How I Edit My Blog & Instagram Pictures

Thursday, April 21, 2016



(or...An Amateur's Guide To Editing Pictures)

I've been so hesitant to put this post together although it's been requested a number of times just because I do believe it will be thoroughly dull and disappointing. But the lovely and ever so supportive @mstantrum (check out her lovely blog here) asked me recently and I couldn't refuse her.


Over app picture editing


Now let me start by stating I am not a photographer and am in no way suggesting my pictures are amazing or professional or anything like that. I enjoy putting my pictures together and love sharing them with you all but they're not anywhere near what I aspire for them to be. Having said that, this has been asked of me many a time.

So here goes...I'm going to share how I edit my pictures for both my blog and Instagram. Be prepared to think, "Huh!!! Is that it?!?" because it really is rather unglamorous.


CAMERA

I take all my pictures on my phone which is currently an iPhone 5S. I would love to have a camera to take my pictures on and I feel like that would help me take my photography to the next level, but for now my phone is doing a sufficient job for me and I'm not complaining.


OVER

Before I edit any pictures I go through the multitude of shots I've taken and I select the ones I will definitely be using. If you follow my blog, you'll know I can't just choose one and usually end up using several because I love them too much! 




Once I've selected my shots, I open my picture up on an app called Over which is where I add my watermark to each shot. The good thing about this app is that I don't need to type it out every time. It saves my projects and all I have to do is change the background each time and position the watermark in the right place. The app also has filters, adjusting and cropping features and a multitude of typography options which is great for making pictures personal. 


ummbaby blog ummbaby beauty blogger
The 'Original' picture I start with before editing

umm baby beauty blog
The finished picture I publish

INSTAGRAM 




I edit my pictures on the Instagram in-app editing suite 90% of the time. I know it's not considered to be that flashy but I've tried using apps like VSCO and what have you and I always seemed to come back to Instagram for a better edit. It just has the options I need, it's easy to navigate and quick to achieve. I always edit my Instagram pictures right there and then before posting and blog pictures I edit and send to myself via Direct Messages (yes, I use Instagram A LOT!) in advance of creating the post. 

Personally, I love creating pictures that are high contrast and clear with bold but true to life colours.

My most common "recipe" for editing my pictures on Instagram = Brightness 50 + Contrast 40 + 30 Highlights + 10 Saturation (for blog pics + Sharpen 15). This gives me a sharp white background and makes the colours of the products stand out but remain as close to their actual colour.



The first thing I always do is increase the brightness. The camera generally takes quite dark, dull pictures and I also prefer super bright pictures in which the background is lighter and the products look brighter. This is adjusted depending on the picture itself. The trick is to brighten without getting the picture looking grainy or washed out.

+ 50 Brightness



I then like to increase the contrast in order to make the white background a little whiter and the colours of the products appear bolder. I don't take this too high because it can create additional shadows.

+ 50 Brightness + 40 Contrast



The next step is to brighten the picture again to make the background as white as possible without taking away from the clarity of the products or washing their colours out. Any colour that is lost at this stage, I will add in again but I just like to get the background looking as bright as I can get it.

+ 50 Brightness + 40 Contrast + 30 Highlights



Finally I increase the level of saturation to get the products looking like their true colours again as all the brightening and highlighting can reduce it. I don't like to overkill on saturation as I want the colours of the products to pop but remain as true to their actual colours as possible.

umm baby beauty blog
The completed picture:
+ 50 Brightness + 40 Contrast + 30 Highlights + 10 Saturation


Depending on how much daylight and what tone of daylight I take the original picture in undoubtedly affects the end result. I might adjust the recipe slightly, play around with Warmth and/or Lux settings or even apply Ludwig to get the right effect. I can always tell which pictures stray from my recipe and it's obvious where lighting remain stubborn.

This of course is my recipe that I use just because it works for me. Please bear in mind I am an amateur and know very little about photography and editing. This is just what works for me to create pictures that I like the look of in the end.


A COLOR STORY

Recently I discovered an app called A Color Story which is a great little app with some of the best filters I've seen. So if you like a themed Instagram feed and you want something a little more unique, then you'll really appreciate this app.



I use the free filter Pop because it does almost exactly what I achieve via my several steps on Instagram in one go. The reason why I don't use it as often is because some pictures - especially those taken in dull daylight - lose quality and clarity once edited. But when it works it's amazing how it makes my colours pop against a the white background.

So there you have the unglamorous background story to my pictures. I know, it's not the best read but I thank you for sticking this one out with me :)


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What do you use to edit your pics? Do you have a similar go-to recipe? Are you shocked/surprised by my method? Let me know!!!



N.B. No makeup or skincare items were hurt in the making of this post...thankfully! It was a close-call.


Sal xxx
Instagram | Bloglovin' | Twitter


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45 comments

  1. This is really helpful for phone photograph. I never heard of this app before, thanks for the tips!

    Selene Addicted

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    1. I am so glad you've found it useful. Thank you for reading :) xxx

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  2. Great post! I definitely use brightness, contrast and sharpen are my go to photo editing tools. x

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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  3. I would have never guessed you take your photos on your iphone! Your photos are always very pretty so it's just show that clever editing and composition is more important then fancy camera :) I sometimes use my phone for Instagram photos but, in general, I prefer to use my Nikon camera which is not DSLR but good enough for now, although I wish I could buy a fancy camera, lol!
    Great post, Sal! xx

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

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    1. Aww thank you hun! I would love a camera though I'm trying to make the most of what I have ;) I love your pictures as they are always so clear and bright and colourful! xxx

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  4. This is such a good post! Thank you for sharing <3 Your blog & instagram photos always look amazing! xx

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  5. Great post as always Sal 😘 😘. I never thought you use your phone and always had an impression of a Dslr with some great lenses. I love all your pics. I do use instagram edit settings as well and know that's amazing but I don't have any specific recipe. It's hit and trial for me to the level I think the pic is okay to post but it's never as good as even a single pic of yours. I am definitely going to try your edit recipe and let u know the results. These two apps will he very handy as well. Thanks for sharing such tips and tricks to achieve bright colourful pics. And you mentioned my blog 😊😊😊😊 💕 I am over the moon #teamummbaby

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    1. You are far too kind. I can only dream of owning and even knowing how to use a DSLR one day hun. I really think the Instagram editing suite is really good...clearly hahaha! Don't be silly, your pictures are lovely and I always look forward to seeing your next skincare or makeup flatlay. You're welcome my love, and I'm glad you encouraged me to finally put this post together xxx

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  6. Great post as always Sal 😘 😘. I never thought you use your phone and always had an impression of a Dslr with some great lenses. I love all your pics. I do use instagram edit settings as well and know that's amazing but I don't have any specific recipe. It's hit and trial for me to the level I think the pic is okay to post but it's never as good as even a single pic of yours. I am definitely going to try your edit recipe and let u know the results. These two apps will he very handy as well. Thanks for sharing such tips and tricks to achieve bright colourful pics. And you mentioned my blog 😊😊😊😊 💕 I am over the moon #teamummbaby

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  7. I do almost all my editing with Instagram too! I think the Brightness, Contrast and Sharpening tools are a lot better than some other apps which seem to be more popular. Sometimes I take photos with my iPhone 5s but I do use my Pentax DSLR more frequently. However, as is clear from your photos, the composition and editing is far more important than a high quality camera! Thanks for sharing though - I never really use the Saturation tool but looking at your images it seems like it's actually really useful!
    Rebecca | Notes From September
    Xx

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    1. Aww you are far too kind. My pictures are still way off from what I wish they would come out as but you're right...you can still take decent pics using a camera phone and just apply the right techniques. The trick with Saturation is to only really increase it ever so slightly. I've overdone it before and it's pretty garish ;) xxx

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  8. What a beautiful spread. Thanks for sharing! Continue the great work!
    Best, MODENOVA I www.modenova.com

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  9. Great post, you inspire me girl, my iPhone 5S and I are so ready to take better pictures now xxx

    ALittleKiran

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    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! You're sweet! I'm glad you found it useful xxx

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  10. These are some really good tips and I should think about using instagram more to edit my photos! x

    eleanorclaudie.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I'm glad you found it useful. I really don't find any other editing suites or apps easier to use than Instagram ;) xxx

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  11. This was such a good, in depth post! I'm shocked you take your pictures on your phone! I did when i first started blogging and they where no near as good quality! I think when it comes to editing its finding something that works for you. I find when i try changing editing apps ect, I really don't like the way the picture turns out! Having said that, i started using pic monkey and I've noticed a huge difference in my pictures. xx

    LPage Beauty 

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    1. You are too kind hun. Thank you! See...I hear of things like Pic Monkey and the time it would take me to figure out how to use it, I would rather spend taking and editing pics on Instagram hahaha! Your pics are beautiful so perhaps I should take the time to learn though ;) xxx

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  12. Great tips, I love VSCO for editing, but I always end up using instagram too haha!
    Tenz
    www.shesabouthatlife.com
    xxx

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    1. I tried with VSCO so many times but I could never get the hang of it lol! xxx

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  13. I just use Instagram edits too but mine are all over the place and I just brighten and highlight! Will definitely have to play about a bit more as my lighting always looks so different!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    1. The instagram tools are the best and quickest to use for sure. Your pics look lovely hun xxx

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  14. Your pictures edits are so pretty! How did you take it without having shadows? I would always find shadows in my photos.

    Chlariss
    Silent Dances And Glasses

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    1. Thank you hun. I take my pics right by my window so that helps with the shadows. xxx

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  15. I had to comment! This was an amazing post, very informative and helpful! :) loved it Xx

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much lovely. I am so glad you found it useful and really appreciate you letting me know xxx

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  16. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Loads of useful tips and tricks. I need to use Instagram a lot more, I am so lazy with it!

    Carrie xo
    CazmosWorld

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    1. Thanks Carrie! I am addicted to Instagram...clearly lol! xxx

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  17. Great post! I need to download the app... ;)
    But the result of your editing is very beautiful. ♥
    Anne Marie from www.cosmediycs.com

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  18. Lovely guide! It's funny how just turning up the brightness can totally transform a photograph :)
    - Ambar | Her Little Loves

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  19. This is really helpful as I don't actually have any of these apps! Definitely downloading A Colour Story immediately as I'm always after new filters to try! I always aim for clear, bright, colourful images too so this was really helpful :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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  20. This was such a great helpful post. I started off using instagram and my pictures were totally fine until I uploaded them onto my blog and they'd look really really bad which was strange. Maybe the pixels or something!? I really want to try these other apps though!
    Charlotte // www.charlottespicks.com

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  21. I've never heard of Over and A Color Story - just downloaded both so thanks for writing this. Can't wait to try them out on my photos if they turn out any good as yours do!

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  22. A Color story sounds like an interesting app, may need to check that one out. Love how you gave your little photo 'recipe' as well, I think I'll experiment with that recipe and my Instagram photos and see what happens :)

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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  23. I used to take all my photos on an iPhone and still do sometimes the camera are really good now. I use an app called snapseed to edit, its really good and free!
    Lauren

    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

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  24. This is such a helpful post! Thank you!
    Xo

    www.tinselandrose.wordpress.com

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  25. Wow this is intense! I just randomly edit any photo, no special recipe. But this is so good, no wonder you've got your photography game strong. I'll have to cook up some recipe as well now, or I'll just steal yours once I stop procrastinating :D
    I'm glad you shared this! Great job, sweetheart!

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  26. Hahahah!!! This was great! Proper behind the scenes. I do my editing in the iPhone camera app! But tbh lighting is really poor here. The sun rises, transitions and sets on the edge side of the house so not much I can do hehe.

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  27. First off, I don't understand how I had not commented on this post till now because I read it and was in awe!! I was in total shock when you said you took all your photos on your iPhone!!! Like What?!!!! They look absolutely brilliant and I honestly thought you used a camera. You are seriously talented and I cannot wait to see what photos you would take when you get a DSLR!! I know they would be stunning!! I have always loved your beautiful photos and they always draw me in to your blog with your writing style of course. Well done Twinnie and I can't wait to see more from you. Thanks for the tips as well!!!....xx

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  28. Really enjoyed reading this as honestly I have been admiring your Instagram photos forever. I use my phone too and the look I go for is just crop, crop and crop until I've got a clear but up-close pic. Fab post, thanks for sharing xxx

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  29. Great informative post! I love how you explain things so easily! X

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Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to leave a comment. I read every single one :)

If you would like to reach me for a more direct response, please feel free to contact me on: ummbabybeauty@gmail.com

Thank you,

Sal xxx