Instagram Editing Tips & Apps

Instagram is by far the most popular form of social media, and we have to say we are pretty obsessed! With such popularity, there are a multitude of photo and editing apps designed specifically to make your photos look extra great. We have found we use just a handful of apps and stick to a pretty basic editing process.

We always recommend taking photos in bright, well-lit spaces when possible. This makes getting like-worthy photos that much easier and any filters or editing techniques you apply will look clean and beautiful. We also absolutely suggest you always take photos with your phone camera and not from within an app. A few of our favorite apps are Afterlight, VSCO, Filmborn and A Color Story. Here is the skinny on each:

Afterlight: Think of this as photoshop on your phone. You can adjust exposure, brightness, clarity, contrast, temperature and more. We love this app for photos that need a little help in reaching their full, shareable potential!

Here's an example of a photo edited with Afterlight. BEFORE:
You can see it's taken in the shade, on a bright sunny day, so the lighting is ideal. To make it really pop, though, we did a few things in Afterlight!

AFTER: increased the brightness, contrast, clarity, and sharpness. Then just barely increased the saturation to really bring out the colors. No filter added.

VSCO: We love VSCO because of the clean photo filters they offer. We recommend HB1, HB2, A6, & C1, 2 and 3. Always adjust the opacity on any filter you add and remember that true-to-life color always stands the test of time.

Here's an example of a photo edited with VSCO. BEFORE:

before editing

AFTER: Adjusted the brightness, contrast, sharpness and applied filter A6 at level 4 opacity. Finally, we adjusted the temperature to a bit more of a blue hue, because the picture had inherently yellow tones due to the flower color.

VSCO after

Filmborn: Launched in the last few months, Filmborn allows you to edit photos to look as close to film as possible. With filters like Fuji 400 and Portra 800, we are smitten. Add some grain to make your images look like they were just sent back to you from your lab! If you shoot film, you'll catch on very quickly to this app.

Here's an example of a photo edited with Filmborn. BEFORE:
Yes, this is the same photo as the one we showed you above, edited with Afterlight. We thought a comparison would be fun between the different apps!

AFTER: Fugi 400 "filter", increase contrast and sharpen.

For a direct comparison: 





A Color Story: This app is all about color, as the name suggests! If color is important to your brand, this is a great app to edit with. A Color Story has all the editing tools for adjusting brightness, contrast and sharpness, as well as MANY fun filters (our favorites are the pack created by Glitter Guide called Flashes of Delight) and lots of flares, bokehs, and other effects. This app is probably the most "overwhelming" of all, because there are a lot of options.

Here's an example of a photo edited with A Color Story. BEFORE:


AFTER: Upped the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and added the Flashes of Delight filter called Cassidy.

after edited

We also want to show you how cropping your image more closely can create more interesting and vibrant pictures. Removing some negative space and cropping it closer, draws you further into the petals of the flowers:

cropped picture

Other apps we like: Snapseed for red eye correction, Slow Shutter Cam for taking long exposures with your phone or Facetune to remove acne or blemishes. We also love 8mm Vintage Camera for adding scratches and light leaks for videos!

Our Editing Tips:
We almost always increase our brightness and contrast when edited in any app. We also like to slightly bump the clarity and sharpness. If our photo is too yellow or too blue, we also adjust the temperature for the perfect color. Doing these things reduces the need for photo filters and achieves a bright and airy style. Happy editing!

Let us know YOUR favorite editing apps in the comments!