Featured Social Media & Blogging

Creating double-tap worthy photos for Instagram

January 13, 2016

Building my social media over the past two years has been a tedious process. You have to interact, follow, unfollow when necessary, post relevant photos to your brand, and so much more. One of the greatest things you can do for your Instagram is to download the following apps, get to know them, and use them to take the quality of your photos to the next level! (I do things a little bit differently for my blog, so we are going to focus on making swoon-worthy Instagram photos!)

Apps you need:

  1. VSCO Cam: Every single photo I post to Instagram gets a once-over in VSCO. I’ve found that VSCO delivers the highest quality of photo.
  2. Rhonna Designs: Any time I add embellishments or wording to a picture on my Instagram, it’s through Rhonna. I’ve purchased most of the fonts and all the embellishments, totally worth it.
  3. Instasize: I don’t post a lot of collages, but when I need to, I exclusively use Instasize. It’s super easy and makes clean collages. (I used this app to make all the pictures in this post so I won’t be giving examples!) Also, some people are a fan of the white borders for Instagram photos and this is a great app for that. DO NOT use this app to add a filter to your picture. It will distort it.

When it comes to taking pictures for IG, I either use my iPhone or Canon Rebel (promoting one of my blog posts or a shop product are times I may use the Canon). Like I said, every photo gets a once-over in VSCO. Here are some examples of photos I’ve posted to my Instagram that have high engagements (likes & comments):

Posting outdoor photos:

(Taken with my iPhone) Exposure +2, Contrast +2, Sharpen +4, Temperature -1, A6 Preset +10, Crop, Straighten // I’m a stickler for straightening photos, I do it to almost every picture. This picture was taken on a cloudy & rainy day, so I turned up the exposure and contrast. I also cropped it to be a little closer so you could see my necklace (I was promoting the shop). Most shops are very particular about what pictures they post on their feed, so I do my best to create a photo that they will share… and this one was shared!

(Taken with my iPhone) Exposure +2, Contrast +2, Sharpen +3, Shadows Save +1, Temperature -1, X1 Preset +5, Crop, Straighten // My husband typically acts as my photographer and he’s definitely not a pro, but we work with what we have! So the angle is really bad and makes me look short (and I’m not lol), so I made sure to straighten and crop most of my legs out. Also the concrete and bottom of the garage aren’t appealing to the eyes. I also added a black & white filter because I didn’t notice at that time that my undershirt was sticking out and I didn’t want that to distract from the picture.


Here is an example of a photo I took on my Canon (for Instagram). I never (or rarely) post photos with filters to my blog, but I love a good filter for Instagram!

Posting indoor photos:

(Taken on my iPhone) Exposure +4, Contrast +2, Sharpen +4, Shadows Save +1, Temperature -1, HB1 Preset +12, Crop, Straighten // This picture was taken in our guest bathroom where there is horrible lighting. So brightening it up a ton was a must. I also straightened it to make it look like I wasn’t jumping around trying not to get splashed! Then of course, I added a really bright filter to give it a clean look. There’s a shadow on Brooklynn’s face from the shower curtain that I couldn’t quite erase, but I love the way this picture turned out.

Creating graphics with Rhonna Designs:

FullSizeRender (4)

Once again, the photos were edited in VSCO (unless they have a white background with no photo). Then I uploaded them to Rhonna Designs. I’ve purchased most of the fonts and sticker packs, and it is totally worth it. This app is so easy to use. When using fonts, especially on a background, I highly suggest adding a shadow to make the words pop.

I hope this can really help out some of my fellow instagrammers! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have, you can DM me on Instagram (@thegarciadiaries) or email me at thegarciadiaries@gmail.com!




  • Reply
    January 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Love this post!! ?

  • Reply
    A Beautiful RAWR
    January 13, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Love these tips! I didn’t know about Rhonda but I’ll have to purchase it. I always wondered how some bloggers and IG accounts got such pretty graphics . -Linh

  • Reply
    January 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Really enjoyed this post! Gave me some really fun ideas on how make my photos pop. I’ve seen rhonna design and really liked it but I started using photofy. It has so many clipart pics and sayings for every occasion. I downloaded vcos too!! Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    Courtney B
    January 15, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Love, love, love this post! I got VSCO once but got rid of it because I had no idea how to use it, ha! Looks like I need to figure it out!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      It took a few weeks to figure out, but now I can’t like without it!! ????

  • Reply
    10 Ways To Step Up Your Instagram Game | The Garcia Diaries
    April 20, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    […] with your filters can help keep your feed cohesive. I use VSCO to edit my photos (more on that here) and lately, I’ve been sticking to A4, A6, A7 and […]

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