How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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blog post cover

I'm ready to spill the beans! One of the most frequent questions I get is, "How do you edit your Instagram photos?" and I never really answered anyone who asked, simply because I always play around and experiment with different styles depending on my mood and what I'm going after, and so it was hard to never give a lengthy or specific answer on social media. I decided to pick three random photos that are currently in my VSCOcam archive to show you guys three of the many ways I edit photos. Hopefully this will inspire you to adapt and experiment on my current editing styles. Just so we're clear, I edit all my Instagram/blog photos on VSCOcam! Enjoy!

 Majority of the time, I use auto exposure when taking photos on my iPhone 6, and it usually comes out a little too dark for editing. I like bright photos, so 80% of the time I always heighten the exposure. It's not always +3, sometimes it's more or less, depending on how bright I want the photo to be!  I always (always, always!) need to place a filter. This clean S2 is a nice subtle filter for this top shot. I want it a wee bit more subtle so I decrease the intensity to +9. It doesn't look like it made a huge difference, but if you try it yourself you'll see it.  Et voila! A stark difference from the original and the post processed photo.

I also never crop on VSCOcam, I just crop directly on the Instagram app.

 This next example shows a lot of different colors in the photo, I want a lively feel, and so I'm going to take advantage of the colors and make them pop a bit. Again, increased exposure -- just because it looks better!  E3 is a great preset to make colors pop, but again I lessened the intensity because personally it takes certain moods to have me appreciate so much color. Lessening the intensity made the photo and the colors less in-your-face.  I'm also not a huge fan of warm tones for photos, I prefer cooler shades so I decreased the temperature to -1 to give it a cooler tone. After this I had to straighten the photo because lopsided photos make me cringe.  Ta-da! I managed to make the pink and red shades on the door pop, and my skin color to pop out against the colorful door as well.

 This final example is a simple one. Again, photo is way too dark so I had to increase the exposure to +4. I actually like the tones and how the photo came out after just adjusting the brightness. It doesn't even really need a filter anymore! But, for the sake of this tutorial....  I applied the A8 preset, which gives a nice minimalistic effect. Again, very cool in tone and has the fade effect. I lessened the intensity because I wanted less of the fade effect which made the whites turn a little more gray. I like the whites in my photos to show, if you haven't already noticed.  And the final result, whiter whites, better tones and contrasts between the light and shadows.

These are just 3 ways I would edit photos, and I never stick to one way of editing because it varies in each photo I take. Sometimes the exposure will be really good that I won't have to increase it anymore, sometimes I even lessen the exposure and amp up the temperature to warmer tones, sometimes I'll edit a photo, save it, then upload it again to apply a different filter... It's anything and everything under the sun and never the same way unless I take a succession of photos in the same exact lighting, and they need to be uploaded on the blog. Thankfully VSCOcam has a new feature where you can copy an editing style on an existing photo and paste it in batches on your chosen photos.

Before I go, I want to stress that you should learn to EXPERIMENT! It's the best way to find your own editing style. The reason a lot of people on Instagram wont reply to "what app? what preset? how did u edit this pls tell me youre so pretty thanks" comments is because they either didn't see it or they did but don't want to divulge their editing style. Mine was definitely the latter. I'm not afraid to admit that because truthfully I spent a lot of time experimenting until I found an editing style I really liked and felt was really me; well, there's that and the fact that it was a hassle to comment the entire process on Instagram. Haha. So call it selfish if you will, but sometimes it's kinda nice when you have our own style, which you figured out on your own, and it's all yours. You know what I mean?

That being said, I chose to share it now because I just felt like it was time to share at least something, if not everything; and I definitely will not lose anything by sharing something that's a part of me.

I hope you were enlightened by my How To post! If you have any more How To requests, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll try my best to deliver! :)

Bisous, wildlings! <3