Oh Instagram, you’re not exactly flavour of the month right now. Like…yeah, pretty much everyone, I have a love-hate relationship with Insta. Its weird algorithm and sucky format has me pulling my hair out most days but I can’t help but feel inspired and well, totally hooked on what it has to offer. When it comes to my morning routine, procrastinating or killing some time at the dentist, you’ll find me scrolling, uploading or mulling over a caption or two. Over the last few months I’ve had more and more messages of people asking me how I edit my Instagram photos so I thought I’d take you through some hints and apps I use to put together my feed.
Whether you use Insta for work or pleasure, there’s no denying that everyone is upping their game. Now, I’m a firm believer in doing your own thang and trying not to compare to the bigwigs. I mean, if hanging off the edge of the Eiffel Tower doesn’t fit in with your 11 o ‘clock board meeting, I get it. But there are certain things you can do to get your grid together and create a more cohesive account.
Although, allegedly Instagram favours shots taken on an iPhone instead of a professional camera, I tend to use a combination of both and always snap in bright daylight. Not just because night shots on an iPhone look like a blurry mess, research as shown that daylight images get more likes and engagement. Speaking of which, if your pictures aren’t getting the reaction you were hoping for try switching your account to a business one to see what day and time your audience is online. Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to pay a visit to the App Store for a helping hand…
I don’t have a ‘grid theme’ exactly and if it looks like I do it’s usually a happy coincidence. When I travel a theme naturally occurs because the colours end up looking the same but although I’m mindful about it, I think Instagram should be a little more organic. I see some ‘grammers’ feed who are meticulous with their theme and the whole grid is a wash of pink and all the images blur into one another. It’s just not my vibe. If there’s an image I want to post but I’m unsure if it’ll look too out there, I’ll use Planoly. This is a free app but you only get a certain amount of uploads free a month before it’ll ask you to upgrade and pay. So, I tend to only use this if I’m unsure. It won’t post for you but it lets you arrange a week or so’s Instagrams to keep you super organised in case this fails.
I edit my Instagram photos and blog images in Lightroom. This is also free and is more technical than most editing software and falls into the same realm as Photoshop. Particularly handy if you have an image that’s too dark or is dominant in one colour or another as it allows you to desaturate particular hues instead of the whole image. It’s easy to go a bit overboard with the features and before you know it your picture doesn’t really look real anymore so use with caution!
Known as the airbrushing app, I don’t use this one all that much as it gives the image a fake look but it is good for getting rid of things in the shot. For example if there’s litter, a photobomb or a dog poo bin – the Patch tool is perfect for removing those things. I edit my Instagram photos with as much integrity as possible – I try to be completely transparent and don’t want to portray something that isn’t real so if I have a spot or greasy hair I’m afraid you’re going to see it because that’s life people!
The holy grail of editing and a must for when I edit my Instagram photos. These are filters that are better more subtle than Instagrams. Every blogger worth their salt uses VSCO from Lorna Luxe (uses A5) to Lydia Millen (uses HB1) because it offers 12782 filters. Ok, not really but there’s a lot – some are free and some you buy but they’re arty and beautiful not naff and cheesey like the standard sepia or the overly-orange iPhone photo filters. I tend to use A6 and take it way down to a 3.0 or 4.0 depending on the light but just enough to give it some depth.