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7 Best Photo Overlay Apps to Add Flare Effects to Photos

7 Best Photo Overlay Apps to Add Flare Effects to Photos

Jan 25, 2024 · 3 minutes read
Best Photo Overlay App: How to Add Aesthetic Overlay Effects to Photos

Overlay effects are a quick and easy way to transform your photos by adding new textures, lights, colors, and elements.

lens flare

▲ Choose among the different flare effects

In this article, we’ll share some tips on adding amazing overlay effects to your photos with the best free photo overlay app, YouCam Perfect!

Table of Contents

What Are 'Lens Flare' in Photos?

Lens flares in photos refer to the bright, streaked, or hazy light patterns that occur when light enters the camera lens and interacts with internal elements such as lens coatings, filters, or reflections. They typically appear as bursts, rays, or circles of light that add a dramatic or artistic effect to the image.

What Is the Flare Effect?

The flare effect refers to the intentional use or creation of lens flares in photographs or videos as a stylistic choice. It involves deliberately incorporating and manipulating the appearance of lens flares to enhance the visual impact or add a specific mood to the image or footage.

Flare effect to overlay pictures

▲ 'Sun Flare Overlay' added to the camping photo

Types of Lens Flare

Several types of lens flare can occur in photographs. Here are some common types:

  • Sun Flare Overlay: This type of flare appears as a circular or oval-shaped pattern surrounding a bright light source. It occurs when light reflects off the lens elements and creates concentric rings of light.
  • Ghosting: Ghosting flare occurs when multiple faint or transparent copies of a light source appear in the image. It is caused by internal reflections within the lens system and can result in hazy or wispy artifacts.
  • Streaks: Streak flares appear as elongated lines or streaks of light radiating from a light source. It is often caused by strong light entering the lens at an angle, resulting in linear streaks across the image.
  • Veiling Flare: Veiling flare occurs when a large area of the image is washed out or hazy due to scattered light. It can reduce contrast and overall image quality.
  • Starburst: Starburst flare creates a distinct star-shaped pattern around bright light sources, with lines radiating outwards. It is caused by light diffraction around the aperture blades in the lens.
  • Anamorphic Flare: Anamorphic flare is a unique type of flare commonly associated with anamorphic lenses. It produces elongated, horizontal streaks of light with characteristic lens artifacts such as horizontal lens flares or blue horizontal flares.

4 Best Aesthetic Overlays for Edits

Some photo overlay effects to choose from include Lens Flare, Light Leak, Scratch, and Grunge. These are by far some of the most impressive overlay effects for editing photos. Let’s look at each one a bit more in detail.

1. Lens Flare Overlay

Flare effect for photos

▲ Adds colorful flares to your photos

For a modern and striking photo, you need to choose the Lens Flare overlay. This gorgeous overlay gives you a dramatic sunburst and a soft, beautiful lens flare with light effects. Perfect to pair with your sunrise and outdoor photos and selfies.

Use the Lens Flare overlay to turn any outdoor photo into a dreamy composition. Place the overlay in a way that takes all the energy from the sun’s rays to make it look instantly dreamier. Pair this overlay layer with other effects to get the perfect photo composition.

2. Light Leak Overlay

Flare effect for photos

▲ Realistic Sun Flare Overlays

The Light Leak overlay effect will help soften a picture and make a dreamy impact. Ideal for a romantic effect that looks soft, cute, and almost ethereal. This overlay works amazingly with beauty shots, selfies, and outdoor photos.

Add the Light Leak overlay to capture the sun peeking through the window to get that perfect golden hour shot. Or, place the Light Leak overlay over an amazing selfie where you look straight into the camera to add an extra layer of color and impact.

3. Scratch Overlay

flare effect for photos

▲ Vintage-touch to photos

This classic overlay effect dulls away the excess details and helps everyone focus on the subject — you! Perfect for getting that vintage-inspired look and feel. Play with over 10 different overlay combinations and effects to get the most fantastic picture.

We love to pair the Scratch overlay effect with black-and-white or sepia photos for a dramatic, retro photo. Or, use the Scratch overlay over a colorful photo for a striking contrast of styles and colors that make your photo genuinely unique.

4. Grunge Overlay

The Grunge overlay effect is all about distressed textures. This overlay effect will give your photos a rugged, realistic, and almost raw look. You can use the adjustment bar to be as bold or subtle with this effect as you wish.

A soft Grunge overlay on your favorite selfie can add intrigue and make it stand out from the rest of your feed. Remember, you don’t need to apply these effects to 100% to make an impact. The Grunge overlay effect is also very helpful to update your graphics backgrounds and text-heavy designs to create your own style and make your content stand out in the crowd.

How to Add Overlay Effects to Photos

flare effect for photos

To add fantastic overlay effects to your photos, all you need to do is following below steps:

  1. Download YouCam Perfect (available for iOS and Android)
  2. Open your photo in the editor.
  3. Go to Photo Edit.
  4. Click on Overlays and play with over 10 options in the Lens Flare, Light Leak, Scratch, and Grunge category.

You will find a lot of overlays and effects to take your photos to the next level in the YouCam Perfect app. With over 10 combinations and tons of adjustments, you will have everything you need to add aesthetic overlay to your photos in less than a second.

Creative Ideas to Overlay Pictures

Add Photo to Photo

 Another creative way to do an overlay is to add a photo to another photo, usually creating a funny illusion.

👉 For a step-by-step guide on how to add a photo to a photo, we recommend to click here. 

Blend Images

Overlay photos

 If you are looking to blend images or also called ‘Double Exposure’ effect we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how to blend pictures:

👉 For a step-by-step guide on how to do 'double exposure' from your phone, we recommend to click here.

Bokeh Overlay

I found a way to add a 'Bokeh Overlay' to your photos.

  1. Once you download the YouCam Perfect app, find the 'Store' tab and you will see 'Background'
  2. Choose the one with bokeh styles or lights
  3. Go to ‘Tools’ > Blur all the background
  4. Add a photo and use the function ‘Blend’
  5. Done

7 Best Free Photo Overlay Apps

When you want to transform your photos and let your creative inner self stand out, you need to find the best apps to add overlay effects. Here are the best apps to help you get that creative boost:

1. YouCam Perfect - Best Photo Overlay App

Download YouCam Perfect, the Best Free Photo Editing App for iPhone and Android

Rating: 4.8 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Overlaying photos, editing and beautifying, and including additional filters, frames, stickers, and more.

YouCam Perfect is the best photo app to overlay photos. The app features tons of photo editing and beautifying tools. More than a selfie editing app, YouCam Perfect makes it easy to add a picture to another picture and overlay effects with just a few steps.

2. Adobe Photoshop - Photo Overlay App

Photoshop, Photo Overlay App

Rating: 4.4 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Editing, cutting out, combining, and enhancing photos on the go.

The Adobe Photoshop Express app lets you edit, retouch, collage, and combine high-quality pictures together. It has preset one-touch transformation tools to edit photos on the go quickly.

3. Superimpose - Photo Overlay App

Superimpose, Photo Overlay App

Rating: 4.5 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Combining multiple photos to create artistic double exposure images.

The Superimpose app lets you unleash your creativity by featuring easy-to-use editing features. The app lets you quickly change the background of your photos, comes with a set of masking tools, and lets you create double exposure images easily.

4. PhotoLayers - Photo Overlay App

PhotoLayers , Photo Overlay App

Rating: 4.8 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Creating photomontages.

The PhotoLayers app lets you create creative photomontages. While the app doesn’t come with extensive editing features as other apps do, it’s best for quickly adding a photo to another one.

5. Pixlr - Photo Overlay App

Pixlr, Photo Overlay App

Rating: 3.6 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Editing photos and create fun designs on your phone or desktop.

Pixlr features different effects, overlays, and filters to help you transform your photos on the go. Create collages and use double exposure to combine pictures.

6. PhotoDirector - Photo Overlay App

Photodirector, Photo Overlay AppRating: 4.6 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Editing photos and videos

PhotoDirector is a powerful photo editing app that includes an overlay feature, allowing users to enhance their photos by adding creative overlays and effects.

7. Fotor - Photo Overlay App

Fotor, Photo Overlay App

Rating: 4.7 stars

Available on: iOS and Android

Best For: Overall photo editing mainly on the web version

Using the overlay feature in Fotor is simple and user-friendly. After selecting a photo to edit, you can access the overlay option within the app's editing tools

YouCam Perfect: Best App to Add Overlay Effects to Photos

With YouCam Perfect, you can get a professional-quality selfie and photo every time. YouCam Perfect is the best photo editor and beauty camera app out there. Instantly adjust your photos with blur tools, overlay effects, magic brushes, and layers to take your selfies from plain to Insta-worthy in seconds.

It is time to unleash your creativity and try different overlay effects on your photos. Choose from over 10 possible combinations and adjustments to get the perfect photo. Download the photo overlay app now to get started, available now on the Google App Store and Apple App Store.

Download YouCam Perfect, the Best Free Photo Editing App for iPhone and Android

Related Photo Overlay Posts:

Overlay Effects FAQs

How Do I Overlay an Image on Another Picture?


  1. Download the YouCam Perfect app
  2. In the ‘Photo Edit’ tab choose a photo In the editing features > find ‘Add Photo’
  3. Add the other photo and use the ‘Blending’ tool if you wish
  4. Save

Can You Overlay Pictures With an iPhone?

Yes, download the YouCam Perfect app,  find the 'overlays effect', and add them to your photos

What App Can I Use to Put a Picture on Another Picture?

Use the YouCam Perfect app to add a photo to another

How Do You Add a Flare to a Photo?

  1. Download the YouCam Perfect app
  2. Choose the photo you want to add ‘Flare Effect’ to
  3. Find ‘Overlays’
  4. Choose between the options

Why Am I Suddenly Getting Lens Flare on My Photos?

It must be that you are directly taking a photo of a sunny place or where the sun is.

How Do You Get the Flare Effect?

There are 2 ways:

  1. Natural way: find the sun and a very bright place and start taking photos
  2. Use an app: to add the ‘flare effect’ to any photo, any time.
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