Blogging 101: How I Edit My Instagram Photos + The Power Of Editing

Monday, July 23, 2018

Everyone wants to post the perfect Instagram picture right?

Before and After

OF COURSE!

Now when your a blogger like me, posting the perfect Instagram picture is even more important. It can literally be the difference between getting noticed by a brand and securing work or going the entire month without a check coming in...and no one wants that.

I've gotten numerous questions from my followers, blogger and non bloggers alike about what filters an programs I use to edit and in general how I get the "perfectly edited pictures" I post.

While I wouldn't call my pictures anywhere close to perfect lol I have dropped a few tips here and there but finally (because y'all kept asking) I decided to spill ALL THE BEANS  behind my "perfect" instagram pics here.


DISCLAIMER:  By no means am I a master photo editor nor am I classically trained. I've simply picked up a few things over my time blogging and use a lot of trial and error.

With that being said...here we go.

Getting the perfect Instagram picture is actually easier said than done. 

When I'm taking my photos a lot goes into consideration. Long gone are my days of just pointing and shooting and being happy with the image. I'm out here thinking about my angles, what colors work best with my skin tone, what time of day it is, how my lighting will look the whole nine.

WHY EDIT?

Now I'm sure after all that your asking yourself  "well Deanna...if you do all that why do you have to edit?" 

The short answer is, the pictures I take can still be trash until I give it a once over in the editor.

Don't believe me? Take a look.


This image was taken outdoors on my patio last year, during the day in natural light.
There is NO WAY this would have been a good image to put on Instagram to represent a brand. 
It's too blue, the product isn't clear and it would have gotten no likes.

But throw a little editing magic on that bih and wala...magic.


The resulting image is 10 times better, you can see the true color of the product, there's no blue hue and things are clear. This image would have gotten 100% more likes than the original, all because I edited. 

Does this answer your question?

So now your next question right? 

"What do I need to edit?"

YOU DON'T NEED ALL THAT FANCY SHIT!

Ok...maybe I didn't need to be that aggressive in my title for this section but I'm being super honest. 

If you're a regular person just trying to look cute on the gram or you're a newbie blogger (without a photography focus) looking to build your following, you really don't need anything fancy.

So what do you need?

Your phone and some good apps. 

DAS IT. 

100% of my Instagram photos are taken with my iPhone 7. While I do have a Cannon DSLR, I hate it. It's a hassle to carry around, it's annoying to switch the settings when the lighting changes and the time it takes to set it up to when trying to get photos of myself when I don't have a helper is a waste. 


While this was taken with my regular phone and was edited with one app lol

Now I will say your pictures have the ability to come out even better than mine if you have the iPhone 8 and above but hey you work with what you got. 

Other things you may need of photos:

-A homie to take your pix
-A mini tripod for your phone
-A remote to take your pix if you are by yourself

WHAT DO YOU USE TO EDIT?

Ok, heres what your really here for right?

Every blogger you ask this will give you a different answer. What you use to edit will be influenced by your blogging niche, personal editing style and how much you're trying to correct in your photos.

I personally don't do any heavy editing, no blemish removal, no smoothing, no shaping, no well...pretty much nothing =/. 

Mainly because I'm lazy but also because I try to keep my images as true to life as possible and my editing is primarily used to enhance colors and correct them. When pictures are taken it's like bits of real color get sucked out...so I infuse them back in.

My main editing app is VSCO. Within the app i've created my own signature "filter" if you will. Which is why most of my pictures on my feed have the same hue.


 I used a mixture of their presets shown above, VSCO has a bunch of these you can choose from. Some are free and some cost but its worth the investment if you are looking to have that "similar look" on your profile. Along with those presets I add my own personal preferences for saturation, temperature, highlights etc.


I'll admit it took me a good while to decide what I liked and a bit longer to find something that worked with most of my images, but once I found it I was set. 

Making the choice to stick to this filter also dictated what type of things show up in the background of most of my images. You'll notice that I now stick to mostly light, green, blue or grey backgrounds-- which I actually love but please beware that choosing a set filter could change your posting style.


For this photo I decreased the temperature to get rid of the tan hue, then upped the saturation a bit so I was not so pale. I also brightened up the photo to bring out the true colors of the rug which you can purchase HERE if you like it.

A few other apps I like are:

Unfold- This is for insta stories, it helps you add special features and layouts. I have not started using it yet however I've seen a lot of bloggers use it and I love what you can create.

Preview- This app actually helps me organize my Instagram photos, I'm able to arrange and move them around until they are in an order I think will look good on my feed. 
Yes, I think that much into it lol


 Apps that other bloggers love to edit with but I don't or rarely use are: 

Color Story- Adjust and crop your photo, change the orientation, add effects.

Face tune- This app lets you do all the "instagram model" type things, need a little nip and tuck, a little smooth and pinch. You can do that all here.

Lightroom- With the power of photoshop at your fingertips your options really are limitless. I hear other bloggers rant and rave about this all the time.

Snapseed- Much like lightroom and color story it allows you to add effects and change the majority of your image to your liking.

Canva- This is more so for making promotional materials or graphics for your instagram stories but its still a helpful thing to have in your back pocket for use. 

WHAT TO AVOID


When shooting images and editing there are a few things that I like to avoid. These tips help with initial image quality for me anyways-- again it depends on your style. 

Direct sunlight-- This is a killer for me, because of my skin tone if I shoot anywhere between the hours of 11:30-2 with direct light I come out far too yellow/tan. Which is a complete bitch to edit.

Being still- This is the easiest way of getting 50 of the same shitty images. Try to naturally move when you shoot. It really betters your chance of getting the right angle or lighting that will make editing easier in the long run.

Not asking for a second opinion- when in doubt ask a friend, nine times out of ten they will let you know if your photo edits look good or not. I actually have 3 folks I go to when trying to pick and edit photos lol they never steer me wrong. 

SOME FINAL BEFORE AND AFTER PIX






I hope this helped all my budding bloggers to be and that you have a better idea of what apps to use and for what. 

In the comments let me know if you currently edit your photos and if so what apps you use. Also if your not big into editing your photos how do you feel about bloggers editing their photos? Do you think that they shouldn't and they should try to be more realistic or do you think it all comes along with the job? 

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna

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