How I Edit My Instagram Photos Without Using Apps


So, this headline is a bit of a lie, because I guess the Photos app that comes already installed on the ol’ iPhone is in fact an actual app.


But it’s recently become my go-to place to edit my snaps before uploading to Instagram, and I don’t want to go all wild and crazy and broken on you, but I think I prefer it to VSCO cam.

(There’s an old post about how I use that to edit snaps over here, in case that’s your thang).

You might have noticed that I’ve been popping up the odd interior snap over the past couple of months or so, and this is where the iPhone editing tools really come into their own.

I was finding that some of the VSCO filters (looking at you my number one home girl HB1) were making the corners of a room that weren’t in direct sunlight look even darker than they were. And I’m all about the light and fresh looking Insta image.

But this is where the iPhone editing is A+++, plus, it’s also great for balancing out darker outfit snaps.

So I thought I’d share the settings I use, in case it comes in handy for any of you.

First up, to get to the editing tools on your phone, simply open an image in your library and click on the third icon below (the one with three lines and little circles).

And then click on the third icon again (this one is a circle with little dots around it). And then here is where you’ll see the editing options – to get the full range, just click on the little arrows next to ‘Light’, ‘Colour’ and ‘B&W’.

I know that sounds pretty obvious, but trust me, it took YEARS, to realise there was a full range of editing options.

Oh and spoiler, I pretty much stick to the ‘Light’ editing options.


I always, always start with brightness. I normally put it up to about 0.70 if it’s an interior shot or somewhere between 0.40 and 0.70 if it’s an outfit. I tend to put it up just a notch brighter than I think it should be.



I then move on to contrast and put this between 0.20 and 0.30 – just enough to stop making an image looked washed out, y’know?



I don’t even know what brilliance does but bleedin’ heck, it is my photo editing angel. It instantly transforms an image and for me, that’s what puts the iPhone editing tools above the VSCO and Instagram editing tools. It just lifts an image and makes it brighter without over-exposing it or making me look like a see-through ghost. I tend to stick my brilliance somewhere between 0.40 and 0.50.


I don’t do this on every image, but sometimes I’ll add a teeny 0.10 of exposure if an image still looks like it could do with an extra dollop of lightness to it.


So yeah, that’s the fella. Obviously this is just how I edit my snaps and obviously they might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s well worth playing around if you have an iPhone because I’ve found the settings to be a bit of a game changer!




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