Oh instagram… the platform we often have a love/hate relationship with. In a world of perfectly curated content and pristinely themed instagram feeds it can be hard to keep up. Don’t worry. I felt this way too not to long ago. I never felt inspired by my posts and felt all I had to offer was the occasional selfie. WRONG. Once I started realizing the content that I really enjoyed seeing from others, it helped me start to curate my own content in my own style and voice. So today I thought I would share with you all how I edit my instagram photos. (spoiler alert: it’s pretty easy).
To show you the difference a simple filtered theme can make, I’ll show you my “I wish I cared but idk how to do this instagram thing” and then my “oh hey this is actually a bit easier than I thought!”
So first things first, the apps I will be using in this are Adobe Lightroom and Facetune (don’t worry, we don’t dive too far into that one). So to begin we need a photo that we want to edit.. I will use a nice photo from my recent trip to Walt Disney World for my 21st!
PAUSE: to be completely candid, the filter that I use for my photos is from a lightroom preset (like a filter) that I purchased from Allison Schaper. She has the CUTEST instagram feed and I’m literally obsessed. You can view her page HERE and purchase her presets here.
While I DO use a purchased preset, you can achieve this same look, or a different look of your choosing VERY easily for no cost. A preset is simply a couple of pre-set options that can be made with one click, rather than trying to do every single little change each time you want to start a new photo. If you want to take the time to mess with all of the different options to create a specific look, GO FOR IT! Then you aren’t out any money. Personally, I knew I wanted a some what “pink and bright” theme. So when I came across Allison’s presets, I knew I had to have them. 🙂
The following steps apply for ANY preset you may have or even CREATING your own preset.
- Import the photo.
- Apply a preset of your choice. (My favorite is Bellisimo from Allison’s Magic Dwells Here preset pack – $35 for 4 presets)
- Once your chosen preset is applied, open up the “color” folder.
- Click “mix” to be allowed to manipulate individual colors. (shown below).
Once doing this, I mainly mess with “saturation” and “luminance”. Saturation is exactly what it sounds like. It changes how vibrant the color is that you are toggling. Luminance changes how “light” that specific color. You can kind of see it in the video above.
And honestly…. that’s all I really do to edit in lightroom. There are MANY other settings that are fairly self-explanatory that can be used as well. I use those other times (exposure, whites, blacks etc.) but it depends on the original state of the photo. Every photo is different and so is each preset. The way the OG photo was taken will dictate how the applied preset will react.
Next I take my photo into Facetune. Facetune is an app in the appstore that costs like $3. WORTH IT. I will be using a selfie to show what I personally use it for. Facetune, like lightroom, is a VERY powerful app. But with great power, comes great responsibility. I am speaking from personal experience….do NOT start messing with your body shape. You’ll start tucking in that extra flab and think it’s not that much, then you’ll see the before and after and think the before is just SO bad when it’s really not. It can reallllly hurt your self esteem so I really recommend just not even messing with it.
- Open the photo in Facetune.
- I use the “whiten” tool to whiten my teeth. *GASP* you mean everyone on instagram doesn’t just magically have abnormally white teeth?!?!?!? Who would have thought. 😉
- I take the “smooth” tool (NOT “smoother”) and I will smooth my nose, forehead, chin and a little bit under my eyes. The key with the smooth tool is to make it look NATURAL, just like a good makeup day. NOTHING bugs me more than when I can TELL that a person has smoothed the crap out of their skin where it doesn’t even look natural anymore. The purpose of editing is to enhance the features that we already have, not completely change them. 🙂
- And that’s all I do in facetune! I save it and pop it up onto instagram.
I know what you’re probably thinking “seriously Keirstin, I have to BUY a FILTER?”. No, you don’t. You can make your own just as easily, all it is is a manipulation of all of the options in lightroom! That’s all a preset is. I will say though, lightroom is a VERY powerful tool so I DO recommend learning it. I would put money that ANY blogger/influencer you see online uses lightroom for at least SOMETHING. It’s so powerful and can give many different effects. But yes, I invested in a $35 preset pack and I don’t regret it at all. Having a consistent instagram theme is SO much easier than it seems. It’s really as simple as using the same filter/s on every picture. Don’t stress over what you’re posting, just make it all edited the same and BOOOOOOOOM problem solved.
Editing Instagram photo’s don’t have to be a pain. 🙂
Before I end this post, I feel like I need to say this. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Yes, editing pictures is fun but be sure to not let it alter your perception of reality. I struggle with this DAILY so I’m sure you all do too. Remember that you are beautiful just the way you are. Cliche, I know. But it’s true.
What ways do you like to edit your photos? Let me know in the comments below!
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