How I Edit My Instagram Pictures | Apps & Presets

how I edit my instagram pictures

Instagram; what a complex, but amazing platform. A couple years ago, fashion bloggers started turning their Instagram feeds into a beautiful piece of art. Apps like VSCO, Lightroom, UNUM, Facetune, and so many more started taking over the natural nature of photography. It is a fun, but oh so frustrating way to show your love and fascination in this technology-infused world. That brings me here today – how I edit my Instagram pictures.

As a disclaimer, by no means is my Instagram perfectly themed. I try, but it isn’t like most of the amazing cohesive Instagram accounts out there. Theversastyle, Christieswadling, Nadiaanya_, Lornaluxe, and Jennakutcher and just a few of my favorites. 

Apps I Use

It all started with VSCO -back in college, I was watching a YouTube video on how to navigate this app and what filters to use to achieve that perfect lightly bleached picture. I would play around with the filters, but could never find the right cocktail of shades I wanted until switching to Lightroom.

I give influencers this one – they are really good at selling me Lightroom presets. If their feed is beautiful, I’m sold.

One of the influencers I was following on Instagram at the time released her set of 5 presets for around $60. Right when they were released, I rushed over and put my credit card in for this one-time purchase whilst downloading the Lightroom app at the same time. To this day, I couldn’t tell you who I purchased this set of presets from. (Whoops.)

A couple of years later I got tired of the themes I had been using. Another influencer named Christie Swadling released a deck of her top five presets at a one time cost of $49.99 AUD. I sat there pondering, would I actually use this deck, or would I ditch them for another set later down the road again? I quickly put in my card number so I couldn’t second guess myself. Til this day, I am more than thankful for these bad boys. I use them for my Instagram, blog, and YouTube channel even after having them for almost a year. 

I have good news, and bad news; only a couple of the filters I use are still available on her website. BUUUTTTT, she released a whole new round of presets that look PHENOMENAL. Quite frankly, I want to buy this round too, but I know I don’t actually need them. (I’m working on this whole “need” vs. “want thing.)

Christie’s new set of preset prices are as followed:

Anyways, let’s get into how I edit my Instagram photos using these presets:

#1 White Sands Vintage

Instagram picture #1

This is by far my favorite filter. Once applying this to my picture of choice, I will change around the exposure to my liking. White Sands Vintage will turn any color into something white and pastel – my fav! As I am not one of color, this brings out the whites and blacks while muting every other color. 

#2 Vintage Outdoors

Instagram picture #2

This beauty brings out the color, and I mean, all the color. Look at how much tanner I am in the second one!!! SHOOK. Just like the name says, it is definitely meant for outdoor pictures. Again, I don’t really change anything other than the saturation when the tan is coming off a little tooooo tan. 

Aside from this filter, look at that beautiful background of New York City! This was when I was fortunate enough to visit my amazing friend Sam (who also has blog linked here). 

#3 Extra Guac

Instagram picture #3

Guac, what a beautiful name, and most definitely fitting since this preset brings out the green and tan. This will add any color to whatever you got going on in the photo. To be entirely honest, I don’t really think I have used this in one of my Instagram pictures considering I am not a person of many colors. For all those colored spirits out there – this one is your cup of tea.

#4 Denim Blues

Instagram picture #4

This filter is the perfect mix of White Sands Vintage and Vintage Outdoors. Whites and darks are brought out while bright colors are dialed down, yet still prominent. If I use this one I will play around with the coloring a tiny bit because, once again, I don’t like much color (even though I really should). 

#5 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Instagram picture #5

Last, but not least, this is my least used filter, yet the perfect tone for my color scheme. Aside from the cutest preset name on earth, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is the perfect white, black, and tanish-brown concoction. 

Love the filter (even though I don’t use it often enough), miss my Portland home, and my Panda slippers that didn’t end up making it through last winter in Montana. 🙁 

There is such a controversy around filters and themes on Instagram, considering filters have the potential to set expectations higher on the screen than in person. In all honesty, I find my Instagram as art (like I’ve said a million times). If it makes you a little tanner, cool. If it doesn’t, also cool. Where I draw the line personally, is changing physical parts of your body. Show who you are, and even though it may be tough sometimes, love your body and the skin you are in. 

Until tomorrow,



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