How I Plan + Edit My Instagram Photos

Who else remembers the days when Instagramming consisted of snapping a photo of your breakfast or your dog, applying the Valencia filter and calling it a day? Nowadays I practically have a photo studio setup for each flatlay or outfit photo, not to mention a tried and tested formula for editing my 'grams.

But if you're curious about how I plan or edit my Instagram posts, you're in luck! Today I'm sharing my editing formula plus the tools and apps I use to get that perfectly cohesive feed. 

Camera + Equipment

For most of my photos now, I use my Canon Rebel T6 camera. If I'm out and about or if I just need a quick snapshot, I use my iPhone 8 Plus, which has a surprisingly nice camera for a phone. 

When I want to take photos of myself, I use my basic tripod setup. When it's gloomy or dusky outside, I use this simple umbrella light kit from Amazon to lend a little faux sunlight to the subject. 



The main app I use for editing is VSCO Cam. It has a lot of really robust editing features and it's simple to use. 


I also use A Color Story for their awesome filters. My current favorite is the Fawn pack by Courtney Halverson of Pretty Little Fawn. 


Another honorable mention is Snapseed by Google. It has a lot of really great editing tools as well, and my favorite one is the "Selective" tool which allows you to adjust only certain areas of your photo. This is especially great for brightening up a white background, or punching up the color or saturation of your new skirt.


For planning my feed, I use Preview. I've tried a lot of feed planning apps, but this is by far my favorite. They have a free version that's perfect if you just want to manage one Instagram account. If you have multiple feeds, or if you want to access all of their editing tools, you can pay $6.99 a month to unlock all features. It's super easy to drag and drop your photos and see where they will look best. Plus you can schedule reminders so you never forget to post, and it comes with some pretty robust analytics as well.

My Editing Process

To start out, I load my photo into VSCO Cam. One really great thing about VSCO is that it allows you to create "recipes" from your editing steps. Once you've made all your edits, tap the third icon from the left on the bottom and add the steps as a recipe. Then you can easily add these edits to all photos with just the press of one button.

My current recipe is:
Exposure: +2.0
Clarity: +1.0
Temperature: +2.0

This brightens and warms up the photo nicely. From there, I save it and upload it to A Color Story. I add the Tweed filter from the Fawn pack, and then we're good to go. 

Depending on the brightness and colors in the photo, sometimes the process needs tweaking, but generally speaking, this is my go-to process for my bright, warm feed. 

You can see the step by step process in the video below. (P.S. I finally created a Youtube account – check it out!)