How I edit photos for Instagram

How I edit photos for Instagram

There’s not really a right or wrong way to edit photos for Instagram – after all it’s your page and you can display your images however you want.

However a little clever editing can make a big difference to your images, and have a big impact on how people react to them on social media.

Now Im very aware that my photos are far from perfect, and I often envy other people’s beautiful pictures on Instagram, however now and again I do receive messages from people on Instagram asking for advice on taking/editing photos. I have always enjoyed reading other people’s tips on photo editing, so I thought I would share mine too.

Taking photos

I take all my photos using my iPhone 8 Plus. I try to take photos during the day when there is plenty of natural light. Generally the less natural light there is, the more I will need to edit the photo. I often don’t need to edit my garden photos at all.

When editing my photos for insta, I prefer not to use filters or change the photo too drastically. Not because there’s anything wrong with doing that, but because the theme of my page is quite light and airy and I want my images to reflect this. I more or less follow the same steps with every photo I post on Instagram, and this helps to create continuity across my grid.


As an amateur who takes all my photos using my trusty iphone, one of my favourite apps for editing my photos is Snapseed. Not only does it have lots of handy tools for adjusting the whole photo, it also enables you to pinpoint specific areas and adjust the brightness, saturation, contrast etc.

My bedroom is probably the best example of how useful this app is. Good natural lighting is key to taking a decent photo of your home interiors, but my bedroom only has one small window. As a result, when I take a photo of my bedroom it never reflects how it looks in real life.

As you can see, the original image is quite dark and dull with a very yellow tone. When I look at my room in real life, this is not what I see at all!

So first I always head to ‘tune image’ which can be found in the tools section.

I then work through the various options available, generally increasing the brightness, ambiance, and highlights.

Once I’m happy with these adjustments, I move on to white balance. I increase the tint a little, and reduce the temperature.

Next, I use the ‘selective’ tool to focus on specific areas. I like to use this tool to get rid of the yellow tone on white areas and make them look clean and crisp and bright. To do this I usually increase the brightness a little, and decrease the saturation a lot.

Touch Retouch

If there are any flaws in my photo, for example a toy left on the floor that I’ve forgotten to move, or an unsightly plug socket, I use an app called Touch Retouch to get rid of it. Shout out to @bethshehata for helping me discover that one!

Colour Story

This app enables you to connect to your Instagram, and add your photos to it before posting on Instagram to check how well they fit into your grid. It’s really helpful for planning your posts in advance, if you’re organised enough (I’m not 😂). It also features some nice filters. I’ve recently been trialling ‘light and bright’ from their original filter pack, and I turn it down to 50% or less for a subtle effect.


Finally I upload to Instagram. Sometimes I’ll turn town the warmth a little if needed, and maybe increase the sharpness. I don’t ever use any of the Instagram filters.

Reading that back, it sounds time consuming but it’s really not. Once you’ve nailed your own little way of editing photos, it becomes second nature and you can whiz through it in a flash.

Like my bedroom? You can read more about it here and see more photos on my Instagram page @luckyplot13

Thanks for reading!

Frankie x

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