making it easy to create a graphic for use on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. As you add and manipulate your photos, text and design elements, the tool options adjust to each element. It will take a bit of experimenting to get used to all the options available, but it won’t be long before you are creating some very impressive graphics. LetterGlow offers a creative bundle that includes “loving sentiments”, artistic splatter, paint streaks, textures, fonts and more for $3.99.


With Collect [iPhone – $1.99] you can maintain a journal containing photos, date/time, tags and your own comments. Keep them organized in albums and even create video slideshows from selected entries. The Creative update pack ($1.99) makes it possible to bulk export your collected entries to Dropbox and Flickr, create additional albums and high-resolution monthly collages. The Video pack ($2.99) creates beautiful video slideshows complete with music from your iTunes library. You can format them for showing on Instagram, YouTube and other video platforms. If you are using Collect on both your iPhone and iPad – or multiple iPhones within the family – the Keep Safe ($2.99) pack will automate iCloud backups and keep your journals synched between devices.

We’ve got some big family events coming up in the next few months. My phone and these apps will get a good workout and, with luck, I’ll wind up with a beautiful photo journal/scrapbook that can be passed on to future generations.



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