When it comes to taking + editing photos for Instagram there isn’t a lot of clear advice out there. It took me a while, gathering bits and pieces of information over time from different websites and blogs and Instagrammers to figure out what worked for me, and I wish that someone had shared the information with me years ago.
I am definitely not the most talented or experienced photographer out there, but I’ve picked up a lot of these tips from Instagrammers and bloggers who have done really well for themselves and they have helped me a lot. So, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt with you guys!
The camera that I have been taking most of my pictures with lately is a Canon Powershot G9 X. I got it as a birthday present in April and I take it with me almost everywhere. It is super lightweight and portable yet it takes great quality photos. Most importantly, I can upload the photos directly to my phone via wifi/Bluetooth, so it’s perfect for when I’m travelling. I bought the case on Amazon and not only is it adorable but you can take the cover off completely which is great when you are using your camera a lot at one place.
(taken with Canon Powershot, edited with Lightroom)
I also have a Canon Rebel DSLR which is currently at home with my parents, but they’ll be bringing it to Peru for me to use. The Canon Rebel isn’t cheap but it is one of the best quality DSLRs for the price, producing professional quality photos.
I haven’t actually used my Canon in ages and I’m excited to start working with it again. I got it when I was 16 and was attached to it constantly for about a year and then mostly stopped using it, favouring my iPhone. Until I got my Canon Powershot a few months ago most of my Instagram pictures were on my iPhone (and not very good quality either, I’m crying for the weird teenager decisions of my younger self) but as I’m getting back into photography now I am so excited to use it again. That being said, even though most of my photos on Instagram are from my camera, I still mix in photos from my iPhone occasionally if they’re good quality.
I mostly use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. I got the app about a month ago and I haven’t looked back. Lightroom is what a lot of professional photographers use and it is a brilliant, relatively easy-to-learn program (I mostly use Lightroom on my laptop but it also has a connected iPhone app). With Adobe Lightroom I use Carmelisse presets which are available here (you can check out her blog and Instagram as well). A number of photographers and influencers sell their presets (pre-made editing filters) and it is a great way to get used to Lightroom as you learn how to master it yourself, and presets are ideal when you want to quickly edit your photos and add consistency.
(taken with iPhone, edited with VSCO)
Along with Adobe Lightroom, VSCO is my go-to app to edit on my iPhone. Sometimes I use purely Lightroom, sometimes purely VSCO, sometimes a mix of both. With VSCO, HB2 (Hypebeast) is usually my favourite preset, but it often depends on what makes the photo look best.
Also, I just discovered the UNUM app and it is god-sent, one of the best iPhone tools to help improve your Instagram in my opinion. I always struggled to maintain consistency or flow with my photos until I discovered UNUM. It allows you to plan your feed before you post photos, track post engagement and success, see best times to post and best hashtags. You can pay for more advanced features but the app is free (yay)!
I’d love to hear how you edit your photos, and if there are any other apps and programs that you would recommend? Comment below!