How I Edit My Blog/Instagram Photos

Beauty flatlay

As bloggers, half of our responsibility (other than blogging, obvz) is presenting ourselves well on social media. I know many-a-blogger to have a list of social media accounts as long as their arm, but me? I stick to the basics, AKA Twitter and Instagram. And because I really only use these two (I wish I was a Pinterest addict with all the perfect boards, but I’m just not about that life), it gives me more time and drive to work extra hard to perfect them. For any blogger, photographs are important, especially where Instagram is concerned. So today, I’m letting you in on the steps I take within the Instagram app to edit my photos, hope you enjoy!

Brighten.

As much as I wish my photos were ready to go as soon as they’re taken, that’s sadly an “If I lived in an ideal world” scenario. I want my photos to look as natural and “real life” as possible, as well as clean and visually-appealing, so brightening them is a necessary step. Depending on the photo, I usually bring the brightness up about 20 points in editing. You should never bring it up more than half-way, as this overexposes the photo, washing out the subject completely. And what’s the point in posting a photo if you can’t see the subject?

Highlight.

Similar to brightening, I’ve become very accustomed to highlighting my photos, particularly since starting an all-white theme on my Instagram. (If you’d like a post on how to create a consistent Instagram theme, leave it in a comment below!) Highlighting makes the brightest area in the photo brighter, which makes the backgrounds of my photos nice and bright without washing out the subject. In fact, it makes the subject more noticeable, which is nothing if not a major bonus. Exposure and highlight are an impeccable duo, so use them together to improve your photos. And remember, less is more.

Cactus

Contrast.

Contrast refers to the lightest and darkest parts of the photo, and is necessary if you’re like me and use light backgrounds with dark subject matter. Contrast alteration ensures that your photos contain true black and pure white elements; broken down, it means grey tones are taken away, and whites become as white as can be, while simultaneously drawing the eye towards the subject matter and making it pop. And who doesn’t want that?

Warmth.

If there’s one thing I hate in my photos, it’s warm tones. (Unless they’re in my hair and make-up, obviously ;)) In all seriousness though, I don’t think they do general photos any favours. What I do to combat this, is bring the warmth setting down 5 – 15 points. Don’t bring it down too far though, or your photo will be super blue. Unless you’re into that sort of thing… *hums Eiffel 65*

Donut

Saturation.

Another required step for finished-looking photos. The last thing I ever want is a photo that looks dull or washed out, but a little saturation can make all the difference. For example, more often than not I’ll add saturation to a selfie before I upload it, because as fiery as my hair/crimson as my lipstick is, sometimes a photo just needs a little more “va-va-voom” to really stand out in the best way. If you’re new to photo-editing, try it out sometime, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make! Just don’t over-do it on the selfies, the overdone lobster look doesn’t look good on anyone.

Sharpen.

The final touch for that polished new Instagram update. As I usually take my photos on my Canon 100D, they don’t really need much work in that regard. But by bringing the sharpness up by ten or so points, it makes for the clearest, crisp photo you could imagine. Pinterest-worthy, am I right?

What are your photo-editing tips?

You might also like Pinterest-Worthy Instagram AccountsBlogging Props and How To Use Them and Favourites: Instagram Accounts

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6 Comments

  1. Hayley
    December 9, 2015 / 9:08 PM

    I’m with you on pinterest, I’ve tried it but I’m just no good at making it look so pretty. I love instagram though and I’d love to have a ‘theme’ but I just don’t know where to start – i really should do what you’ve done and write down a list of points/filters that i use so I can go back and make sure every photo is the same.

    • rockettequeen
      December 10, 2015 / 4:21 PM

      I think it’s so difficult, you have to really put the effort in! And I’d just rather do that on my blog and Instagram 😛 Yes, it makes such a difference! It doesn’t seem as ‘real time’, which is what Instagram is all about, but I’d rather have my OCD satisfied with a pretty, consistent theme 🙂 If you’d like a post of pointers on that specifically, let me know, as I’m thinking of doing one in the next few weeks 🙂

  2. December 10, 2015 / 11:50 AM

    Do you do all that in the Instagram app?! Or do you have different apps for the alterations?!

    • rockettequeen
      December 10, 2015 / 4:19 PM

      I do all of this on Instagram, yes 🙂 It’s the setting with the little wrench up top of the screen! Afterlight and VSCOcam are amazing editing apps too, I highly recommend them 🙂

    • rockettequeen
      December 10, 2015 / 4:18 PM

      I use Afterlight sometimes, I used to love it for adding borders to my photos! I like the Instagram editor better though, the photos look less blue and more natural, which I really like 🙂

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