August 21, 2015

How I Edit my Instagram Photos

After my recent Ingram roundup, I got quite a few questions about what app and filters I use to edit all my Instagram photos.  I find editing photos for Instagram to be just as fun as taking the photos.  It always amazes me how you can edit one photo so many different ways and make it look like multiple completely different photos.  I also find Instagram trends to be so interesting.  Like why have we gone back to all square photos?  Why did we ever stop using square photos?  Why did we stop adding frames to our photos?

I am always envious of the people who are capable of creating a perfectly curated Instagram theme.  There was a time when I tried to darken my photos like one blogger, grey them out like another, or whiten them like a different one.  There are so many different themes and trends and its important to find one that works with you and your brand.  I learned that I like to take photos of so many different things and that I don't need to stick to a single tone or color.  I can make a theme that fits my feed and my style

However, that being said I do always stick to a routine in the editing process.  I tend to use the app Afterlight and occasionally use the app VSCO Cam.  I first clarify the photo to about 50.  Next is the brightness and contrast and this is totally dependent upon how dimly lit your photo was initially.  I like my photos to be pretty bright but this is totally up to you.  And I only usually up the contrast a little bit, to maybe like 20.  I normally keep the saturation levels at 0 but sometimes will bump it up to about 10-15.  Finally, I up the shadows almost the whole way!  I will usually just stop there but sometimes (if I remember haha!) I will upload the photo to VSCO and add the C1 filter at about a level 6.

And now lastly, the caption.  This is definitely the hardest part of the entire Instagram process.  I never know if I should go serious or funny.  I am an absolute sucker for puns so that is usually my go to.  Or I am completely basic and go with the classic quote / song lyric.  

My only recommendation when taking your Instagram photos is to not feel like you need to fit in a theme.  While looking at themed accounts can definitely be so pleasing and stunning, don't feel like you have to fit in a certain one.  Make your own that fits you!  And lastly, don't feel limited by the lighting or the coloring because you can always edit it.


  1. Love these types of post! I use VSCO cam too! I tried Snapseed,,but ultimatetly like vsco cam better!

  2. Thanks for the tips! I'm always looking to make my Instagram photos look better. My favorite is VSCO!

  3. I love instagram. I like VSCO and Afterlight too!

  4. I love VSCO and Afterlight as well.
    I don't have an Instagram theme because I find them too hard to keep up with but I do tend to use the same few filters each time.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  5. I use instagram on Lumia phone. All I want to say is be yourself. And for the song lyrics part, we have all been there. Hahaha

  6. love this! I am currently working on trying to create an insta "theme" and it's actually harder than it looks! x, kenz

  7. Such great tips! I've heard great things about Afterlight, so I may need to test it out. I use Fotor and FaceTune-- they work pretty well, too!

    Diary of a Debutante

  8. I'm absolutely obsessed with VSCO cam for my photos - I swear by the filter S3!

    Pick Your Beau

  9. Love this! I just started using Afterlight lately and love it so much! It just makes everything look cleaner and more professional.

    Courtney// As We Stumble Along

  10. LOVE THIS! I always need some more tips on how to make pictures prettier.

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  11. I love VSCO cam! I use F2 mostly but I've been starting to switch it up lately! It's amazing how much better photos look just with brightening!

    Kayla |

  12. I loved your tips. I think it is definitely important for bloggers to stick to their own style when using instagram. My favorite app for filtering is afterlight.

    xoxo, Danielle

  13. I use Afterlight too, it's one of my favorites. I totally agree, the caption is the hardest!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  14. My favorite type of post! I just use the Instagram app and adjust the brightness/highlights/contrast!

  15. VSCO cam is my favorite too! I always struggle with the caption part too. Unless it comes to me right away, it is the longest part of the editing process!

  16. VSCO cam is my favorite when it comes to using the library feature to pre-plan posts. It's so handy!

    Coming Up Roses


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