How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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A Good photo edit make all the difference.

I get asked a lot how I edit my pictures and it's not a question that I can particularly answer all that quickly. I wrote a blog post a while ago on how I edit for Instagram, but since then a lot has changed and the way I edit is completely different. There’s a number of different steps to how I edit my photos and they’re much more easily answered in a blog post rather than an Instagram DM – so here is said blog post!

What I use:

I recently made the switch from an iPhone 7+ camera to a Canon EOS 200D camera and it’s honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. There is a HUGE difference in quality and camera photos are a lot easier to edit. Of course, that’s not to say that iPhone quality is bad, I was using an iPhone for over a year to take my photos, I was just looking to take my photos to the next level, and in order to do that, I knew I was going to need to edit in RAW.

A RAW image is one that captures all of the image data recorded by the camera sensor when you take a photo. This is different from JPEG as the image information gets compressed and some of it gets lost. Shooting in raw means that you produce higher quality images, and it makes correcting mistakes a lot easier in post production that could be irreversible when shooting in JPEG. I know, I know, that’s a little confusing. But in more simple terms; it means that the photo is easier to edit in Lightroom.

Lightroom:

When I made the switch from iPhone to camera, I also made the jump from phone editing apps to Lightroom on desktop. If you have the time to learn Lightroom, I would STRONGLY recommend you do so. There is so much more you can do in Lightroom than editing apps such as Snapseed and VSCO (not bashing these apps – I still love them!) and you can adjust individual colours and edit certain areas of a photo without editing the whole thing. I didn’t take any sort of Lightroom class, I just self-taught myself using the power of YouTube (visualrev and Maarten Schrader are great for tutorials!) Presets are also extremely fun to play around with – there’s loads of free ones around the internet for you to experiment with!

While I’m not going to take you through a step-by-step on how I edit my photos (a girl has got to have some secrets!) I will give you a general idea on what I do:*

  1. First things first, I always enable profile corrections. This basically corrects any distortion that the lens may have made to the photo.

  2. I then put my photo in a 4:5 ratio rather than square. Personally, I prefer how my photos look in this format and it also means that you can get more in your photo and it also takes up more space on your followers home feed!

  3. I turn up the shadows and the blacks.

  4. In hues, I generally make the yellows more orange to make my skin look better.

  5. I desaturate A LOT. Mainly the greens and the yellows to give my photos a softer feel.

  6. I turn down the luminance of my greens.

*The way I edit my photos always slightly varies.

Photoshop

I never make any actual edits to the photo in Photoshop, but I always use this if I need to clone something or I want to add a little bit of magic to my photos, such as adding book wings.

Apps

Despite not using apps to edit the brightness, saturation etc. anymore, I do still use them!

  1. I use the perspective in Snapseed to tilt photos if I have taken the photo at a slightly dodgy angle.

  2. TouchRetouch is always my saviour, This is good to remove things such as telephone wires in the background or plug sockets (In my experience, it does a better job than photoshop.)

  3. I then use the Snowcone filter in ColorStory to add a bit of pop to my photos.

And there you have it! That’s how I edit my photos. It is a little more complicated than using phone apps but I am loving learning Lightroom so much that I don’t mind. Having no luck with finding any filters that I particularly liked (I have been through P4 and S2 on VSCO and several others on Colorstory) I knew that I was going to have to try something different. Lightroom gives you more control when editing your photos and is easy to learn through YouTube and presets. From what I’ve learnt, a good photo is all in the editing and if you edit a photo right, you can make anything look good!

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