Creating the perfect Instagram photo is an art, and it’s an art that I’ve been trying to master for the past three years as a lifestyle blogger and seasoned Instagram user. I receive messages and emails every day asking what apps I use to edit my photos, what camera I use, how I edit them, etc. I am so excited to share this guide with you all!
Apps to download:
- VSCO. ALL of my photos go through VSCO. This app is my #1 must-have for editing.
- Retouch. This is like a mini-photoshop app. It’s a life saver.
- Extra apps I use sometimes: Lens Distortion (for light leaks), FaceTune (for details or teeth whitening), PicTapGo (some people swear by their brightening tool).
A few things before we get started…
1. I take 95% of my photos with my iPhone 7. I do work with an amazing photographer every week (on Insta, she is tagged in the photos she takes) and I pull out my DSLR from time to time. But the majority of my Instagram photos are iPhone shots! All photos featured below were taken on my iPhone. Some in poor lighting indoors, some in harsh sunlight outdoors.
2. You’ll see me talk a lot about “filter A6”. This is just a filter on VSCO. You can use whatever filter you want, this is just the one I prefer. If you don’t see it on your app, it’s because I paid extra for it (they have sooo many extras you can purchase)! Every single photo on my Instagram feed uses the same filter so that it’s consistent and cohesive.
3. These tips should be helpful to anyone who uses Instagram, whether you’re a blogger, shop or brand, or simply an Instagram user that loves pretty photos!
This photo was taken indoors in poor lighting. For this image, I only used VSCO. I turned up the exposure (a lot), contrast, sharpening. I turned down the temperature. Then I cropped, rotated a tad and added filter A6. See the final photo on Instagram HERE.
This photo was taken outdoor in harsh sunlight. For this image, I only used VSCO. I turned up the exposure (just a tad), contrast, sharpening and I turned down the temperature (a tiny bit – less than 0.5). Then I added filter A6. See the final photo on Instagram HERE.
This photo was taken outdoor in the shade (my favorite lighting). For this image, I used two apps: VSCO and Retouch. First, I used VSCO to turn up the exposure, contrast, sharpening and turn down the temperature a tiny bit. I cropped, straightened and added filter A6. Then I used the Retouch app to remove the paper from the background near Brooklynn (on the left)! If I had time (and patience), I might try to remove all the stains on the concrete. See the final photo on Instagram HERE.
This photo was taken indoors in the worst lighting EVER. For this image, I used two apps: VSCO and Retouch. I followed basically the same steps as the previous image with VSCO. Then I used the Retouch app to remove the door stopper near her shoes. Easy peasy! See the final photo on Instagram HERE.
For this image, I only used VSCO. I turned up the exposure (a lot), contrast, sharpening and turned down the temperature. Then I straightened the photo so that the ruler was straight on the wall and cropped a tad. I finished by adding filter A6. See the final photo on Instagram HERE.
These steps are super easy and once you get the hang of it, it’s second nature. It took time to learn these apps, but now it takes me less than 30 seconds to edit the perfect Instagram photo!
Some people swear by certain apps or a certain camera, but in my opinion… less is always more. You don’t need 10 different apps. You don’t even need an amazing camera. Learn to use the two apps I mentioned above and you’ll be good to go with your iPhone! And leave the fancy camera for your photographer to use (disclaimer: I use a photographer once a week for all my blog photos, I just use iPhone for Instagram photos)!
Hopefully these tips will help you step up your Instagram game!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or send me a message!