top of page

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Hey guys,

I hope some of you have been getting beautiful summer weather, because here in Montreal, it's not that hot outside and it's a little depressing, not to mention all the rain we have been getting and we are about to get. 

The most common question people ask me is: "What filter do you use on your photos?" and I always share it, but there's more than just a filter going on there! So today I am going to share with you my photo editing process and the apps that I use to achieve the look I want. I have provided a few before and after shots and will support them with what was done to the photo. Excited? HERE WE GO! 



1. VSCO 

For a first edit of the photo I use VSCO to edit clarity, sharpness, temperature, brightness... and then I add a filter (one of their presets). I always use the same filter: HB1! This particular filter gives a blue/cold feel. 

Cost: FREE to download and some presets are free, but most will cost you. Every now and then they will send you notifications about a preset being free for the day, so I suggest waiting out instead of buying some right away :)

2. SNAPSEED from Google I don't use this app very often, because I only use it if necessary. With Snapseed you can edit the brightness, temperature and saturation for ONLY what you want. It acts like a brush, so you can add light to one part of the photo, without over-exposing the other parts :) You can even add text to your photo if that is something you want to do! It also performs all the basics: tuning the image, crop, rotate, but I prefer VSCO for those. It has a bunch of features to play around with it ;)

Cost: FREE


This app is heaven. It's not free, and it's not the cheap 99 cent apps either, this app cost me about $10 and I have absolutely no regrets. In Facetune you can smooth out details, add detailing to elements, mirror the photo, crop, rotate, change some color tones, fix red eyes, etc. My two favourite features include: whiten and patch. With whiten you make your whites whiter and take out the yellow tones often caused by unnatural lighting. The patch feature allows you to take out certain elements of a photo by replacing it with a another part of the photo. This is quite tricky to explain in writing so the examples will help, especially examples 5 and 6. 

Cost: $9.79 CAD 



You will see three photos for every edit demo. The first photo on the left will always be the original (as shot). The middle is "in progress" and the last one is the final photo. You will need to practice with these apps before you can master the edits. It isn't easy to 'patch' someone out, it takes time and patience. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me a message and I will be more than happy to help! :)

1. The Restaurant

STEP 1: Upload to VSCO. I adjust lighting (brightness), then add sharpness and clarity to the shot. I even add a slight contrast effect. Then I apply the filter HB1, but I always tone it down halfway so now to make the photo too intense :) The second photo shows the photo post VSCO edits. 

STEP 2: Now I upload the photo into Facetune, because I like where the photo is going, BUT I don't like the yellow undertones in the wall. So I import it and whiten the walls and add a little detailing to the table settings and VOILA! 

2. The Selfie

STEP 1: I import the photo into VSCO. Similar to the last photo, and all my photos, I add some sharpness and clarity. No lighting changes, I just add the HB1 filter and tone it down approximately halfway. This gives me the second photo. Notice how my hair looks shinier and more vibrant post edits ;)

STEP 2: I now import to Facetune because I want some features to pop more. So I use the detailing feature to make my freckles pop more and same for my eye. 

3. The Napkin Note

STEP 1: I import the photo into VSCO cam and adjust lighting, contrast, clarity and sharpness. Then I add the HB1 filter and tone it down. 

STEP 2: When I brought it into Facetune, I used the app to whiten the photo and then to make the writing on the napkin show more! Notice how the letters are clearer now. 

4. The Temple

STEP 1: When I first took this shot I was disappointed because it didn't look like it did in person. The lighting made it seem yellow and dull, so I made some edits to make it feel more magical, just the way it felt. I made my usual edits in VSCO (as seen above) to add that cooler tone to the photo. 

STEP 2: Then I imported it to Facetune to whiten the column and add detailing to the architecture. I was very happy with the results! 

5. The Taj Mahal

STEP 1: Here's where things start to get interesting ;) NO I did not "photoshop" out all the tourists, there were NO tourists in my shots to begin with because I was the absolute first person inside the Taj Mahal that day. Early bird get the worm... or at least the best shot of the Taj! I performed my usual VSCO edits and, of course, the filter, to bring my shot to the second frame. 

STEP 2: In Facetune, I adjusted the photo because it was a little crooked and balanced out the shot and then I fixed the right tower of the Taj Mahal. Unfortunately, the Taj was under construction, so I decided to add some magic to the shot by "fixing" the tower. I essentially used the left tower to replicate it on the right with the patch tool in Facetune. I then added a little detail to my face, because I felt it was being drowned down a little due to the background.  

6. The Amber Fort

STEP 1: This shot looks quite different post edit. Let's walk through it. I used VSCO to crop the photo proportionally, and add clarity and sharpness to make the details on the wall pop. I used the HB1 filter to change the colours a little, add a cooler tone to the photo. 

STEP 2: I then used Facetune to whiten the wall and add sharpness to the details on the wall specifically. The wall now pops WAY more. I whiten the stairs and finally, I edit some people out of the shot to add emphasis on me. I use the left stairs to modify the stairs on the right and edit the two boys out. 


115 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page