Tips to edit Instagram photos

edit Instagram photos

Since founder Kevin Systrom used a picture of his dog for Instagram’s first-ever post in 2010 it has grown into the largest photo-sharing website in the world. According to the Guardian, 95 million photos were uploaded to the social media platform every day in 2018.

Alongside websites like Tik-Tok and YouTube, it has helped the popularity of photography skyrocket in recent years.

That means there are a lot of great posts out there to learn from and be inspired by. But it can also be quite intimidating if you don’t have confidence that your posts are going to be up to scratch in comparison. 

Most people have pretty good cameras on their phones now, so the quality of your tech isn’t such a big factor in how well your pictures turn out. What you do probably have access to though is a few great ways of editing the pictures you’ve taken or been sent.

Being able to do this well can make a bad picture okay and a good picture great. 

If you can find an overall aesthetic or theme that you like to stick to, then it’s possible to create a sleek and enticing Instagram feed that just makes people want to keep scrolling through your grid.

Let’s have a look at some of the best ways to make your Instagram photos the best in the business.

Make the most of cropping

Because it seems so basic, many people breeze past cropping their photos properly. Often, it’s used to quickly get rid of an unwanted person on the side or fit things into the right shape but it can be used for so much more than that.

What your crop should be achieving is bringing the viewer’s eye towards the main subject. Use the rule of thirds and negative space to make sure what you want to draw attention to is really standing out.

The rule of thirds is a composition trick long used in film and photography. It says that if a frame is divided into three thirds, vertically or horizontally, then where the diving lines cross is the optimal place to put your subject.

Negative space basically means empty space. It can help to highlight your subject as it doesn’t draw too much attention to the wrong places. It needn’t be literally blank white swathes in your picture, but something with an even texture or colour, like the sky or a wall.

Use cropping to make sure that your horizon line – if there’s one in your shot – is even too. This is a great way of making an amateurish picture look more professional.

Best of all, cropping is something you’re going to be able to do in almost any editing app, or even on Instagram right before you post the photo. Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you should ignore this great tool!

Check out the presets

Presets and pre-curated filters are quick ways of bringing a whole new look to your photo. If you pick out the right one you can instantly make your picture appear professional. 

Instagram comes with some of its own but if you use something like Lightroom you’ll get even more to choose from.

Most presets don’t look their best when they’re applied at 100% intensity. Instead, play around with weaker effects to see what can be highlighted without the picture’s overall aesthetic suffering. Sometimes just 10-25% intensity might be enough to get the best version out of your photo.

It can be hard to notice the differences when moving the slider across slowly. To get a better idea if a smaller change has made a solid enough impact, then compare it directly with the original so that you can see the real change you’ve implemented.

Getting to know your favourite preset or filter is essential to curating your feed’s overall look. They can help all your photos to look the same (in a good way) by creating visual themes, such as slight saturation or strong greens, for example.

This helps your work become far more recognisable even if your face isn’t in a photo. Having a brandable look to your work is just as important as the name or face you attach to get recognition.

Individual adjustments

Being a master with the presets doesn’t get you off the hook from working on each photo individually. No two pictures are going to need exactly the same touch to get the best out of them. 

Even in a carousel that you want to post, individual adjustments can go a long way. What looks good on one building or face won’t look as good on another, so take the time to work out what should be highlighted and what should be diverted from.

Remember that even if you’re editing your posts through the Instagram options, you can go through a carousel and edit individual pictures before uploading the whole thing.

If you want to make minor edits to a picture before uploading then the Instagram editor probably won’t be enough for you, though. From Plann to Photoshop there are lots of software and online options for doing smaller tweaks.

Remember though, less is more!

Nailing the rest

Once you’ve got all your editing done, there’s no point in wasting your hard work by rounding out the overall post.

Add your professional logo or incorporate a design if you want your picture to be part of a marketing drive or attempt to reach out to clients or customers. Tools like Pixilied let you create mockups and add text to your photos.

You should also take time to write great captions so your pristine photo is getting as many impressions and as much attention as it can. It’s not always easy getting these exactly right but with the right help, such as Flick’s caption writing academy,  your captions can be an integral part of your great post doing even better.

Every part of a post should be taken care of to get top results, and you can have the photo editing part of that mastered in no time.