The Instagram game is real now and everyone is improving their pictures. If you want to get featured on other accounts, your photos need to be high quality. You have to know that there is no right or wrong way when it comes to editing. Everyone has their own style and own taste. It’s like art where you can be creative in every way you want.  Get some coffee and sit down, cause this is a fully detailed article about How I Edit Instagram Photos. Let’s go!



How Did I Learn to Edit Instagram Photos?

First I have to admit it took me a long time to learn everything. I am on Instagram for more than 3 years now I think? And my first pictures weren’t so good at the beginning. I still see room for improvement to how I edit Instagram photos, but hey we can always keep learning. I’ve been observing many pictures on Instagram that I like and trying to figure out how other bloggers edit Instagram photos. I’ve tried to be up-t0-date with the newest editing apps by just searching in Google. Also YouTube has been very helpful for me. There are many tutorials available just search for something like ‘How to Edit Instagram photos’ and ‘the basics of Lightroom’. PS: I am on Youtube as well, if you want to check out my vlogs 🙂

Camera Equipment and Shooting in Raw

A good camera is really important for high-quality pictures and to edit Instagram photos. We cannot always find the perfect light for a picture, so when you can get hands on a good camera it will do the work even in bad lighting and on cloudy days. I would NOT recommend a DSLR, as many others do. I started off with a DSLR camera, Canon 750D and I have 3 different lenses. After a while you really get to know how to use this kind of camera, but then the problem comes… Eventually you want to be in the pictures, so you are not the one taking the pictures. Most likely you are asking a friend or your boyfriend to shoot the pictures. And guess what? that person is probably also not a professional photographer (unless you’re lucky haha). You have to teach them how to use the camera. I figured out that this takes a lot of time sometimes and it took us sometimes hours to just get one good pictures. So I thought it was time for change.

Canon G7X Mark II – Best Buy Ever

A few months ago I made my best buy ever. I am now shooting all my pictures with the Canon G7X mark II. This is a way smaller camera, without interchangeable lenses. Really compact and light, so easy to carry around in my small handbag everywhere I go. I think this is a real must for a blogger, since you want to be able to don’t miss any shot. When you have a small camera like this with you, you are always prepared to shoot content. Also, I wanted to start vlogging and this camera has a “flip-up” screen or how do you say that haha. Anyway, it’s really a MUST for vlogging. This camera shoots in RAW, just like any other DSLR does. This is needed when you want to edit in Lightroom. When you shoot in RAW you are able to play with every small detail and source of data within the picture. Which means you can change colours easily and play with shadows, brightness and more.

Software and Apps I Use to Edit Instagram Photos

So as said before, I use first Adobe Lightroom to edit my pictures. Why? Because in Lightroom you are able to edit on a more professional level than just through apps. You can buy Lightroom through Adobe, and I have to admit it’s quite expensive. You can also get a plan with them I guess, so you pay a monthly fee to use some of their softwares. Please note, it only makes sense to start using Lightroom if you shoot your pictures in RAW.

After using Lightroom I still use several apps, since with that I can add some extra touch to the images and it’s just sometimes easier than on my computer. The apps that I mostly use and will present in the step-by-step guide are: Facetune, VSCO, Snapseed and LensFlare. You can download all of these apps in the app store. However for some you have to pay. So it’s up to you if you find it worth investing.

Step-By-Step Guide of How I Edit Instagram Photos


First, I always apply my own Lightroom preset that I created over the last few years. If you look to the left of the screen you see ‘User Presets’. Please don’t mind the funny names haha. But the one I ALWAYS use now I named ‘Forest Less Green’. It got this name once when I was editing a photo of me in a forest and I don’t like bright green colours in my photo. So yeah that’s why it’s called ‘Forest Less Green’.

Anyway. You should definitely create your own presets in Lightroom, cause then you can always apply the same ‘touch’ on your photos. What I did, is I started of with a VSCO FILM preset that I like. Yes, VSCO is not only an app, but actually they provide many many preset bundles. So pick one that you like, apply it on your photo and then start playing with it when you find YOUR perfect settings.

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You can save your own settings and create a new preset with Ctrl + Shift + N (Windows) and Cmd + Shift + N (Mac OS).


After applying your preset, you always have to adjust some settings. Every photo is different, so the preset can never be perfect for every photo, but it’s a good basis. I will show you some settings of my own preset.

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First make sure to “Enable Profile Corrections”. This will correct any distortion that your lenses give.
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Then I start playing with the Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks etc. REALLY IMPORTANT: I always add some Clarity to my pictures.
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Here you can see what I did with the Saturation. This THE thing for me in Lightroom. You can adjust every colour how you want it. So as you can see I desaturate ‘green’ a lot. That’s why the presets name is “Forest Less Green” haha ;).
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Besides the Saturation. In this photo I played a lot with the ‘Luminance’ of the colours. I took the ‘red’ all the way down into a darkish colour. This is what made the bikini look red instead of pink.
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The tone curve looks pretty simple. I have no real explanation for this one. I try not to mess with it too much. This is how it was from the VSCO preset that I used as a basis for my own preset.
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I always add some extra Sharpening. Cause we loveeeeeee sharp pictures <3.
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Last but not least. I reduce all the grain out of the picture. But this depends on the picture. For food pictures/drinks for example, I like to add some grain. But in this one particular I didn’t want any grain. Furthermore, I add some Highlight vignette. Just a little bit, to give some extra brightness on the side of the picture. And in this way it blends better in my feed on Instagram.


After all the editing, I export the picture from Lightroom into Dropbox. In this way I can download the picture easily on my phone. Now I start editing in the apps. As mentioned before: the apps that I used for this photo are Facetune, VSCO, Snapseed and Lensflare.

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These are some of my editing apps that I use. But as you can see I have 3 pages of editing apps haha.


So I start off with Facetune. I love the ‘details’ tool in Facetune. This is actually the only thing I do in Facetune. So basically it means you add some extra sharpness on the spots you want to highlight. You can do all of this also in Lightroom, but for me it just works faster in Facetune.

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In this picture I added some ‘details’ on the bikini, the sunglasses and on the sides of my hair. In this way it ‘pops’ more out of the picture.


After Facetune, I open VSCO. I use 99% of the time the filter A6. If you always use the same filters your feed will flow better. And I just really like A6.

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A6 is my favourite filter.
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However, since my photos are always edited a lot already in Lightroom. I only apply a little bit of the filters of VSCO on top of it. So in this one A6 it’s only added up by +2,8.


And now the best app of all: Snapseed. Do you have it already? I think this app is free, so go now and download it. You must have this app, cause you can do so much with it. You can be really creative with this one, and I never skip Snapseed when editing.

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First I apply some general settings. Sometimes some more Brightness or I add up some Shadows. I love the ‘Ambiance’ function as well. But this picture was actually pretty good already, so I just added a tiny little bit of Contrast.
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This is a really important step for me. I always search for the ‘white’ spots in my picture. I use the ‘selective tool’ to make those spots more bright. Which means the ‘white’ will look more bright and white. Just tap with your fingers on the spot that you want to change. If your white has a different tone of white, like sometimes it can be a bit yellow-ish. Then you can also reduce the saturation with the ‘selective tool’. Which basically means reduce the colour that is left in the white.
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At the end I add some more ‘structure’ and again ‘sharpness’ to the picture.


Finally, Lenslight is a really cool app to add some sunlight/sun flare effects into your pictures. For this picture I thought the blue sky is a bit ’empty’, so I wanted to add something into it. I often add then a sunlight in the corner to give the picture something extra. WATCH OUT THOUGH: always look where the sunlight is in the picture and where the shadows are. For example, you can see that the sunlight is on my right shoulder here (left in the picture). So it would be logical to put the sunlight in the left corner as well.

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There are many options to choose different sun flares. I think for this picture I went for ‘Sunflare 4’, but I turned it around a bit, so this extra stroke to the right was not visible.
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When I dragged the sun flare into the right place I always play a bit with the Saturation, Blur, Opacity etc.


Now my picture is ready to go and I upload it on Instagram. In Instagram I don’t apply any editing anymore. This is the final version.

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When I uploaded the picture on Instagram.


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Before and After
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Result :).

If you liked this Blogpost about ‘How I Edit Instagram Photos’ leave a nice comment below! 🙂 Also take a look at my Instagram feed, and if you would like to know more about any specific photo, feel free to ask me any questions!

PS: Did you see my page with my current favourite fashion items?


  1. Great post with very good and useful tips! Very informative also. Snapseed is quite new for me, must try that next time 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words! Snapseed is amazing, there are so many options there. If you can’t find your way, feel free to send me a message and maybe I can help out 🙂 Have a great day! X Nina

  2. Awesome blogpost! Super detailed and explains a lot! Keep up the amazing work!

    • Thank you so much for your nice comment Rebecca!
      Really appreciate it! X Nina

  3. The edited photo looks so much better, but I guess I’m too lazy to put so much effort in editing, even though I love love love Instagram! I’ve read you’re half Polish, can you speak Polish a bit?

    • Dziekuje Olga za twoj komentarz! Tak mowie po Polsku, tylko nie umiem pisac tak dobrze, ale probuje 🙂
      Lubie editowac, ale masz racie ze duzo pracy kosztuje, ale jestem perfektionista wiec nie mam wyboru chyba hehe. Buziaki, Nina

  4. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it
    was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and
    say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring
    blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you
    have any tips for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Hey hey! Thank you for your comment. Aaawh I’m so sorry my website ‘ate’ your comment haha. Write about things that you think about in your daily life. I think it’s very important to stay true to yourself and write about things that inspire you. In that way you can inspire other with your passion. Good luck <3 Feel free to contact me if you have more questions

  5. As a photographer I have to say that you are a relly good on theese apps! Keep going girl!
    I am life styling blogger too! I would like to see you on

    Kisses from Greece
    Teo xxx

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