How I Edit My Photos For Instagram

March 18, 2018

So many of you have asked for this after I shared how I edit my Instagram stories, and since I love reading about how other people edit their images for Instagram I thought I would share mine!

I shoot most of my images on my olympus pl7 camera but every so often I’ll shoot something on my iphone. My camera has built-in wifi so I can send the snaps straight to my phone which is perfect for when I’m shooting full looks. But if I’m just taking a quick snap I’ll use my phone. These editing steps are what I use no matter what I’ve shot on. I just might edit a little more aggressively if it’s an iphone image.

How I edit my photos for Instagram

First off I start with Lightroom CC. I’ll add the image and immediately see what the auto setting looks like. I never actually use this but it gives me an idea of what to look for in the image, for example, temperature or detailing. I’ll have a little play with shadows and highlight, then I’ll adjust the temperature if needed. I love the detailing tab and I’ll use it to sharpen images and sometimes add extra clarity.

You can do into a lot of depth editing with Lightroom but for how I edit my photos for Instagram I only really scratch the surface of this app. The app is free so if you are reluctant to pay for the desktop version this is a great taster for it.

Next up I’ll use Snapseed. This app is honestly amazing, it has so many features and I wish I’d started using it sooner! I’ve had it on my phone for years and I only really started using it at the end of last year. The main thing I use Snapseed for is the drama tool. I’ll open the image I edited in Lightroom, then open the drama section of tools, select drama 2 and get editing. Now, this leaches all the colour out of your image, so first I’ll up my saturation to around +5/+10. After that, I’ll play with the drama and maybe put it at 20 or 30% depending on the image. I love that it adds a depth and a structure to the image.

Next up I’ll pop into the tune image section and select ambience. I’ll play around with the settings to get something I like but usually, I’ll just use that and the lighting tools a little. Glam Glow is an amazing feature and adds a soft lighting to your photo, remember to adjust it though as you don’t want to look like you have completely blurred out all of your features!

Lastly, I’ll use A Color Story. This app has some of my all-time favourite filters. Not only can you save your presets, you can also view the images on your Instagram grid before posting them.

I mainly use my presets on this app. I have one for nearly everything, selfie, make-up, street style, holiday, you name it I’ve got one! The first thing I do is go to filters, my favourite packs are stardust and fresh. I like to layer filters, so I’ll pick one, adjust the strength, and then add more until I’m happy with the end result. You can hold the screen to see the original image and tap the bars on the bottom left to see all the filters you have used. You can also edit them so if you think you’ve gone a little overboard, you don’t have to start from scratch.

After this, I’ll pop the image into Instagram and I’m good to go! The editing tools on Instagram are great if you are looking to do some last minute changing on colours or to make an image that little bit sharper.

Below is the before and after of the image, you can see the difference in lighting and depth. When taking photos it’s good to remember that great lighting will go along way. After all, there’s only so much editing an image can take before it looks over edited.

I hope you liked seeing how I edit my photos for Instagram. If you have any editing apps you love then please let me know what they are in the comments below!

*All images taken at Daily Grind.

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