There are SO many blog posts that I want to write at the moment – and I just seem to have so little time. However, one highly requested one is how I edit my Instagram photos [or blog photos if you will].
About three weeks ago I decided to make a serious attempt at creating one of my life long ambitions [please take that with a pinch of salt] which was to create a beautiful feed of instagram pictures. [I know, I know, that probably makes me the BIGGEST saddo]. But I quite honestly couldn’t give a flying cheesy watsit [no wait, who says that? I really am a saddo]. SO here I am 16 pictures later on Instagram feeling SUPER DUPER happy with what I have achieved.
The general thoughts on editing
Before I get into how I edit said photos I wanted to talk a little bit about the general reception of editing. If you have been in the blogging world for more than five minutes you will be fully aware of how willing some people are to share their [unwanted and unnecessary] opinions of what the ‘official’ rules of blogging are. One of those so called rules is – how you should edit your photos.
At the end of the day, we, as bloggers, must bare in mind that not everyone is going to agree/like what you do. SO BLOODY WHAT – I started this blogging malarkey for ME so close the door on your way out if you don’t like it.
Over on my Insta-stories I asked some questions about photo editing. One of the questions I asked was – Where is the line where too much is unrealistic?
Personally I love and appreciate the art of these kinds of photos. Yes, it is obvious that they have added a mystical, unicorn sky, but it looks pretty and does it really make much of a difference to your everyday life if someone does do that? These kinds of photos make a feed [in my opinion] look beautiful.
Here are some other responses I received from other bloggers:
Brooke – I think their is a line between too much but you can tell the difference. Their isn’t a problem with over editing until you change your personal features and your appearance as then you are creating a false appearance. It is already a problem that people over edit pictures of their face creating this false image.
Najida – I think naturally editing a photo is fine because sometimes the image doesn’t look the way we see it.
Imogen – I don’t like overly edited photos where it’s obvious they’ve changed it. Subtlety is key in my opinion UNLESS it’s done so OTT for a reason and looks obvious, like you’ve an extra head or something.
Hels – I personally prefer more natural-looking images. Some people create the most amazing images with editing, adding things etc, but I love enhancing the photo I have rather than adding to it.
Ellie – Photo editing is completely normal and can be done to improve picture quality, but can also be done to improve looks. This is also fine as people who are insecure may be wanting to show themselves in a different light, because it is the Instagram and photography community that makes them feel insecure. The line for something to become too unrealistic exists, but it is our own opinion and viewpoints, as today’s generation is influenced by those who heavily edits themselves on apps and in real life.
My Opinion of Editing
I think these are all very valid points, and certainly gives you some perspective. What Ellie has said about people editing their facial features as a result of feeling insecure. Certainly, I do and have done that in the past. I am not afraid to admit that either, I don’t like the way I look and I do slightly alter it to give myself more confidence to share it.
Despite, your thoughts and feelings about editing – here are my top tips on how to create THAT desired instagram theme.
My Top Tips
1. Pick certain colours or features that run through each picture. For me, I use stripey t-shirts as a back drop for my flatlays, and I always take the pictures on my white desk. That way there is a level of continuity throughout the photo. [I also have a genuine obsession with stripes so I feel like it adds a personalised touch to my photos].
2. Use apps like VSCO or Lightroom Mobile to create an editing preset. This is probably my favourite tip. Discovering the use of presets on Lightroom mobile [it’s free btw] has changed my editing game. I take the photo, upload to Lightroom and bosh – editing DONE! That way each photo has the seem set of edits [e.g. the exposure is always +0.5 or there about – sometimes I do have to alter it slightly depending on the light I took the photo in].
3. Use natural light. I find this really helps the quality of your photos. If I take pictures in the dark with my light on, I really dislike the photo and the yellow tinge they get. I am therefore terrified about the winter months and how I am going to take photos. I do own two soft box lights so maybe I can find a way to actually utilise them. [If anyone has any tips on that please let me know!]
4. Take pictures of yourself. A very wise old owl once told me [actually, it was Vix Meldrew – aka social media and blogging oracle] that photos of yourself do the best on Instagram, WHICH IS SO TRUE! I started to post photos of myself and they ALWAYS do better. A great way to look at your Instagram photos and see which ones are the most popular is to turn your account into a business Instagram. There seems to be so much more than you can do on there and I just love looking at the statistics that it provides.
5. Now this last point is more a piece of advice and that is that you do not need to have a expensive fancy pants camera to take nice photos. I DO have a ‘posh’ camera [the Canon 80D if you must know] and yes it does take nice photos. But your phone will do just fine. Despite having a camera, I am really lazy and I do take most of my photos on my iPhone. It’s just so much easier.
What are your top tips for taking and editing photos? I am by no means an expert SO I will take any tips and advice I can get.