Step by Step Guide to Editing Photos for Instagram

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glitter and bold blog biz 101 step by step guide to editing photos for instagramI talk about Instagram all the time since it's not only one of my favorite social media platforms, but also one of my favorite things to do in my business. I'm all about demystifying it for you, aka helping you can skip over the years of trial and error and get right to the good stuff, so today I'm going to share a quick tutorial for how I actually edit all those photos I style, schedule, and post!

*I'm one of those diehard Apple people, so these are all done with an Iphone 6.*

Step 1: Snap it!

Take your photo of course! If you're stuck, check out my posts on backgrounds, props, and (in this case) styling phone cases.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

This is the photo I'll be showing you how to edit today. Note that it's already cropped into a square - this is because I almost always take my photos in the "Square" option to begin with since it helps with composition.

Step 2: Snapseed

Once I have a photo I like, I start with the app Snapseed.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

When you open your photo in the app, it will look like this. Edit the photo by clicking on the gray pencil icon/white circle in the bottom right corner.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

Once you click the white circle, the editing options open up. There are obviously a ton of features you can use, but the two I use almost exclusively are Tune Image and Selective.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

 

I always start with Tune Image because I like to start by increasing the brightness just a bit. I don't make it super bright since I know I'll be going back to brighten the background after this step, but I want the objects in my photo to brighten up first. 

This is also where I add/decrease warmth, saturation, and contrast if the photo needs it. In this case, simply brightening is all I want.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

 

Next is my favorite feature, and the real reason I use Snapseed over other editing apps - Selective. To use this feature, simply click on an area you want to edit and move your finger either to the right to increase or left to decrease. You'll see a small circle pop up that either gets more green as you go (to increase) or more red (to decrease). You can slide your finger up and down to change what it is you are editing.

I use this to brighten my backgrounds, as seen in the screenshot above, but you can also add saturation and contrast if that floats your boat. 

This is a great way to make white backgrounds pop and colored backgrounds more even.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

 

When I'm satisfied with my edits I hit the Save button in the top right corner and pick Export (Save and Save a copy work just as well, but I know I'm finished with editing in Snapseed so I always pick Export).

Step 3: A Color Story

After I do my initial edits in Snapseed, I open the new photo in A Color Story to add the final touches - filters!

If you've ever heard Instagram for business advice, you probably heard that filters are a big no-no, and I couldn't agree more! BUT... A Color Story filters are (for the most part) a different story.

I use these filters to not only brighten my photos, but to also make my colored backgrounds even throughout. Otherwise, the same pink poster board would look peachy in one photo and more purple in the next (seriously - you can still find that phase if you scroll down my Instagram feed far enough!). A Color Story makes all my photos cohesive with just a few quick clicks.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open your photo in A Color Story, it will look like this. You can do some quick cropping if you haven't already, but since I use Snapseed first I skip straight ahead to the big Continue button on the bottom. 

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

Like Snapseed, A Color Story has a ton of really great editing features but I use it almost exclusively for its filters.

I have the paid pack, which I'm pretty sure I purchased within minutes of getting the app, so I'm not sure which filters come with the unpaid version, but it was the best $8 I could've spent towards Instagram.

My go-to filters are Pop, Everyday, Sharp, and Ice Ice in the Essentials pack and Chroma and Heart Eyes in the Chroma pack. 

You can adjust how much of the filter you want to apply and then hit the little check mark to save your edits. I'll often mix a few together, like I did in this photo.

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

 

 

When I'm finished, I just hit Done in the far right corner and then Save & Finish.

And ta-da - I've got a picture perfect Instagram photo all from my phone!

In this case, I uploaded it onto my computer and added a phone case on Photoshop to get this final image (which I talk all about here if you're a phone case seller like moi!): 

glitter and bold blog editing tutorial instagram photos

This may seem like a lot of steps, but don't worry - you get the hang of it really quickly! From start to finish I can do this whole process (minus the phone overlay) in about a minute. Once you know where everything is on the apps and get your own preferences, it's just a few quick clicks to your dream photo!

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