How I Edit My Instagram Photos


Yo, ma homies.

I was hoping I’d be writing this post with bright sunshine streaming through the windows and a gust of motivation and EASTER WEEKEND COUNTDOWN firing through my veins. But alas nope, your girl is hungover.

Man, remind me not to have three small glasses of wine next time I go out for a family meal. Grown-up hangovers are the worst.

But hey, I have a smoothie and we’re getting takeout burgers tonight, so y’know, I’m handling it.

Anyway, Instagram.

You sweet horrendous beautiful app, you.

I think most of us have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the dreamboat that is Insta. I think they key is to not take it too seriously, to distract your brain from dwelling too much on it.

I have quite a ‘clean’ grid, so I don’t take photos in the evening. I try and upload everything in real-time because it’s more me, but there are obviously days, days like today, where I’m home and ffs I’ve Instagrammed everything I could literally Instagram in this house, where I’ll upload an old snap with a real-time caption.

I’m all about a good, relatable caption. Instagram isn’t relatable, it’s not a blog. It’s about good snaps and an aspirational vibe, so I like to bring it back down to Friend’s re-runs, ironing and naps in the captions rather than in the photos themselves, y’know?

ANYWAY HERE’S HOW I EDIT MY PHOTOS. This is a requested post just FYI, so um yeah.



I’ve rambled on about this app enough times. It’s free, there ARE other photo-editing apps, but this is the one I like because you can see what your grid will look like with a new photo before you go the whole hog and actually upload it.

You do have to upload each image one by one to see your grid, it doesn’t just import it from Insta or anything, just FYI.




The first thing I do on VSCO CAM is use one of my go-to filters. I mostly use A5, but sometimes venture over into HB1. They’re both pretty similar tbh. I think it’s important to pick a filter or two and stick to it if you want a ‘theme’ because otherwise your grid is just an artistic splash of higgildy piggeldy.

I usually apply the filter somewhere between +4 and +10.

I literally feel like I’m sharing my soul with you right now.



I tend to up the exposure by +2 or +3 and then up the contrast by +1 or +2, or sometimes even more if the image is of a beauty product or summin on my white bed sheet.

I also sharpen all images by about +3 and up the saturation about +2. Sometimes this makes the image feel a bit too warm, so I’ll move the temperature to -1.

Writing this out makes me realise what a wally I sound. Hashtag mildly embarrassed. It’s honestly like a scientific formula. Lols.



Once I’m happy with how my new baby is looking on my VCSO CAM grid, I save it to my camera roll and get her on my Insta.

I do sometimes (maybe every 1 in 4) add a touch of Clarendon filter to the image just before I upload, usually between the 10 and 30% mark.

P3230045 2


I realise I just said that Instagram isn’t about being relatable, but I’ve started injecting more of my personality into my captions, because hey, it’s another chance to get someone to take notice of your image and comment or like, y’know?

I also tend to use three or four hastags. I’m not overly convinced how much hash tags work on Instagram. I know some people often comment on their own image with about 50 different hashtags, but I don’t feel like that would help build an engaged audience? I dunno.



I think you have to treat Instagram like a computer game, something that’s detached from you as a person. Your mission is to get new followers and more likes, but it’s no reflection on you, as a person. Like trying to win stars on Mario 64. If you fell in the lava or drowned under water and didn’t get the star, it wasn’t a reflection on your abilities outside of the game.

Of course if you just love Instagram for sharing photos with your boos and have no interest in growing your followers than I LOVE YOU and ignore everything I’ve just said.

Peace out.


  • Gracie

    that’s really interesting! I downloaded that editing app but couldn’t really get my head around it – will be trying your tips xxx

  • I love finding out how others edit their instagram photos. I’d love to lay out my VSCO grid as an example of what my instagram would look like, but I edit too many photos in there! So instead I have a touch of the higgledy piggeldy :/ (it’s @girlglobalising, just to add a little shameless plug in there…) Lovely post! xx

    • Oooh! So I use it to edit other photos but then save them to my camera roll and delete them off my grid 🙊 xx

  • SO MUCH brain power goes into editing Instagram photos. I love the VSOC grid I credit it for keeping me from the brink of an Insta meltdown xxxx

  • YES! I love VSCO cam, I swear its the best photo editing app there is!

  • em
  • Great tips!

    I need to up my Instagram game, it’s seriously lacking at the moment.

    Love your posts and videos x

  • I loveeee seeing how people edit their Instagrams!

    Sophie x

  • The VSCO app is life for Instagram edits! As someone just growing my Instagram from a blog perspective it is helping so much.

    Can I ask how often a day you like to post? x

    • I try and do 2 or 3 on an average day – if I’m travelling then I have no problem with upping that to 5! The same way I’m happy to skip a day if it’s the weekend and I’m just chilling on the sofa with some pasta and the Sky remote xx

  • Loved this post! I always use VSCO Cam for my insta pics x
    Morgan |

  • Lucy

    These are gorgeous – your instagram is fab! SO bright and pretty.
    Lucy xoxo

  • First off I loved how freakin specific this was. Like, wow, I’m sure people would’ve paid good money for this step-by-step tutorial. Second off, I love how you said at the end that if your goal is just to share some cool photos with your boo than you love them. HAH. Those of us who are only sharing to a handful of childhood mates and college buddies still want to be at the top of the class my dear. Thanks so much for another quality post!

  • Great tips – I’m so nosey at wanting to know how people edit their photos! I’m absolutely crap at instagram, I just find it ends up being way too over-complicated trying to perfect every detail!

  • So interesting to see how other people do photo editing. Your photos always look awesome!

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