Lately, one of my most received DMs is about photos! How I edit, what programs I use, how I plan Instagrams and how I create my Instagram stories. Instead of breaking it down into individual posts (it’s a pretty short process!), I created one large guide!
Now that I have the hang of my process, it only takes about 10-20 minutes (depending on how many photos I need for a post) to edit, plan and create my IG story. I’m excited to share this with you guys!
First, I am going to share to share a few of my favorite programs for editing photos on my phone! I have used Lightroom before, but I just love how easy VSCO is. I also was able to purchase all their presets (aka filters) for $20 a year. This is huge because one Lightroom Preset can start at $60! They also can be tricky to get on your phone. If you are a beginner with editing filters, you may want to start with VSCO or you may love it like me and never leave!
A few other apps I use:
- Unfold. I use this to create my IG stories (more on this below)
- UNUM. I use this to plan my feed (also more on this below)
- Snapseed. Great for editing light, saturation, contrast, etc.
- KiraKira. This creates the ‘sparkle’ look on your photo or video, I mainly use this for IG stories.
- Inshot. I use this to edit videos vertically for IGTV.
VSCO is the app I use the most. I use it to edit photos for my IG, blog posts and stories. I also can edit videos or boomerangs in VSCO to give them the same cohesive filter as my photos. Like I mentioned above, I paid $20 for the yearly subscription and gained access to all of the filters. There are tons! The main ones I use are A6, the Q series, the C series & sometimes the K series.
I really like a saturated, vintage look to my photos. I think it fits my personality and works well with the lifestyle photos that I share. I recently had a Lightroom preset that looked awesome when I shot with my photographer out and about, but 75% of my photos are shot by me and these are usually at home. I found that my house and food shots just didn’t look good with my Lightroom Preset.
I shared a video on my IGTV Channel with the exact process I use when editing. It’s a lot of back and forth, playing around but once you realize what you want your photos to look like, it takes less time! I usually up the contrast, saturation and temperature. I find this can make me look orange so I will adjust skin tone and sometimes pull down the oranges in the photo. If it has colors thatI want to pop, I will increase their individual saturation as well. Finally, I like to add fade for a vintage feel. Above you can see the formulas I used for these three photos.
Often I’ll edit the same photo a few different ways to see which works best with my feed.
Once I have the photo or photos that I want to Instagram, I head to UNUM. This is a planning app that auto-populates what you instagram and then gives you blank spaces to plan your next posts. This is a huge help with planning my feed, matching my filters and helping me remember photos I want to post!
As you can see in the left photo, I imported all three photos that I filtered. Then, when I pick my favorite edit, I can deleted the other two and place it where it will be in my feed. I can add in more photos that I know I will be IG-ing soon to make sure I like how it flows (right photo).
*I also have a video for this on my IGTV Channel
Once I have all my photos and boomerangs edited, I then head to Unfold to create my Instagram stories. If you’ve been curious how I layer photos and videos, have the cute polaroid edits or the scrolling video without just being the phone frame- this is it!
Unfold is free but I purchased the additional frame packs for $1 or $2. This app is a little additional work, but it doesn’t take that much time compared to just creating them on IG stories directly. I have so, so much fun making these and feel that it’s the perfect place to show my creative side! Within the app, you can add text but I like to do that in IG stories because they have more options.
I open Unfold and select whichever template I’d like to fill. I like to mix videos, boomerangs and photos for a fun, playful story. I usually will edit all of these before pulling them in the Unfold app. Once I have my story how I like it, I will save it all and open it in IG stories.
*I have a full video for how I create my IG Stories with Unfold and the IG app on my IGTV Channel.
My final step is adding text, decor and GIFs in Instagram Stories. This is where I have the most fun! I usually use Unfold when I’m creating a series of pages to highlight a post, trip, recipe or eventful day.
A few of my favorite edits to add:
- Layered Text. I like to mix and match fonts, colors and sizes.
- Pens: I mainly use the two on the far left. The first one I use for drawing lines like frames around the photos or on my actual story, adding polka dots, or writing. The second one I use for adding things like ‘tape’ on the polaroids or highlighting words.
- GIFS. These are fun to add but I’ve noticed if you add more than one, it can make your IG Stories blurry (IG PLZ FIX THIS!)
I hope you enjoyed this little breakdown of my IG process (@RileySitton). I know it seems like quite a lot of steps, but it really isn’t! Plus, I have doing it, so it’s worth it. If you have any questions find my on Instagram or comment below. XO