My Go-To Instagram Photo Editing Apps

My Go-To Instagram Photo Editing Apps

Instagram oh Instagram. You are a whole other beast. This topic comes up everytime I’m with blogger friends. What’s the trick to becoming Insta famous? Okay, maybe not to that extent, but finding out how to master Instagram is hard. I’ve read many articles about how it’s all about lighting, and the time of day you post, but let’s face it, even if we did that, it doesn’t mean we’re all going to reach 100,000 followers tomorrow. I think this topic has many intricacies, but for today, I think I will stick to discussing my favorite apps. Aside from the camera itself, applications play a major role in getting that perfect photo.



V S C O c a m

This is the first app that my photos go into. I’m biased to filter F2, but I know so many others who use the app and live by other filters. You have to just try each one out and figure out what suits you best. Remember, you can lessen the severity of the filter, which is huge because every image has different lighting therefore the filter will have a different effect.

I remember when filters became so amateur on Instagram. Then came VSCOcam and it was game over. Still, I think filters can have a negative effect on your photos if you don’t know what you’re doing. But on the other hand, filters allow your Instagram feed to look cohesive and really pretty. My best advice when using filters, stick to one or two that are similar, use them with all your photos, but play with how much of the filter you use.

FYI VSCOcam does not have a brightening tool. I made this mistake when I first started using the app, thinking the exposure was the same as brightness. They are NOT. So, after I use VSCOcam, I upload my photo to Instagram where I brighten it.

Nike Pre Montreal sneakers

I n s t a g r a m

A while ago Instagram made an update to it’s editing tools and ever since, I’ve loved the brightness tool. It’s my go-to without a doubt. For most photos I simply use 2 apps, VSCOcam and then Instagram and that’s it. Super simple and easy. While I’m there, I will also use the contrast, sharpening, and adjust tool and on occasion the warm tool (I tend to like cool photos, so I will bring down the yellows).

The fact that I slap a filter on in one app and do the rest of the editing in Instagram makes the process so easy (I try to make the process as seamless as possible).


S n a p s e e d

If I need to whiten the background of a lay flat or just want to make something whiter, I use Snapseed before it goes to editing in Instagram. Finding out how to whiten backgrounds was a game changer for me and something nobody talks about. I learned it from white background queen, Kate herself (I’m spilling your secrets, sorry).

Here’s how it works:

  1. 1. Upload your photo to Snapseed and click the editing icon at the bottom right (pencil icon).
  2. 2. Click the Selective option and a new screen will pop up with a blue + at the bottom left hand side.
  3. 3. Touch the area you want to whiten and a blue dot will appear on the screen that shows B (for brighten).
  4. 4. Use your thumb and pointer finger to maximize the space (like you’re making an image bigger on your phone). The red area you selected will be the area that you will brighten. Think of it as selecting the only space you want to brighten while leaving the rest of the image alone. The app selects the space based on color.
  5. 5. Now, move your finger to the right and the selected space will get brighter without doing anything to the rest of the image.
  6. 6. Click the + icon again and select another area and do the same thing until all the space you want is now brighter. I think it allows you to do it up to 8 times. If that’s still not enough, save the edited image and re-upload the photo and start the editing process again.

This tool is simply magic!


A f t e r l i g h t

Have you been seeing bloggers and celebrities with white borders around their Instagram images? While I don’t think it adds anything special to your individual photos, the white borders do add more white space for you feed making it look super bright and clean. Kim Kardashian does it as does Jacey from Damsel in Dior. For those of you looking to do this, Afterlight doubles as a great all around edit app as well.

There you have it, my tricks of the trade. As I said earlier, Instagram is it’s own beast. I know my ways are not the only ways, so if you swear by an app, I’d love to hear any of your recommendations. For now, this 2-3 step process is seamless and easy enough to get the job done.