How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.06.01 PM.png

Instagram’s the deal nowadays. It has been a growing influence to society, a network for many trends, and of course a huge communication system for many individuals. Another thing about Instagram, it releases our inner photographer. Many people express themselves through shots of different places, people, and experiences. I must admit, I love Instagram. It has been one of my favorite social-networking apps, and I always put time and effort into my feed.

Going along with different trends, my feed has gone from no theme, to white borders, to square photos, and finally settling to my current Instagram phase: the low saturation, high contrast, clean, white photos.



I only use one editing app because I want to save myself the time of editing, saving the photo, and then opening it again using another app. Plus, I want to preserve the quality of the photo. The app the I use is… Yup, you guessed it right: VSCO CAM.


Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how I edit my Instagram photos:

1. Choose your desired image

One thing I learned about achieving this kind of Instagram feed is that you have to choose your photos. Yes, the filters and the editing can enhance your photo, but it’s never going to be enough to get that “white” photo. What I mean is, if you want a white feed, you have to edit white photos or at least the ones that are close to white. If, for example, you’re going to edit a photo with an orange background, you can possibly transform it into a white-background photo, but what about the objects in your image? It’s going to be too white and it’s not going to look natural. Truth be told, I have been wanting to post so many beautiful photos, but since they’re not aligned to my theme, I don’t post them (sad).

Here is my chosen sample photo that I took of my friend, Aly, which I will be publicly editing:


2. Apply your filter

The VSCO CAM filter that I use is in the Street Etiquette series. It’s the SE3 filter. Another important thing about achieving your “feed goals”, is to be consistent about the filter that you are using. I personally think that filters are very important because it sets the tone of your photo. That whatever additional adjustments you make, it’s all going to look related. If a person is my subject, I usually set the filter somewhere near +6 so that the skin wouldn’t look too dark, but if my subject is an inanimate object, I set it all the way up to +12.

For this photo, I will be applying a +7 SE3 filter.


3. Do your adjustments

There is no perfect filter that in just one click, would give you your desired image right away. You have to use a few more tools in the app for you to finish editing. My most used adjustments are Exposure, Contrast, Saturation, and Temperature.

The exposure is practically the brightness. I think this picture is a little dark for my feed, so I will be setting the exposure to +3.


The contrast amplifies the colors in the photo. It is what makes the whites of the photo whiter, and the blacks of the photo even darker. For this photo, I will raise the contrast to +3.


Because the contrast makes the all colors evident, sometimes, the red and yellow tones of the image come out. For this feed, we do not want that. The image is supposed to have a cool tone instead of a warm one. I will first adjust its saturation to -2.13262614_972602882855613_89343592_o.jpg

For the last adjustment, I will be using the temperature feature. It comes in very handy if your photo has a warm tone and you want to add it to your feed. I don’t overuse this feature because a small adjustment already makes a big difference. I will just set it to -1.


If your photo is a bit blurry, you can use the features Clarity and/or Sharpen.

There you have it, folks! This is how I edit my Instagram photos. It might take some effort, but once you see your feed turning out so well, it pays off.

Instagram: @jlokiara


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s