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!