How I Edit My Instagram Pictures

Instagram is one of my favorite things, and is certainly my favorite social media platform. If you find me attached to my phone, I'm most likely not text messaging or scrolling through Facebook, I am browsing Instagram or editing pictures on my phone. Photos are basically my love language. Before posting an image, I capture and edit my photographs through a free app called VSCO Cam

These are my favorite features of the VSCO application:

  • When taking a picture, you can tap the screen in two different places, one area to focus, and the other to set the exposure.
  • If you take multiple pictures of the same scene, you can edit one photo, then copy + paste the edit to the similar images - this is a new feature and it saves me so much time.
  • There is a white balance lock function as well as the ability to manually control exposure when snapping a picture.
  • You can rearrange the filters and tools so that the ones you use most often are the first in line (in other words, you don't have to keep scrolling through a bunch of settings that you don't use in order to get to the ones you like.)

VSCO has filters, or presets, that you can purchase through the app, which range from $0.99-$2.99 for a set. Sometimes they even offer filters for free and the application comes preloaded with several. As you'll see below, my favorite presets are Vibrant Classic: C2-C3 and Bright & Clean: S2-S3. Those are the filters I use most often, then I will adjust the exposure and temperature just a notch when necessary. I also like to tint the shadows a little bit green.
VSCO allows you to view the edit history on a photo (cool!), so take a look at these examples:

Some of this may seem like a foreign language to you, but if you download VSCO and spend time exploring its functions, the above settings may make a bit more sense. 

You can export directly to Instagram from the VSCO app, but I bring my pictures into Squareready first, because I usually like to post vertical or horizontally framed images on my Instagram. It used to drive me nuts when people did this, like it defeated the point of Instagram, but now I love it. It makes my feed look cleaner and more streamlined (best viewed on a phone).

Let me know if you have any questions about the process I follow!
What are your go-to steps of editing for Insta?