I wanted to share a bit of my editing process for any new bloggers or small businesses who are new to Instagram. It took me a while to learn about photo editing and I used to do no more than brightening my photos and a little skin correction (when I did makeup shots). But since my interests have progressed more into a lifestyle appreciating nature and the simple things in life, I’ve had to improve my photo editing skills to make my images more intriguing.
As Instagram is a visual platform, having eye-catching photos can be helpful for engagement and to impart your thoughts and the message you want to share.
Editing photos on Instagram can be done quite easily and quickly on your phone with a couple of free apps. It’s important to shoot with proper lighting and to practice framing images with the grid, and to try out different angles.
A lot of popular Instagram accounts will have a consistent theme and look to their images. Everybody is different with what style they like, so it’s good to play around and see what works for you. I change up my color theme from time to time as my creativity develops, and a lot of my favorite Instagrammers do this as well.
My two go-to apps for editing are free and worth the download ; Snapseed and A ColorStory. Both have the ability to save ‘looks’ or edits that you made – this is a super convenient feature for quick editing.
Here is a look at the Snapseed tool box. What I love about Snapseed is that there are options beyond just coloring, tinting and contrasting. For example;
- You can also remove unwanted or distracting objects with the Healing tool
- Select specific areas to brighten, saturate or sharpen
- Use the Brush tool to swipe with your finger over areas you want to adjust the light, exposure, temperature or saturation
- Adjust the vertical and horizontal perspective with the Transform tool
Those are just my favorites, and as as you can see, there are a few more features. If you were to scroll down they also have a lot of different filters, which I personally never use.
Here is an iPhone Photo that I used Snapseed to edit. The photo is nicely framed and is fine on its own, but to me didn’t reflect how the lighting and ambiance actually was that day. The day was overcast and the greenery seemed more lush to me in person. Lately I like a touch of darkness in my photos and a bit of color pop.
These were my edits:
- Using the Curves tool, I selected “soft contrast”
- I added a Vignette and took it down to -50
- Changed to vertical perspective by +10 with the Transform tool.
- Using the Brush tool, I brought down the exposure only on the sides of the tree trunk and the background seen at the sides. Sometimes bringing exposure down can enhance colors.
Here is another simple photo I took on a walk of a natural daisy patch. It was the middle of the day, so not the best lighting, but it looked so beautiful to me and I wanted to show the beauty of how it actually seemed.
My edits were a bit different for this one:
- Under ‘Tune Image’ I made these adjustments:
- saturation + 30
- ambiance +25
- highlights +20
- shadows -10
2. I used Curves and selected ‘darken’
3. Under Vignette, I brought the outer darkness down to -50
4. I sharpened the image by +50 using the Details tool
The free version of A Color Story is also excellent for bringing your photos to life. It doesn’t have any corrective tools, but has a lot of great options in the Adjust menu to enhance your photos. I like quickly editing nature photos in this app. A well known feature of A Color Story is the “Clarity” tool.
In a photo like this, I simply play around with the curves tool to make it a bit darker, sharpen the image a bit, bring up the clarity, add a vignette and that’s it.
Hope you found this helpful!