Aesthetic, Please: My Favorite Instagram Editing Apps and Tricks
Aesthetic, Please: My Favorite Instagram Editing Apps and Tricks

Aesthetic, Please: My Favorite Instagram Editing Apps and Tricks

For a lot of bloggers, creatives and generally aesthetically-minded people, planning and ~curating~ your Instagram can feel like a full-time gig. I love pretty pictures as much as the next person, but nailing down a consistent vibe and coming up with content to share on a regular basis is, well, work! And I think we all know at this point that the only “Insta” part of Instagram these days is stories — a whole bunch of editing went into most of the photos you see in your feed.

You don’t have to be an “influencer” or photographer to create a gorgeous feed, though. I love Instagram because you can truly showcase your personality and style through your posts. It seems like there are endless ways to edit and share your work, whether you’re a stylist, photographer, illustrator, entrepreneur or even a meme queen.

Personally, I use Instagram as a hyper-visual extension of A Little Leopard. I’ve started to step up my photography game on the blog, and hone in on my Instagram aesthetic and editing process as well.

I try to shoot in natural light as much as I can, but with a crazy work schedule and stupid short winter days, that’s not always possible. I will say, though, photos look a million times better when shot in natural light, especially grey or overcast light. It even makes a difference when you are shooting indoors! I bet if you go to my feed, you can totally tell which pics are naturally-lit versus artificially-lit. The artificial ones tend to look a little bit over-edited.

Once I have the shot, here are the apps and the general Instagram editing process I use to get it ready for posting:

+  VSCO: This app is a classic. and it seems like nine out of ten people on Instagram use it — with good reason! VSCO offers pretty robust editing tools, but I like the filters that mimic the look of film cameras best.

You can buy extra filter packs (and a lot of influencers do), but I use the free analog presets the most, specifically A6. My first step in editing 99% of my Instagram photos is opening them in VSCO and applying the A6 filter — usually between a four or a six. I rarely use any filter at “full strength”!

Snapseed: Snapseed is Google’s photo editing app. It’s great but it has a little bit of a learning curve. Here’s what I usually do:

+ White Balance: I like a cooler tone, and auto white balance usually takes care of this. Sometimes I have to adjust the temperature a bit, too, though.

+ Tune image: I punch up the brightness and contrast and deepen shadows. Sometimes I decrease saturation and temperature here, too.

+ Perspective and healing: I don’t always use these, but will occasionally adjust, rotate or erase elements as-needed.

A Color Story: Another multi-step app! I like the curves tool in this app the best; here’s a great video on how to use curves in A Color Story.  I usually adjust the curves before applying a filter.

I did buy the Flashes of Delight pack by Glitter Guide and use those filters pretty exclusively — specifically Carrie, Valerie, Sofia and Lola.

Planoly: Finally, I upload my Instagram post to Planoly to see how it will look in my feed! I also use Planoly to plan and organize the hashtags I will use in my post.

So there you have it: my Instagram editing secrets! It’s a bit of a process, but worth it for the consistent aesthetic. Do you edit your photos in apps other than Instagram? What are your favorite Instagram editing tricks?

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