Hey, hey! We’ve seen some of these ‘how I edit my photos’ posts going around, and love the idea of getting insight from someone personally about what they do, rather than just a post that shows what you SHOULD do. I manage several Instagram accounts, but I’ve noticed I get the most questions about my personal account. Being a huge fan of VSCO Cam (read about our favorite filters here), I get a ton of questions about what filters I use. We’ll be doing another VSCO-themed post next month, but for now I wanted to share my entire editing process!
Taking the Photo
For my Instagram, most of the photos are taken with my iPhone 6. I’ll probably need to upgrade at some point, but I still think my phone takes great photos, and I honestly like the slightly candid look. My feed is still curated according to my style/brand, but it doesn’t look too polished. I’m not a professional photographer, so I really don’t have an interest in making it look like I am. We use @theblogmarket + @consciousshopcollective primarily to promote our websites so often we’ll re-use the photos one of us took with a dSLR from the blog.
Adding a Filter
As you know, I love VSCO! We like A Color Story too, especially for colorful feeds, but I’m a forever fan of VSCO for both my own Insta and to get that film look in Lightroom when I edit photos for my blog. Still, there are a few things to note. I always, always use the same filter. One filter. Doing this allows me to have more breadth in the type of photos I post, from nature to crafts to style, yet still look cohesive. I like a lot of the ones in the basic pack, but once I downloaded F1 I was hooked. I like my photos to have a very slight purple/pink-ish hue which is very reflective of my style, and it did just that.
Of course it’s totally cool to change it up after awhile too… I started to want a slightly more natural look, so I downloaded the amazing Alchemy Collection, which is Q1-10. Once I landed on Q5, there was no turning back. Q5 gives it that same dreamy vibe, without the high contrast of my previous filter, so for the past month or two I’ve been using that instead.
Perfecting the Filter
Thankfully, we’ve long been able to tone down the intensity of filters in most photo apps. I generally tone it down to about 2/3 of the intensity. It makes everything look more natural. If you have a high-contrast feed or prefer lots of color, or even just lots of black + white, you might want to find a filter you like and stick to the maximum intensity. Up to you!
Brightness & Highlights
I no longer edit brightness/contrast or highlights in VSCO at all. I used to, but I always found it lost some of the luster of the photo. I’m pretty sure most people in social media agree with this, ha! These settings in the Instagram app itself are actually amazing, so I’ll just add my filter and wait to mess with the rest until I am ready to post. If there’s white in the background or things look a little too dark for my feed, I will pretty much up those highlights all the way. For brightness, I tend to just increase it the tiniest bit so it doesn’t look blown out.
And there you have it. If you’re new to Instagram or phone photo editing, it might seem like a lot, but this is actually a super simple way to go about it. I’m generally preeeetty burnt out on social for work, so I honestly don’t want to spend too much time on my own account. At the same time, I love having this space for my photos, so I like to keep it pretty!
Have you written up a post on your photo editing process? Let us know if you do!