How To, Noteworthy, Tech & Gadgets 24 COMMENTS

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

blog post coverI’m ready to spill the beans! One of the most frequent questions I get is, “How do you edit your Instagram photos?” and I never really answered anyone who asked, simply because I always play around and experiment with different styles depending on my mood and what I’m going after, and so it was hard to never give a lengthy or specific answer on social media. I decided to pick three random photos that are currently in my VSCOcam archive to show you guys three of the many ways I edit photos. Hopefully this will inspire you to adapt and experiment on my current editing styles. Just so we’re clear, I edit all my Instagram/blog photos on VSCOcam! Enjoy!

 Majority of the time, I use auto exposure when taking photos on my iPhone 6, and it usually comes out a little too dark for editing. I like bright photos, so 80% of the time I always heighten the exposure. It’s not always +3, sometimes it’s more or less, depending on how bright I want the photo to be!
 I always (always, always!) need to place a filter. This clean S2 is a nice subtle filter for this top shot. I want it a wee bit more subtle so I decrease the intensity to +9. It doesn’t look like it made a huge difference, but if you try it yourself you’ll see it.
 Et voila! A stark difference from the original and the post processed photo.

I also never crop on VSCOcam, I just crop directly on the Instagram app.

 This next example shows a lot of different colors in the photo, I want a lively feel, and so I’m going to take advantage of the colors and make them pop a bit. Again, increased exposure — just because it looks better!
 E3 is a great preset to make colors pop, but again I lessened the intensity because personally it takes certain moods to have me appreciate so much color. Lessening the intensity made the photo and the colors less in-your-face.
 I’m also not a huge fan of warm tones for photos, I prefer cooler shades so I decreased the temperature to -1 to give it a cooler tone. After this I had to straighten the photo because lopsided photos make me cringe.
 Ta-da! I managed to make the pink and red shades on the door pop, and my skin color to pop out against the colorful door as well.

 This final example is a simple one. Again, photo is way too dark so I had to increase the exposure to +4. I actually like the tones and how the photo came out after just adjusting the brightness. It doesn’t even really need a filter anymore! But, for the sake of this tutorial….
 I applied the A8 preset, which gives a nice minimalistic effect. Again, very cool in tone and has the fade effect. I lessened the intensity because I wanted less of the fade effect which made the whites turn a little more gray. I like the whites in my photos to show, if you haven’t already noticed.
 And the final result, whiter whites, better tones and contrasts between the light and shadows.


These are just 3 ways I would edit photos, and I never stick to one way of editing because it varies in each photo I take. Sometimes the exposure will be really good that I won’t have to increase it anymore, sometimes I even lessen the exposure and amp up the temperature to warmer tones, sometimes I’ll edit a photo, save it, then upload it again to apply a different filter… It’s anything and everything under the sun and never the same way unless I take a succession of photos in the same exact lighting, and they need to be uploaded on the blog. Thankfully VSCOcam has a new feature where you can copy an editing style on an existing photo and paste it in batches on your chosen photos.

Before I go, I want to stress that you should learn to EXPERIMENT! It’s the best way to find your own editing style. The reason a lot of people on Instagram wont reply to “what app? what preset? how did u edit this pls tell me youre so pretty thanks” comments is because they either didn’t see it or they did but don’t want to divulge their editing style. Mine was definitely the latter. I’m not afraid to admit that because truthfully I spent a lot of time experimenting until I found an editing style I really liked and felt was really me; well, there’s that and the fact that it was a hassle to comment the entire process on Instagram. Haha. So call it selfish if you will, but sometimes it’s kinda nice when you have our own style, which you figured out on your own, and it’s all yours. You know what I mean?

That being said, I chose to share it now because I just felt like it was time to share at least something, if not everything; and I definitely will not lose anything by sharing something that’s a part of me.

I hope you were enlightened by my How To post! If you have any more How To requests, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll try my best to deliver! :)

Bisous, wildlings! <3

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24 Comments

  • Reply Blesi 5 April 2015 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for sharing, Camie!

  • Reply Mikyu Maglasang 5 April 2015 at 10:52 am

    I agree that there really isn’t just one way to edit photos because the exposure of each shot is not always the same. When the photos are okay straight out of the camera, I just apply E1 (my favorite) preset. But sometimes, I also need to adjust (+/-) the exposure, temperature, and shadows. :)

  • Reply Jeline Catt (@jelinecatt) 5 April 2015 at 11:07 am

    I absolutely did not know about the copy-pasting editing feature that VSCO has now ’till I read this post. I am now informed LOL.

  • Reply C 5 April 2015 at 11:17 am

    What’s your take on feeds that have just one filter for the photos? What’s nicer for you, that or the one which uses diff. filters for each, depending on the photo? :)

  • Reply Giselle 5 April 2015 at 11:18 am

    Thank you, ate Camie!

  • Reply KitKat Ang 5 April 2015 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been meaning to ask you this for the looooongest time but I’m shy lol. Thanks for this post Camie! Have fun in Jeju!

  • Reply kristienne amoroso 5 April 2015 at 11:56 am

    Hi camie! do you use the same editing in your selfies cos its so perf.(the colors and errthing

  • Reply Anna Dy 5 April 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Camie! I’m a new fan of yours. I love your blog, really! I think we have the same spirit (lol). Anyway, I was just wondering what camera are you using for the photos in your blog? Thanks a lot!

  • Reply MJ Matienzo 5 April 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Finally! Thank you so much Camie!

  • Reply Hani Lutfi 5 April 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Wait, I didn’t know you could straighten your photos on VSCO Cam! Hahah I usually crop and finalise my photos on Afterlight because sometimes I need more brightening or contrasting and VSCO Cam couldn’t cut it or Instagram would mess up. Android user con of course, Instagram always messes up.
    I always go for the bright look, the desaturated look and the kinda grunge LA kinda look hahah. So I usually go for A6, SE3 and P5.

    I would also like to say you’ve got a lot of patience to edit all your blog photos on your phone. I can’t imagine editing all the photos when you have a photo heavy post!

  • Reply KrstaKatt 6 April 2015 at 11:04 am

    Now this is the post everyone’s waiting for! My IG’s really messy, and experimenting a lot messed it up more. -.-” I’ve always wanted to have my feed show posts with the same vibe, so I try to use the same filters on every photo, but the hues and lights differ with each photos that they end up not giving the same vibe anyway. :(

  • Reply dlysenysen 6 April 2015 at 11:35 am

    I usually edit my ig photo with a saturation too. dark and light effect can add more feelings to it.

  • Reply Corinth 6 April 2015 at 11:39 am

    I agree with experimenting. There’s also no right way in editing pictures. We just have to follow our eyes’ hearts. And I discovered that every VSCO filter can have a different look when we mess around with the editing tools, like the tint, highlights and shadows, temperature and etc. It’s all about experimenting and finding the look that works for your photos and your eyes.

  • Reply Helga Weber 6 April 2015 at 12:16 pm

    It took me forever to realize that brightening my photos by +3 or +4 was the trick haha. I was on the plane watching my friend edit her photos on VSCO and they looked so different compared to mine so I asked WTF she did. Exposure and contrast adjust lang pala. So simple but something I forgot to do BECAUSE ALL DA FILTERS.

  • Reply Christine S. 6 April 2015 at 5:59 pm

    SO HELPFUL AS ALWAYS! Too bad I can’t buy new vsco presets now because iOS 8 is needed and I’m afraid to upgrade (from default iOS 7) haha. Thanks for this!

  • Reply cmllxfrncs 7 April 2015 at 12:52 am

    Thanks for sharing, Camie!

  • Reply Joyce 7 April 2015 at 1:41 am

    Thanks for this camie! With mine, if i’m not satisfied with the result from VSCOcam, i adjust the saturation and all those stuff in IG na. Hehe.

  • Reply Grace 7 April 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this Camie! Been waiting for it :)

  • Reply Boris Apostol 9 April 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I really love how iPhones (esp. the newer ones) render colors (albeit, on the warmer side of the spectrum) SOOC. I have always thought of VSCOCam and iPhones were really match made in heaven. They can create stunning photos that you would otherwise expect from a much pricier equipment. Your composition and editing skills are ace!!

  • Reply Kristel 12 April 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I also edit like that but with a different app. I find VSCO’s filters too dark.

  • Reply Yan 13 April 2015 at 5:54 pm

    oooooh vscocam is really an awesome app! XD how about for your blog pics? what do you use to add text on them? btw, i was hopping through your ‘Daily Reads’ and noticed most of you have very similar themes… was that a deliberate thing? XD #curiousMuch hehe

  • Reply Glaiza Binayas 13 May 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Thank yoi for this, Camie!! :)

  • Reply Renz 13 May 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I hope other bloggers/insta users would also share their process on how they edit their photos. I use A6, C8, C9, E3, Q8, & S2 on my photos most of the time

  • Reply vanessa 16 July 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Hi, Camie! Your planner’s so pretty, where’d you get it (if you don’t mind me asking)

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