Before and after.
Photo tips aside, when it comes to editing my own batch of #SAfoodpics (because an iPhone can only do so much), I have a handful of apps that I can't live without:
Instagram: I've honestly stopped adding serious filters to images on Insta, save for the occasional image that would just look "cooler" with a filter. Amaro, Mayfair and Valencia are my go-tos. The apps latest update did include settings to adjust brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, etc. Bonus: The soft focus features are still available but buried under the new features. Scroll, scroll!
VSCOcam: My latest addition to the arsenal of photo apps is also my favorite. It's easy enough to use and every filter comes with a "tool" option to tweak and edit further.
Snapseed: Winner of TIPA's Best Mobile Photo App in 2012, this is probably the most involved app and takes the longest to learn how to use, but it's definitely worth it. Users can upload or take images, and use automatic editing or fine tune with a selective adjust feature that lets you mess with brightness, saturation and contrast. You can also straighten, sharpen, crop or add filters like black and white, vintage, drama or grunge.
PicStitch: In case I ever go too photo crazy during any meal and don't want to inundate everyone's feed with a deluge of food porn, I turn to PicStitch. It's pretty self-explanatory. Editing is simple enough, but try to not get carried away with the photo options–five is probably a good maximum.
Honorable Mention: A Beautiful Mess: Created by sisters Elsie and Emma of "A Beautiful Mess" blog, this app is just fun to play with. The filters aren't going to blow your mind, but you do have contemporary borders, cute typography to add captions and ready-made doodles. It's like Instagram on crack.