HOW I EDIT MY INSTAGRAM PHOTOS
My personal advice on the different apps, filters and tips and tricks I use to take my snaps to the next level for social media.
Having your own aesthetic and way you edit pictures is definitely a skill that is highly valued by a large majority of bloggers and Social Media influencers. Is is because each unique way we all edit and craft our images for our social media platforms is based on our own personal preference, style and authenticity. Meaning that you can usually gauge a vibe/ theme from someone via their editing and often can recognise a blogger or photographers work just by the similarity of the edits and aesthetics that they consistently use across the range of their content uploads.
A lot of bloggers and instagrammers will use the same filter and editing system for pretty much every single photo - sometimes even down to using the exactly same VSCO filter, amount of brightness, if they use grain etc. every single time.
I used to be one of them and religiously I would use either A8/A9 on VSCO to about a 3-4 scale, add brightness and lower temperature… voila, I was done. However, it wasn’t until I started getting bored of the way I edited and unenthused of the way my instagram looked that I decided I wanted to spice things up a bit and really try and put in more effort to my editing - wanted to give my gram a little makeover and try take my instagram pictures to the next level.
Im not saying having a set way of editing your photos is bad, I just personally stopped finding it enjoyable and now I genuinely enjoy seeing the difference I can make to an image by playing around with filters, settings etc and creating different looks and edits for different images. It takes me a little bit more time, but I have noticed such an improvement in my engagement and response to my images.
I do still have a “theme” I like to keep consistent with my images and although it is not necessarily restrictive I feel its important to keep some cohesion within your instagram - just to make the overall page more aesthetically pleasing for new followers/brands etc that may be new to you and your page.
My main goal for all of my instagram pictures is to keep the picture as natural/ real as it can be and just ENHANCE it rather then changing it altogether. I find that not only is this what my followers love seeing, its what I like creating. For example, I don’t smooth out all of my skin, and whiten my teeth and thin-ify myself as that to me is photoshopping and not photo editing and I like to keep my gram as real and natural as I can be. But in saying that, theres absolutely no shame at all to other instagrammers who choose to do that - after all social media is everyones individual creative outlet to share whatever kind of content they’d like.
So heres how I’m currently loving to edit my instagram photos:
I swap between 3 different photo editing apps - depending on what I feel the image needs.
Most of the time Ill just use 1-2 but if an image is extremely bad quality or dark ill use all 3 to really bring out all of the colours and textures that may be less visible from bad weather etc…
The first app I tend to open a picture up in is “Snapseed”. I only just downloaded this app at the start of the year when I was overseas on my Bali trip. One of my good friends had just started posting really awesome content and consistently had bright, clear and captivating pictures so I asked her how she was able to get them looking so damn good every time and her secret…. Snapseed! (not always lighting)
If you haven’t tried this app or heard of it before - download it! It is pretty easy to use and it even has inbuilt filters that automatically brighten images for you if you cant figure it out. However I like to customise each image differently as I don’t think all pictures need the same amount of editing.
After brightening, adjusting the ambience, saturation etc ill compare the image to the first (to see my improvement) and then save it to my photo album - ready to go into the next app.
Snapseed for me is purely to brighten the image and make it easier to see everything in the image. If im able to capture the content in really good lighting the pictures don’t need to go into snapseed and go straight into the next app I love to use: VSCO.
VSCO is my most used photo app and what I use to filter my images. I also recently changed my membership and upgraded to the pro account as I figured since I was using it so frequently I would invest and upgrade myself to the whole range of filters/settings as I now interchange my filters depending on each image and what looks the best.
The one problem about having so many filters to choose from, is you often find that you want to use more then one filter. What I have found is an awesome way to decipher between filters is uploading the original image into VSCO and then going into the section of all the different filters and clicking on ones that look like it will bring out the best colour scheme in the image - each different filter changes the image slightly and can give it a different feel… I tend to choose the ones that bring out the colour and make the image pop! What I do when I have a few that I like is ill take a screenshot of the image with the filter that Ive put over it and then ill go through the screenshots and decide which one looks the most natural and make the image “pop” the most.
Here is an example of two different filters I was thinking of using for this image I posted a few weeks ago.
I used the C2 filter up to 5.5 % (the scale is out of 10)
Then I adjusted the Brightness +2, the Contrast +2, the Saturation +1 and the Temperature -4.
Then Ill save the image into my camera roll.
For a lot of images this is all ill do in terms of editing, however for certain product posts I like to detail the part of the image I want my viewers to look at so in this case I took the picture from VSCO and then uploaded it into FACETUNE which I used the detail function to highlight pieces of my hair to bring attention to the waves and length - I also sometimes use the whiten tool in this app to clean up any distractions in the background.
This was the final product after editing.
For this particular image I only used VSCO and Facetune. As you can see from this before and after, I don't over-edit my pictures however love seeing how much a little difference can make.
Once I decide on the best filter I tone down how much of the edit I am using as I like to edit my image but still keep it looking natural - for this particular image I didn’t mind that it was a little over edited as I wanted it to have a bit of the faded and light look as the picture was for a hair accessory company so I wanted the content to be a little bit different to my usual posts and make it special for them.