The Classic Brunette: How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Thursday, November 17, 2016

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

This is the most asked question of mine, so I thought it was high time that I finally answered it with a blog post! Now I know this might not pertain to all of you, but for those who have asked or have wondered how I edit my photos for my bright white (ish) theme on Instagram, this is exactly how I do it! I'm not sure why there's always so much secrecy surrounding how bloggers edit their photos, especially on Instagram. It seems like no one really wants to share how they get their photos to be so pretty, but I believe that sharing is caring. The best part is, all of my editing is done on my phone with free apps!

I personally like having a brighter feed, but this may not be your thing! I love having mostly light/white backgrounds, although the occasional color may pop up every once in a while. I also love having my colors be vibrant and clear, although not too aggressive. Here's what my feed currently looks like: 


Step 1: Find The Natural Light


I think this is the absolute most important step when taking Instagram photos. If you don't have good lighting, you won't have a good picture, end of story! I try to take my photos at around the same time each morning with the sun shining through my bedroom window (best between 9 and 11am!) This is one of my photos I've used on Instagram just taken in the natural lighting of my bedroom. Yes it looks dark and the colors aren't as bright as they could be, but with a few simple steps it will be looking Insta-worthy!

Step 2: Snapseed

Snapseed is the ultimate photo editing app for me. About 90% of my editing happens within this app, and it's not so difficult to understand once you start playing around with all the different tools!

Step 2a: Increase Brightness


To get to brightness, tap on the little pencil on the bottom right, from there click tune image, brightness should pop up. Drag your finger from left to right to increase brightness. Depending on the photo, I normally increase brightness between 75-100. If a photo has more light, or if it starts to become over highlighted I use less, if the photo is pretty dark I go higher. Very simple!

Step 2b: Brushes

After brightness, I go back to the main pop up menu and click brushes. Once there I switch the brush to Exposure. I drop the exposure down to -0.3 and start tapping/moving my finger on the parts of the image that have color. For this image it would be the scarves, the pumpkins, and possibly the pillows. I always make sure I've only colored in the parts with color, otherwise parts of the image I wanted to keep brighter could accidentally become dark. 

Step 2c: Healing

I don't do this with all of my photos, only the ones that need it. If there's something that doesn't belong, like say an extra unwanted part of a pillow like in this photo, I want to remove it. I go to the Healing part of the menu and draw a patch with my finger over the unwanted area and it fills it in. This is also great for hiding blemishes in selfies by the way, haha!

Step 2d: More Exposure

Sometimes I decide that I want my photo to be even brighter at this stage of the process. This is when I go back to the brushes and hit either +0.3 or +0.7 Exposure, once again depending on the photo. For this photo I went up to +0.7 because you could still see the detail of the photo through the increased exposure. I once again draw the "brush" over everything except the colors in the photo (avoiding the spots that I used -0.3 exposure on before!). Then, when it's at a brightness level I like I move onto the next step.

Step 2e: Sharpening

I always like to sharpen my image just to make the clarity better. I never really go above +25 though, because I don't want the photo looking to fake or too pixelated! 

Step 3: VSCO Filter


After doing all my edits in Snapseed, I finally move over to VSCO. I use the A6 filter for every single photo. Although I don't normally go past +3, using this filter gives a cohesive look to my feed which helps all the photos blend together. It makes my photos look a little more gray and bright, which is what I like! 

That's the whole editing process! It looks like a lot of steps if you're unfamiliar with editing photos, but once you get the steps down like I have it takes less than 5 minutes. Of course I recommend playing around with each app and different filters to find out what suits you. Here's the before/after of the photo above:


If you have any other Instagram or photo editing questions, I would love to hear them in the comments! Or if you want to tell me your favorite apps/ways to edit photos I'm always up for checking them out!

37 comments:

  1. I love the lightness of your photos and the contrast in colors after the edits!

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  2. Your photos are so pretty Sami! I've never used Snapseed but I've heard a lot of bloggers say they love it, so I'll have to give it a try!

    X,
    Cristina / cristinawashere.com

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  3. I love your insta feed & I love even more that you were sweet enough to share your editing hacks with us...I'm actually downloading snapseed right now to test it out!

    xoxo, SS


    Southern And Style

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  4. I honestly can never figure out how to use snapseed but I may try it now! This was so helpful! Love VSCO though!

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  5. Snapseed is my favorite app for editing photos! Great choice!

    http://moosmusing.com

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  6. I haven't heard of Snapseed before but I just downloaded it. So excited to try it out. Your photos look great - love your feed! :)

    <3 Jess
    www.jessedelblut.com

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  7. I tried using snapseed before but it was confusing for me! I like how you gave easy instructions on how to use it in this post, maybe I'll re-download it and try again!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

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  8. Love your red cup photo! Always interesting to see how people edit :)

    xo,
    Natalie
    http://www.arielandalder.com/

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  9. just got into Snapped in the last few weeks and am loving it! VSCO is my all-time fave when it comes to Instagram x

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  10. Your feed is stunning! I need to download snapseed and get to work!

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  11. I love this!!! I always brighten my pictures too! :)

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  12. I recently downloaded Snapseed and have been having some trouble figuring it out. I had no idea it could remove unwanted objects! SO cool!

    Caitlyn | www.collegewithcaitlyn.com

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  13. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm always looking to improve my instagram feed. I love the bright look of photos too :) xx, Hannah

    The Daily Delicacy

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  14. This is a great behind-the-scenes post! Thanks for sharing!

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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  15. Such great tips! I love Snapseed and VSCO. These are the two that I use most! Thanks for sharing, this is a question I get asked alot as well!

    xo Courtney Drew

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  16. I've tried using VSCO before but it really confused me. Maybe I wasn't taking the best photos to begin with? Anyways, my IG is getting an overhaul so I'll try these tips out!

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  17. What a significant change! So interesting to see everyone's aesthetic come alive thru the gram. I play with more golden rich colors on mine!

    xx, Aditi
    ADIMAY.com

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  18. I love the light color scheme on your feed! I've been doing a lot of natural white photos too :)

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  19. I love the snapseed app. These tips are so good - I love seeing how other people make their photos pop!

    Jessica
    lacesandlattes.com

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  20. This was so interesting to read! I've been trying to make my feed more cohesive, so ths post was super helpful for that :)

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

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  21. I'm going to start tackling my instagram soon so, this is such a helpful guide

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  22. Wow thank you so much for sharing this tips, this post is helpful!
    Have a great day!
    XO Erica
    www.ericavoyage.com

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  23. I am obsessed with your Instagram, the editing is spot on!! I've never used snapseed, going to download it now

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  24. These tips are seriously awesome! I need to check out Snapseed ASAP, I love all of the features that it has and they seem pretty easy to use. Love your insta!

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  25. Gorgeous! I need to try a little harder with my IG... I just kinda, throw anything up there lol. Your Insta is GOALS!

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  26. Your feed is so pretty, and these are really great tips!

    www.diaryofatorontogirl.com

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  27. Your photos are so pretty! I've never used Snapsneed before, but I'm definitely going to give it a try now! Your feed is #goals.

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  28. Totally getting this app! There have been so many times where I wanted to increase saturation or contract but only to certain parts of the picture. Thanks for sharing!!
    Xo, Alex
    www.alexandrachristineblog.com

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  29. Thank you so much for this! I have downloaded both apps and am rip roaring ready to go! I have been stumped how to make my images look better since i have zero background in photography. This helps a lot!

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  30. I have SnapSeed but I haven't opened it in forever. I need to check it out again. I usually use VSCO!

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  31. Thanks for the tips. I'm trying to work on my instagram.

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  32. Good to know! Snapseed always overwhelmed me a little but that brushes feature is awesome!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

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  33. Snapseed and VSCO are my favorites!

    Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com

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  34. Great tips! I always love to see how different people edit and the tools/apps they use!

    xo Ashley

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  35. I love your photos! I use VSCO cam, but haven't tried Snapseed yet. You've convinced me :)

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  36. Wow thank you for sharing your tutorial. I have Snapseed and always forget how powerful it can be!

    Meghan, <a href="http://beyondbasicblog.com/“><i>Beyond Basic</i></a>

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  37. Nice post. Thank you. If someone is also interested in hacking facebook account you are welcome https://topspyingapps.com/how-to-get-into-someones-facebook-account-without-them-knowing/.

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