How I Edit My Photos

photo editing tips and apps for instagram, pinterest and bloggers


The other night I decided to tidy up my Instagram account. It’s the kind of thing I decide is a good idea to do about 2 am in the morning while binging on Netflix. Lately, I’ve been struggling with Instagram, and social media as a whole. Despite Instagram supposedly cracking down on bots it actually seems to be getting worse. I’m jaded.

BUT archiving some of my older photos made me realise just how much I love the app, in spite of its problems. I love creating for it and I love the community on there. I get *real* comments from people that aren’t tied to a comment pod and I get some of the most amazing DMs (and not a dick pic in sight!). Because my brain likes to latch onto the bad things these wonderful things often get forgotten. So to celebrate and (hopefully nurture) my love for the app I thought I’d share how I edit my photos. This is also how I mostly edit my blog photography too. Although, I don’t use as many filters on my blog. I want to show the true colours of the products as much as I can.

I also recently spoke to Noctis Magazine about my photography, you can read the interview here.


The Kit


I shoot on an Olympus ELP-7 (there’s newer models of the pen available), and I mainly use a Panasonic 1.7 lens (which is currently on offer from John Lewis– it’s an amazing lens). I use my Olympus Share app on my phone to transfer the images from camera to phone via wi-fi. I sometimes use my Huawei P9 Plus. Below is a photo I took on it and with minimal editing. My husband has the new swisher version, the P20 and the camera is beautiful.  I also have this travel tripod from Amazon and that’s pretty much it for my kit.


The Editing Apps                     

I do almost all of my editing for Instagram on my phone. After I import my images into my phone I usually go straight to Snapseed. I think Snapseed is my favourite editing app. It’s incredibly powerful, easy to navigate and has a whole range of tools available such as a healing tool to tidy up any little things you don’t want in your photo, a brush tool where you can selective raise or lower exposure, saturation or temperature. I’m a big fan of the white balance corrector tool in this, it just makes things super quick and easy. And Snapseed also comes with a range of filters (I don’t really use these but they’re nice to have).


After I’ve tidied up my image I then usually go straight to VSCO. I love VSCO, their preset filters are so easy to use and adjust, and there’s something to suit everyone. You can also create your own ‘recipe’ but you need to sign up for that (and it’s not a free service). I haven’t tried it so can’t say if it’s actually worth it or not, however you do get a free 7 day trial.



I’ve recently changed my filter preferences, I used to use the As, which are analogue filters but I’ve been using the Js, which are minimalist. I’m almost certain this has changed because of the weather. I haven’t made any conscious effort to change my filters, it seems to have happened organically. It’ll be interesting to see if it changes with the seasons. Anyway, as well as using the presets on there which I adjust to *try* and fit in with the rest of my grid on Instagram I usually use the tools on there too just to do some final alterations. This is usually the sharpening tool and the temperature tool. Again, this is to try and keep some flow between my photos, it kinda works. Oh and something else that effects the colouring of my photos is my bedcover. If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed the setting has changed. I used to always shoot my photos in my living-room but I’ve been preferring the light that comes in my bedroom window. So when my bedcover changes the overall look of my photos change too.



If I want to add a bit of whimsy, surrealism or magical realism to my photos I mainly use PicsArt. This was another app I discovered thanks to the rather brilliant Sara from Me and Orla. Despite how it looks this is an incredibly powerful photo editor. It comes with a whole host of tools to edit your photos plus an array of other features. One of my most used features is ‘Stickers’. This is how I add flowers, butterflies etc to my images. You can change the look of the stickers available in the PicsArt library, and you can also make your own stickers too. You can resize, flip, change colour, erase etc making it unique to you. I don’t think this is a hard app to master but don’t be scared of it, play around and have fun. It’s one of my favourite ways to relax.



And the final app I use, although not as much recently, is Lumyer. If you want to make little cinemagraphs easily this is a good introduction to them. You can add effects like clouds moving and birds flying (see above). I don’t think the effects will be to everyone’s taste but in a way the limitation incites you to be more creative. It’s definitely worth playing around and adds a little bit extra to your Instagram posts.


Editing Blog Photos (and Pinterest)


The main difference between my Instagram photos and my blog photos is that after I import them (or I just import them straight to my MAC) I just use Photos on my MAC for editing. And that’s usually just to correct brightness, colour and white balance. I try not to do too much to my blog photos unless I’ve really ballsed them up when taking them. If I have seriously messed them up I’d usually just reshoot. I’ve recently started shooting in portrait for my blog (I usually shoot in square for Instagram) to make them Pinterest ready. While I take my photos specifically for my blog I’ll take a load extra for Pinterest. Not only does it give me extra photos to use it also provides different types of aesthetic for the wide range of users on there. I really recommend making your photos Pinterest friendly as well as creating lots of different photos for one post. It’ll give you more opportunities to pin the same content over- just remember to change the pin description each time you pin, it’ll help you look less spammy and increase your reach if you use different SEO. (I am planning to write about this soon but if you want more info please just drop my an email or message).


help for editing your photos for instagram including the best apps and filters


Do you have favourite editing apps?


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More Aye Lined to Read:  My Favourite Resources for Small Businesses (& Bloggers too!)

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