How to edit your Instagram photos like a pro for free

by Michaella 13 November, 2018
How to edit your Instagram photos like a pro for free

Прочетете този пост на български език: Как да имаме перфектните снимки за Instagram?

Months after I asked you guys on my Instagram @quitealooker, here’s the highly requested post on how I edit my photos. Read on some of my tips and tricks to achieve a beautiful looking feed! And all of this without spending a penny! I’m not a professional but I have spent a lot of time on figuring out how to use a camera, its settings and the editing that comes to achieve a great looking shot. So here I would share how I do it, which is not necessarily the only or right way. I will also not get too technical but if you really want me to share more about the actual settings that I use or the adjustments for the editing – let me know! Just FYI, I take my photos with a Canon 1200D with a 50mm/1.8 lens or with an Iphone 5S or 5SE.

1. The light

One of the top tips that I have for you is definitely the light in your photos! If a photo is too dark or too bright and it’s not shot in a raw format then it would be pretty hard to achieve a good quality end result. That is why when you shoot with your phone or camera make sure that you set the right settings in order to avoid overexposure, which is much harder to deal with than underexposure. I also recommend not to shoot under direct sunlight or where the contrast between light and shade is too strong as usually such photos can be very hard to work with.

2. The composition

Here you should probably take into account some ground rules such as straight horizon (can be fixed with the edit but still have it in mind), focus, center the key figure, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to crop! See this photo below, if I had kept the whole thing, then this beautiful doorstep wouldn’t have shone as it does in the edited version.

3. The edit (apps/software)

Depending on what you’re going for, there are multiple solutions for editing your photos. What I use is mainly Adobe Lightroom CC for both desktop and mobile. I find it super easy and fast to edit photos in bulk for a blog post for instance, by using Lightroom for desktop. You can easily copy and paste the settings from one photo to another, basically keeping the same tones, colors, etc. That way you an achieve a unified feed, which is the aesthetic that everyone is going for. You have the option to use presets, a term that you for sure have stumbled upon if you follow a lot of influencers online – a lot of them try to sell their own already set settings for brightness, temperature, exposure, contrast, curves, etc. that you can apply on your own photos.

So you don’t even need to know how to make the edit yourself. I myself do the same but I usually develop my own presets depending on the photos, season, feeling and so. If you want to download some presets but don’t want to pay for them, go on and google this – there are tons of free options available that you can try out and maybe also modify.

Going back to the actual mobile apps that I use to edit the photos that I take with my phone. I used to use VSCO for all of my photos but recently I moved to another app. Don’t get me wrong though, I love some of the filters available at VSCO (such as DOG1, HB2, Q1, A6), so I still come back to them once in a while. The interface is super user-friendly and easy-to-use by anyone, so maybe give it a try if you’re still not so experienced. However, for the past few months, I use mostly the Lightroom CC mobile app as I find that there are more editing options available. You can, for instance, change a single colour in the photo if you want to (see below). You can choose from a few already developed presets or can tackle the options and then save your own preset that could be used for other multiple photos with just a single click.

Other useful apps:

Also, in order to be coherent with my feed aesthetics, I use the Preview app, which basically simulates your potential Instafeed, plus you can schedule posts with captions, hashtags and reminders, which is handy if you have a real strategy and plan to follow.

And the last part is an app for Instagram stories called Over (only available for IOS). I usually use it to build cool collages with funky backgrounds. However, there are other multiple features that this app offers, so I recommend to check it out.

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