how i edit my instagram photos

my feed isn’t perfect, but i simply love editing my photos to create themes (which i usually don’t stick with for more than a 6-9 pictures).  depending on my mood and the weather, i’ll create muted feeds, vibrant feeds, minimalist feeds, dark feeds, vintage feeds, etc.  as of now, my instagram is private (although that might change in the future), but here are some snapshots of a few of my themes.







listed below are some of the ways i keep up my feed.


1. vsco

this one’s a go-to app for me.  a free app that with gorgeous presets (some of which you have to buy), vsco is a popular, beginner-friendly editor.  besides the basic editing features such as exposure and contrast, this app includes ways for you to set the same undertone to all your pictures.  for feeds, playing with temperature, tints, and tones is important, and using the same filter will bring a cohesive look.

2. snapseed

powered by google, this app is extremely high-tech for being free of cost.  i recommend this app specifically for its healing feature (got that pimple you don’t want in your picture?), its minimalist text to put on your photos, its selective tool (so you can edit specific parts of your photo–works great for exposure mishaps), and its double exposure.  it does have some filters, non of which i would use, and some facial editing features. (see example of healing feature before and after below)

IMG_4319.JPG     FullSizeRender-2.jpg

3. pinterest

believe it or not, this app/website makes the list as well, mostly because it’s a great source of inspiration when deciding on a feed.  look up vsco presets or themes, and it’ll give you a whole bunch of different moods/styles/tones to choose from.  chose one that matches your photos and your own personality.  also, pinterest is great for getting photo inspo when you can’t think of any more photos to take in your world and can also give you caption inspo for an original quote/phrase!

4. unum or preview

these free apps are basically for uploading your pictures of a potential feed to see if, together, they all look cohesive and nothing is clashing.  both these apps have the same functions, and both are easy to use.  i use the two of them, one for each of my instagram accounts (so i don’t have to pay for an upgrade to add more accounts!).  this helps give you an idea, before you post, of whether or not you like where your feed is headed.  i’ve also seen people create new instagram accounts to test out their feeds, or simply use vsco’s photo gallery page.

5. airbrush

an equivalent (but free) alternative to the popular facetune app, this one is a basic facial editor.  however, what i use it for is actually its whitening feature.  meant to whiten teeth, the whitening feature can also be easily used for a white theme or even to just get your picture brighter or cleaner.

6. adobe photoshop mix

this app is basically what it states: a photoshop app.  it’s one of the most simple, easy to use programs i’ve tried, and it’s free.  i’ve photoshopped celebrities, family members, and pets into my photos, and the possibilities, as you can imagine, are endless.


1. friends

the best way to create a fabulous instagram page is to have another perspective.  show a trusted friend your potential theme and get their feedback.  they’re also a great way to come up with original captions.  plus, you can drag them around with you and have them take your picture (or you theirs).  go on photoshoots while bonding and exploring the world.

2. lighting

of course, everything comes down to the picture in its unedited form; to have beautiful edits, you have to start with a fairly decent canvas.  this mostly comes down to the lighting of your pictures.  poor lighting, especially that which isn’t natural, can ruin your pictures.  that said, play with shadows, try dark feeds, etc.

last few tips: if you have any “eyesore” pics that don’t match your theme use the multiple picture feature on instagram! also, ever wonder how to center your name or bio? copy the empty space between these quotations “⠀⠀⠀” and paste into your bio to act as invisible space holders.


steph kayla.

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