mobile phone editing elise swopes

How to Composite Images on Your Phone with Elise Swopes


From the dark room, to the computer, to the palm of your hand. Photo editing continues to evolve and Elise Swopes has been on the cutting edge. Learn how to create beautiful composites, share them on social media, and build your own photography business–using only your phone.


  • 13 Sample Images
  • 1 PDF Guide


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 | Introduction
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
  • 02 - Build a Business with Your Phone
  • 03 - Get to Know Elise Swopes
Chapter 2 | The Best Mobile Apps for Editing
  • 01 - Working with Mobile Apps
  • 02 - VSCO
  • 03 - ArtStudio
  • 04 - Lightroom CC
  • 05 - Snapseed and LensLight
Chapter 3 | Composite #1
  • 01 - Cropping in Lightroom CC
  • 02 - Compositing in ArtStudio
  • 03 - Light Effects in LensLight
  • 04 - Filters in VSCO
  • 05 - Soft Glow in Snapseed
  • 06 - Finishing in Lightroom CC
Chapter 4 | Composite #2
  • 01 - Cropping in VSCO & Compositing in ArtStudio
  • 02 - Filters in VSCO & Finishing in Lightroom CC
Chapter 5 | Composite #3
  • 01 - Cropping in VSCO & Compositing in ArtStudio
  • 02 - Filters in VSCO & Finishing in Lightroom CC
  • 03 - Cinemagraph in Plotaverse PRO

Pro Editing in the Palm of Your Hand

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Learn Mobile Phone Editing

You don’t need an expensive computer to make amazing, professional images. Follow along and learn how to use your phone to composite photos together, add style and color, and get tips for sharing them on the web and social media.

Edit Photos with Apps

Software used to be big, expensive, clunky things you picked up off a store shelf. Now they’re small, inexpensive, and they fit in your pocket. If you have a phone, you have access to hundreds of thousands of powerful pieces of software that can help you be more creative.

Meet Elise Swopes

Elise Swopes has built her entire photo business from her phone. With images featured in commercials, on billboards, and adored by her 250,000+ Instagram followers, she’s taken mobile editing to new heights. Follow along as she creates three surreal images, from start to finish.

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Build a Business with Your Phone

You don’t need an expensive computer. You don’t need a top-of-the-line camera. You can make beautiful images and even build your own photography business using only your phone. We’ve teamed up with one of the best to show you how to get started.

Photo Editing, Evolved

As technology changes, so do the tools we use to create. This tutorial is a great place to start learning about what’s in store for the future of image making. You will learn some of the best photo editing apps out there so you can start creating today.

Professional Results

If you know PHLEARN, you know that we love Photoshop. And we’re amazed at how far mobile photo editing apps have come. Layers and masks, blending modes, RAW and JPEG–if you have a great idea, there’s an app to help you get there.

Six Apps, Unlimited Creativity

mobile phone editing elise swopesmobile phone editing elise swopes

Master ArtStudio, VSCO, and more!

Learn from pro photographer, Elise Swopes.

Compositing, Coloring & Light Effects

Learn advanced compositing, coloring, and photo editing–all with your mobile phone or tablet.

mobile apps used mobile editing elise swopes

Apps that do it all.

You will learn six of the most powerful photo editing apps out there. From compositing to cinemagraphs, pick up your phone and let your creativity run wild.

You’ll Learn:

  • ArtStudio
  • VSCO
  • Lightroom CC
  • Snapseed
  • LensLight
  • Plotaverse PRO
mobile editing elise swopesmobile editing elise swopes train after




As a working photographer and mobile editor, Elise uses ArtStudio as her go-to for. Follow along as she shows you how to create three complete composite images. Layers, masks, selections, and more–ArtStudio can do it all.

Lightroom CC

The power of Adobe’s Lightroom platform that fits in your pocket. Learn how to make adjustments to exposure, correct colors, and add some style with color grading and film grain. Lightroom is one of the most popular photo editing tools and for good reason.


Not only is VSCO great for sharing your images with the world, it’s also a handy editing tool. Elise shows you how to take advantage of their massive library of color filters and how to prepare your photos for more complex editing in other apps.

mobile editing elise swopes rain beforemobile editing elise swopes rain after




Another full-featured mobile photo editor, Snapseed is a free app that is extremely powerful. From adjusting exposure, to retouching, to adding special effects like blurs and glows, learn how to use this app to tackle a variety of tasks.


Lens flares, light leaks, bokeh, and more! LensLight is a quick and easy way to add visual interest and lighting effects to any photo.

Plotaverse PRO

Add a little motion to your photos with Plotaverse PRO! We show you how to take a finished composite image and transform it into a cinemagraph, adding realistic motion to elements like water and clouds.

Class Instructor
Elise Swopes Instructor bio PHLEARN

Elise Swopes

Mobile Artist – Creative Director

When Elise Swopes first joined Instagram in 2010, she couldn’t have imagined that she’d one day be featured on billboards, in commercials, and on mood boards at agencies across the globe. She just knew that the phone in her hand held an incredible power, one that would allow her to inspire others while showcasing her unique vision. As she heads into the future, she continues to innovate in the increasingly multimedia landscape of digital communication, delving into video production that fits within the format of Instagram Stories to take followers on adventures with brands like Adidas and Pandora.

View More Classes by Elise


  1. Loved it, really opened my creativity with iphone

  2. Awesome! I learned so much and I want to see more edits by Elise. I’m also now an Instagram follower of Elise’s adventures. I hope these same edits work even better on an iPad with an Apple Pencil.

  3. Taken my time watching but well worth it…I started my new photography with I Phone and moved to Nikon but love using the apps…photoshop is difficult to learn for me…however, this was great…well done…thanks

  4. Great tutorial. Loved all the composites and usages of various application. Thank you!

  5. Thanks a lot for a fun and different class. Kind of cool to see how different you think compared to normal photographers that allways strive for perfect sharpnes, blends and so on. Wish you all the best for your future as a professional artist. I tried to find the apps you were using for my android but artStudio is to my knowledge not available. Maybe an idea to include some android substitutes. Anyway it was fun waching and you are a very likeable person. Jan. E.

  6. Great tutorial! Loved it. Thank you for all the tips and tricks. So many crazy cool things we can do with our phone. You do such amazing work! Keep up the great work.

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