How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Okay, so this post is pretty much an ode to VSCO cam (and my wondrous Nexus 6, the camera of all phone cameras) It was about this time last year I discovered and really got into using VSCO for photo editing. Prior to that, I'd made basic edits in Aviary, which is pretty good,  but then I downloaded VSCO and shit got real. Prepare for a lot of first world issues in this post, but really this Insta stuff is serious business.

It wasn't until I got my Nexus that I became actually happy with my Instagram. For a long time, android phone cameras were lagging behind the Apple empire, and it is only recently that they have caught up. Prior to that, I felt like my insta photos were all grainy and rubbish. Finally having a camera on a level with apple cameras was the first thing that vastly improved my Insta photos.

So, I wanted to share how I edit, because I find the stuff I use has some great perks and makes a huge difference.

Filters After importing my picture into VSCO, the first thing I do is choose a filter to start me off. I usually go with C2 or F2 because they generally make for a nice, white, well white-balanced image. I find the VSCO filters (and also Afterlight filters!) to be a lot more 'sophisticated' than any others out there. They are not too garish, and just offer a simple tweaking of colours and light.

Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Crop I prefer to do this in VSCO rather than Instagram because I like to know exactly how it's going to display in Instagram before I edit. Sometimes I can crop out ugly shadows etc, before I waste my time trying to edit them out.

'Shadows Save' This function is the absolute best. If you're like me and want everything to be a shiny, clean white on your insta, this tool is a godsend. VSCO is the only editing app I have come across so far that has this feature. A lot of the time there will be way too much shadow in my images, so I just pull them up a bit with 'Shadows Save' and I have a lovely, light, airy image. Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Contrast Kind of an obvious one, but I usually do this after 'shadows save'. Sometimes the 'shadows save' tool can make other areas than the shadows lighten, so a healthy dose of contrast helps to stop them looking washed out, and gets the white areas actually white instead of grey. If it needs more lightening post 'shadows save' and contrast, I will then up the brightness a little too.

Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Straighten I like this because you can tweak to a very accurate angle! In this instance I just used it to align the top of the frame to the top of my image. Like crop, it's just so much easier to do this at the same time, instead of having to wait until it's in Instagram. Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Sharpen This is another tool I love. Other apps have this feature, but this is the first app where it actually does sharpen the image, rather than make it all weird and grainy and black-outlined. I use this pretty much every time because it makes the images look way more 'professional', clean and sharp. Annie Pancake // How I Edit My Instagram Photos


Temperature Finally, another of my favourite features, Temperature. I'm not sure if this is available on other editing apps, but it works amazingly using VSCO. I love to use this to perfect lighting that is sometimes yellow due to being indoors with yellow bulbs. Like I said, I like my instagram pics to be crisp and white and turning the temperature down a notch or two instantly 'cools' and crisps up my image.


I hope this post was helpful! Leave a comment with your best editing advice below.