How to Edit Your Photos Using Instagram + Other Instagram Tips

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Instagram is by far my favorite social media outlet.  I mainly use it to share pictures of my outfits and accessories. If you’re not following me, hop on over to my account here and follow me.

My Instagram account is now at just over 4900 followers.  It took me some time to really get going on Instagram, because I wasn’t effectively editing my pictures and I had no idea how hashtagging worked and what I needed to be doing with it.  I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks with you to apply to your account.

Remember, when you’re taking pictures for Instagram, try to start off by taking the photo in the best light available and by an open window.  

Process: I do not deviate from performing the steps in this order!!!

I never use a pre-made filter for Instagram, so leave the picture on the Normal option. First, I adjust the picture if it needs it–zoom in and/or rotate.  Second, I go to Highlights and punch that sucker up to 100 (caution–unless it watches your picture out).  Next, I choose the Brightness option and adjust it as high as it will go without washing the picture out.  Now, the next steps depend on the state of the picture.  Sometimes no further editing is needed.  If some detail, such as the plaid on my shirt or the burnout bows on my pants, isn’t showing up enough, then I lightly adjust the Shadows option to the right.  Once again, use caution, because this can really degrade picture quality if over-applied.  Also, if my skin or another area of the photo looks really pale, then I will utilize the Warmth option by adjusting it to the right until my skin no longer looks like thin gray paper.

These pics will walk you through my process step-by-step on a few different types of pictures.  The top right of the photo states which option I’m using, while the bottom of the photo shows the intensity of the option being used.

Example 1: Outfit Flatlay




Warmth (Final edit)

Example 2: Outfit Mirror Pic



Brightness (Final Edit

Every now and then, I will screenshot a picture and then open it back up in Instagram to use the Highlights option one more time.  This allows me to get a brighter picture without the washout.

After 1 round of Highlights + Brightness editing

After screenshotting the old photo and running it through Highlights
+ Brightness editing again

When it comes to editing pictures for the blog, I always use Photoshop Elements.  If I’m editing pics for Instagram, then I edit via the Instagram app itself.  And sometimes, if I can’t get the lighting just right for a blog picture with Photoshop Elements, then I send the pic to my phone and finish it off with Instagram.

Brightness (Final Edit)
When it comes to hashtagging, listen when I say that if you are trying to grow your Instagram following but aren’t maxing out your hashtags, then you’re doing it wrong.  You can max out 30 hashtags on each post you do, and you should be using every single one of them.  Why? Because hashtagging is the best way for random followers to find your blog.  For instance, in an outfit post, I hashtag each of the stores I’m wearing (e.g. #gapstyle #jcrewstyle #Maurices), local hashtags (e.g. #sharetheLex #kentuckyblogger #bluegrassblogger), and hashtags relating to fashion (e.g. #instastyle #instablogger #instafashion #igstyle #ootd #fashionblogger #fblog #sblog #ootd).  
To find the most-used hashtags (meaning the ones that others are tagging and searching), Google “most used [insert type of post here] hashtags 2016”.  For example, Google “most used fashion hashtags 2016.”  As you’re typing in a hashtag, pay attention to the #s that come up.  Instagram will usually show you how many other posts used that same hashtag.  If the #s are low, then don’t waste a hashtag using that one because it’s not getting heavy hits.

I hope this helps you to edit your photos on Instagram!!!

By the way, did you see my very 1st video I filmed for the blog about how to style a blanket scarf???  If not, you can check it out here!

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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