How to Edit Instagram Photos

IMG_E6704I get a lot of questions on the daily about how I edit my Instagram photos. So instead of constantly responding to all the Instagram messages I receive on the daily I thought I would write a blog post about it. Before I start I will say this, everyone has a different style & different way of editing photos what I do may not work for you or you may find another filter that you like better. I am just here to walk you through the steps that I take. I strongly encourage you to  play around with your own filters & own way of editing and make it yours. With that said I am a strong believe in good lighting for photos… usually natural light whenever possible. I am also a believer in crisp photos because that really grabs a persons attention. So on that note I will just answer some frequently asked questions that I get about how I edit my Instagram photos such as but not limited to – What equipment do you use? What programs I use to edit, if I always use the same one for all the different photos, etc… So I am going to answer all of these questions plus more. But first, if you haven’t checked out my Instagram head over to it here to check out my photos.

What equipment do I use?

This is an excellent question. I often use my Canon 60D to take the majority of my photos. I shoot in manual mode so that I can adjust the aperture, exposure, the ISO, as well as white balance. However, when I am not shooting with my Canon then I shoot with my iPhone6s. I usually like to take a number of different photos from a number of different angles. By doing so I am able to put them all on my phone and see which angle I like the best. And believe it or not I often end up editing around 4 photos and then choosing the top one from there.


You can find this camera on Amazon or at Best Buy.

What programs do I use to edit?

This is an excellent question. I use four different editing tools. After I have taken the photo on my Camera I move them over to my phone (unless I took the photo with my phone). Once they are on my phone I start with picking the best picture & deleting the rest of the pictures. Once I have picked the one that I want, I begin to edit the photos on these four different apps.

ColourStory – This is the first app that I use. I usually use this one to crop my photo, then I use the free filters that it comes with. I pretty much always use the essentials – Lite Bright filter in this program. Then I save the photo & continue editing it in the following apps.

VSCO – I have come up with my own little “preset” that I use on the regular. So I add my photo in & then add my own preset to it. The great thing about VSCO is that you can do this pretty easily. I suggest playing around with it some. That’s the beauty of it all, play around with the filters.

Snapseed – I use snapseed to add some pop, I use the selective feature on it as well. I also use the healing feature on this app. I love it because I can take away any cords that were previously in the picture or holes in the wall etc… It’s such a great feature.

I use all of the apps in this specific order. After I have done this I then proceed to edit them on Instagram by sharpening it, adding a bit of vignette, and change the contrast. I then use one of the two filters: Juno or Ludwig & adjust it till it is pleasing to my eye. Usually I know what exact number I want with adjusting but sometimes it doesn’t always look the way I thought so I just adjust until I find the perfect lighting.

What about Aesthetic?

Last but not least I always make sure that it fits in with my aesthetic by adding it back to my photos & then favouriting it on my phone. This allows me to see the photos that I have previously posted on Instagram with the new photos that I have posted to make sure that they work well together. I believe there are other apps that allow you to see this but I prefer to use this method. Really whatever works best for you then do that.

As you can see there is a lot that is involved in editing specifically for how I choose to edit my Instagram photos. I think that everyone is different and for myself I have it down to an art that now it does not take me as long to edit because I have a filter that I have created, know exactly what things I change & which apps I use to change it. Once you get the hang of it & have found a filter you like then use it & go with it. For the most part I would encourage you to think about your Aesthetic, what you want to get across, what you like about others photos, what stops you in your tracks when scrolling through Instagram. Those are the types of things that I looked at when I was creating my own filter – Note that you do not have to create your own filter you can use one that is already created for you.

I hope that this was helpful for those of you who often ask me or who are curious about how I edit my photos. If you have any further questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below & I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

Esther xXx


4 thoughts on “How to Edit Instagram Photos

  1. This is so good. I use color story, but have found the edits on Instagram are the easiest. I have been using them regularly for several months and I think it is working. But, where I have trouble is when I am NOT Instagraming the picture! Like if I am blogging the picture! So I am going to try to use your tips. I also love the favoriting tip. What a great way to see if the look good together!


    1. I am so glad that this was helpful! Yes… I find that editing photos for my blog or really anything else can be a bit of a hassle, so that’s why I love these different apps. But Instagram is for sure a great for their editing tools 😊


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