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How I Edit a Photo for Instagram

How I Edit a Photo For Instagram

I always get questions on how I edit a photo for Instagram. So in this post, I take you step by step of editing a photo for Instagram with VSCOcam. head over to the blog to check out my steps!

I always get the question: HOW do you edit a photo for Instagram?

I don’t do much, and I do just about the exact same thing every time I do.  I always use  the VSCOCam app to edit my iPhone photos for Instagram. I’m a creature of habit and it just fits my aesthetic. So today, I am going to take you step by step while I edit a photo for Instagram that I posted a few weeks ago.

Here is the original photo, straight out of my iPhone:

How do you edit your photos for Instagram? Here is step by step how I edit a photo for Instagram using VSCOcam.

It was raining outside and I was moody. I wanted this photo to be moody, but still be me, and that directed me when I edited the photo.

The first thing I did was bring the photo into the VSCOCam app and apply my favorite go-to filter F2:


How do you edit your photos for Instagram? Here is step by step how I edit a photo for Instagram using VSCOcam.

Moodiness achieved!

Now for a few tweaks: I almost always tweak the exact same way each time I edit a photo

+1 exposure

+1 contrast

+1 sharpen

I almost always edit all of my photos for Instagram the exact same way using VscoCam

This time, I messed with the highlights just a bit, to take the glare off of my face and to tone down the white of my shirt and the blinds so that the highlights are not blown.

How I edit a photo for Instagram using VscoCam.


And with that I was done!

How do you edit your photos for Instagram? Here is step by step how I edit a photo for Instagram using VSCOcam.

The key to building a cohesive or uniform looking Instagram feed is to always edit all of your photos the same way. That’s not to say you have to do the exact same thing every time, because due to the nature of photos, you can’t always do that. But the key is to do similar things like:

  • use the same 2 or 3 filters
  • follow the same steps every time
  • in other words: develop a editing routine

If you want to learn more about Instagram, developing your unique look for Instagram and growing your Instagram community, don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Instagram class!

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  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Is the VSOCam an app? Thanks for the tip. I like the same filter too, but I usually use the IG filter.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

      yes, VSCOCam is an app. It’s Free!

  • Reply
    Chasing Joy
    November 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Thanks for sharing. Your pics are awesome.

  • Reply
    Daenel Vaughn-Tucker
    November 24, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I like that you’ve narrowed your editing down to a few steps. I’m still working on developing a cohesive look… There are times when I like dark and moody and times when I’m all happy happy joy joy. I did sign up for your class though!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Why thank you!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I love seeing how other people edit their photos! Your steps are fantastic and I definitely like the idea of always using the same filters to develop a cohesiveness in my feed. Great tips!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Thank you! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I love that VSCO cam you know it. I usually upload a pic or two from my big boy on my phone and then edit with vsco cam. F2 is my favorite and I have another one too that’s good I can’t think of it.

  • Reply
    Miles L.
    November 25, 2015 at 1:05 am

    These are really great tips. I always use Instagram and I don’t have much knowledge on how to edit my photos. I would surely try your tips next time I post a new picture. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I’m a huge fan of VSCO too! It takes better pictures than the iphone native camera app too. I’d be lost without it.

  • Reply
    Felicita Moncada
    November 25, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I’ve never heard of this app but I love it! What a drastic difference it made to your image! I need to go look it up since I want to improve my Instagram pics! Love all the filter option they have.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    It looks very much like a film photograph too when using those filters! I love ti!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I need a smartphone app to edit my photos for instagram. My phone is a Samsung, which has a different operating system (Android) than the iPhone. I am going to see what they have in comparison to this app you’re using.

    • Reply
      November 29, 2015 at 10:38 am

      I use a Samsung and use VSCO as well. You can share right to Instagram from it.

  • Reply
    Dina Demarest
    November 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I usually edit my photos by how I feel at the moment and what looks good. I really never thought to have a similar editing process to keep things looking like they belong together. That’s such a great idea and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, lol. Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    Susan Quackenbush
    November 26, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I use several different photo editors between my phone, tablet, and laptop, but I do love the built in features of Instagram – they offer some nice filters 🙂 Thank you for some of these awesome tips on editing, we greatly appreciate it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Deshawn Keiner
    November 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for giving us a quick lesson on photo editing. I love how you made it so your picture told a deeper story. I felt the moodiness in the after photo. I think all photos should be able to tell a story through some form of editing. Many people edit or use filters to change their appearance but I think it should be used as an expression piece. Thank you for sharing awesome knowledge I will use it in the future.

  • Reply
    Winter White
    December 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I love Instagram but it has been a BEAR for me! These are great tips and i’m signing up for your class.!

    • Reply
      December 1, 2015 at 11:45 pm


  • Reply
    December 1, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I have a few apps I like to use but I don’t think I have Vsco cam yet. I should check it out because your pics are bomb!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I was just thinking about downloading the VSCO cam app again. I feel like this post is a sign that I definitely should. 🙂

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