How To · Lifestyle

How To: Edit Instagram Photos

How To: Edit Instagram Photos header image

I see a lot of these types of posts around, and I personally find them very insightful and interesting. I really appreciate it when fellow bloggers and Instagrammers share their secrets, so today I’ll be sharing how I edit my photos on Instagram. I am in no way a professional, and I don’t claim to know it all, but these are just the steps I have found that are quick and easy and (I think) get a good end result.

I’d like to do a little shout out here to Currently, Lately who has so many helpful and inspiring posts – go and check her blog out if you haven’t already – you won’t regret it.

Alright, let’s get into my photography and editing process step by step. All of the editing apps I use are free (yay!) and I only ever photograph using my iPhone 6 (which has juuuust been upgraded to an iPhone 7 Plus, but all of the photographs I have taken for my blog and Instagram so far have been done with my iPhone 6).

Firstly, I take my photographs. I use a tiny white top table to create my flat lays on. I wish I had a bigger table to work with, but unfortunately space is an issue so for now, the small one has to do and I accommodate the sizing of my photos accordingly. I also have a few different props I sometimes use (all cheap as chips – just get creative. I have a marble plastic place mat from Kmart that I sometimes like to use plus some off cuts of wrapping paper). I shoot in natural light. Overcast days are best, but in sunny Queensland we don’t get too many of those. I hold up a bit of cardboard to eliminate really harsh shadows in my photo (this makes the editing process easier). I always shoot in Square mode on my iPhone so it fits perfectly for Instagram and looks uniform on my blog.

Once I have my photos, I do an initial edit using the Snapseed app. I use the Tune Image tool to brighten the photo and also adjust the contrast if necessary. I then use the Selective tool to brighten certain areas on my photo (namely, the white background, to make it whiter and brighter).

Screen shot of the Snapseed photo editing app
Snapseed editing menu – I use Tune Image (top left corner) and Selective (right column, fourth down). There are many other editing options as well, I just don’t tend to use them for my photos.
Screen shot of Selective tool function on Snapseed app
The Selective tool on Snapseed lets me selectively brighten areas of my photos – this is usually how I achieve a brighter and whiter background.

After that, I’ll head over to tried and true VSCO to do my final edit. I only ever use the F2 filter and I tone it down to between 3-6 depending on the photo. Obviously I don’t want to change the colour of my photos too much as I’m trying to capture shades – I use the filter to ensure my photos all look uniform and flow together. You can use VSCO to sharpen an image as well, which I used to use on occasion, but I have stopped doing that as I thought it made my pictures look over edited. With my better iPhone camera my photos are now crisper looking anyway.

Screen shot of VSCO photo editing app F2/Mellow filter
I only ever use VSCO to apply the F2/Mellow filter to my photos – I always adjust the intensity of the filter down to between 3-6 depending on the photo though.

And that’s it! I really am not very tech-y so two apps is more than enough for me.

To create my header image for my blog (it’s also the image I share to Instagram to promote that blog post) I use an app called Over. I just select my photo as a background, add a shape over top (I use the Basic Shapes pack which is free under Graphics), adjust the opacity of the shape, and then add text. You can upgrade to a pro account which costs money – I did a free trial of it and honestly the free version is just fine for me.

Screen shot of the Over photo editing app menu
This is the menu on the Over app – I use the Graphic tool to add my shape over top of my photo, plus the Text tool to add my text over top of the graphic. At the top of the menu you can organise and rearrange your “layers”.
Screen shot of the Over photo editing app adding layers of graphics and text
I layer a graphic basic shape and then adjust the opacity, before adding another layer of text over top. The font I use is called “Hello Beautiful”.

I hope you liked this type of post. Please let me know if you’d like to see more How To posts as well! Leave any questions or comments you have below – I love reading and replying to them.

Much love,



8 thoughts on “How To: Edit Instagram Photos

  1. Great blog post, it’s a nice thing to share your tips and tricks.
    I love snapspeed and FaceTune. Retouch is a great one for removing objects .. I’m definately going to try over.. I’ve got it but never used it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very useful! I actually don’t do much editing on my phone since I take most of my photos with my camera rather than my phone. I use my laptop to edit and then upload to the phone to post. But very helpful to know about these apps! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome – I don’t have a camera so the phone is all I have – and I’m pretty happy with the process so I’m in no rush to get a camera (maybe one day). Thanks so much for reading 😘


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