5 Tips for Editing Photos via Instagram

In an effort to be transparent, I have to admit my photos don't originally look how they do on my Instagram, blog or other social media channels. Surprise, surprise. What might come as more of a surprise is how I edit the photos: mostly in the Instagram application

That's right -- I don't use presets on every single photo or edit on my computer!

I do use some applications, mainly A Color Story, Aviary and Lightroom but pretty sparingly. Other bloggers and influencers might look down on this but it has worked for me and the aesthetic I want (bright and colorful but pretty true to how it looks in person) so why fix what isn't broken?

Here is how I (generally) edit my photos:

  1. I enhance the brightness, usually to 100%.
  2. I decrease the highlight, mainly to maintain proper skin tones. 
  3. I enhance contrast a bit and adjust shadows, if/as needed.
  4. I saturate OR de-saturate color, as needed.
  5. I adjust the warmth to fit within the aesthetic.

*I sometimes will save the photo and then edit it more (i.e. make it brighter). 

I only use A Color Story for Color Fog (I bought the package) if I want to add a pop of color; its curve tool; or the flare tool in its free starter kit. I use Aviary to blur backgrounds (if the photo is not shot in iPhone Portrait mode) and/or for its blemish feature. I edit in Lightroom, as I deem needed, which has only been a handful of times.

Here are a few of my photos before + after editing in Instagram, only:


  1. I like to keep my shots pretty natural although sometimes I adjust the light using Lightroom, but I'll check out also A Color Story now. Thanks for sharing these tips!

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