I’ve been a little bit MIA on my blogging tips series recently, so I thought I’d come back with one of my most requested blog posts – how I edit my Instagram pics! I’m obviously in no-way an expert, and to be honest I don’t really know that much about editing or photography in general, but if you’re curious as to what apps I use and how I use them then hopefully you’ll find this interesting!
So, here’s a little before and after pic of a photo from last week. This picture is pretty well-lit already as it was a fairly sunny evening. However, just because its well-lit, doesn’t mean that I won’t spend hours editing it. I definitely spend way too much time editing my photos so quick heads up that it’s not gonna be a short blog post.
The first app I like to use, and probably my favourite, is Adobe’s Light Room. Unlike the PC version, you can download this free, and although the premium version does allow you to do a bit more, the free version works pretty well for basic editing and colour editing. My editing style varies a little bit depending on each photo, but most of the time the very first thing I will do is take the yellow’s down in the photo (unless the photo is of something yellow – which would then, be kind of silly). You do this be selecting colour > colour mix. This then gives you eight different colours and allows you to play around with them.
The hue of the colour changes the actual shade, which is sometimes effective if I want something on my feed to match something else. You can then also alter the saturation – which is great if you need to appear a little more tanned or if you also want to edit the saturation of an individual colour rather than the whole picture (for example look how the saturation of the blues in the pic below changes the focal point of the pic massively!) The final editing bar is the Luminance which will basically effect how bright that colour appears. So if you selected red’s and then edited the luminance to the highest, all of the reds would become a really bright white red.
(As a general rule I tend to get rid of almost all of the yellow in my photos and usually up either the reds/oranges or blues, and occasionally both!) Next thing I do is still on Lightroom, and that’s editing the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows. This is all in the ‘light’ section of the app. It also allows you to play around with the whites and blacks in the photo. I tend to increase the shadows and blacks the most, and then just highlight and whites a little – but it depends how bright the original picture is.
The best thing about Lightroom is that it lets you save ‘presets’ which is basically a saved “filter” of everything you have done to a photo. This means that I can go straight into Lightroom next time with a new picture and apply the exact same process instantly to the new picture.
Ok, so I’m done in Lightroom, the next app I go to is SnapSeed. I’ve only recently been using this but its definitely one of the best editing apps I’ve come across. I especially love this app for its ‘healing’ which can basically remove things from your photos. I love to use this to get rid of things on the floor (especially in pictures where I’m sat on the floor) because who wants litter in their pic? Not me. This one isn’t too bad in terms of what’s on the floor, but I don’t really like how I’ve left my phone on the floor so I am going to remove that and tidy up the floor a little bit. (much better, see?) ** my phone is real close to my jeans so the healing hasn’t worked amazingly… but I don’t think it’s too noticeable for your average instagram user so I’ll probably just let it be a little bit blurry beside my leg.
I’ll also use SnapSeed to just continue to play around with the colours in the picture a little bit. This photo had on okay white balance as it was, but I’d also usually check the white balance and see if it changed it at all! The final thing I’ll do for this photo is lighten the floor a little bit using the ‘brush’ tool, and then brushing on the ‘dodge and burn’ just around the step area. I think this just makes the photo a little bit brighter for me feed and makes me stand out a bit more. The final thing I would do on Snapseed is crop or rotate the photo – this one doesn’t need any cropping so I’ll leave it as is.
My final editing step is when I upload my photo onto the app Preview. This is what I use to see what my Instagram feed will look like overall, and I’d 100% recommend it for anyone who is fussy ab0out their layout or theme on insta – it’s so hard to predict what pictures will look good next to each other so this sorts this all out for you in advance as you can play around with positioning. I sometimes also use preview for any finishing touches of editing (if I notice something needs changing when all the photos are together e.g. one looks a little bit too warm or a bit too vibrant etc.) I’ll also sometimes sharpen on here or I’ll sharpen a little bit on Instagram itself! And thats it! I definitely spend way too much time editing my pictures but I kinda love doing it so don’t mind! Hope you enjoyed this post & let me know if you try out any of these apps!
P.S. If you’re not already following me on Insta it’s @carrie_pendle! Thanks for reading, Carrie x