Aside from getting asked ‘how do you travel so much?’ the question of how I edit my photos is probably the most frequently asked note I get from readers. So a little while ago I posted some before & after examples on my IG stories and asked if you’d like a breakdown of how I adjusted them and got 98% positive feedback… so here we are! I will say, I don’t do anything particularly special, but am happy to share and answer any questions below 🙂
To start, I’ll say that I take almost all of the pictures you see on my Instagram with my iPhone. That may be a faux-pas to some, but I take most of them in real time or on the go and it’s convenient. Plus, phone cameras have come a long way. Some of the shots when I travel are via a real camera (usually a waterproof Olympus for the beach), but I am a firm believer you can take great shots with your phone if you don’t have the means to purchase a better option (or don’t have it on you when something inspiring strikes). That being said, I am in the market for a new camera (mainly for travel purposes) and would greatly appreciate any suggestions for what you’re using and love!
Next, before I actually edit my photos, I try to make sure I’m shooting in natural light. That ranges from when I’m out and about, or just even a simple outfit post, flatlay or selfie in my condo. Always try to take well-lit shots because frankly, they’ll look better and need less editing. This is also important if you are shooting with a phone, because quality/pixilation will become more evident the more you need to brighten an image.
Ok, so once I’ve taken a photo, my go-to app for editing is Snapseed. I’ve been using it for years and find it really user friendly and quick. I believe it’s free (it was when I originally downloaded it, but again that was a long time ago) and has everything you need. Every picture is different, but for the most part, using the ‘tools’ function within the app I will edit my photos like this:
– bring up the brightness and contrast a bit
– reduce the saturation slightly (I like more muted tones generally), and
– tweak the shadows and tone of the photo as needed.
I try to keep a pretty neutral tone – I don’t like too cool because I want to look tanned always lol, but I also don’t like when white areas look like pee pee lol. Personal preference is key, and gives your feed a unique feel.
Snapseed also has great brush tools to change large areas of an image (for example, adjusting the exposure or saturation on a landscape shot, or really big piece of wall or floor).
Sometimes, in addition or in place of Snapseed (depending how I feel the elements on the original photo looked), I will throw a VSCO filter on or over top. VSCO is another app (free and paid filter options) and I tend to like the J and L series, and that you can change the tone in more sophisticated spectrums than just blue or yellow.
I’ll add here that like other apps, both of these let you save or apply ‘last edits’ or ‘saved edits’ (what you see people referring to as ‘presets’), to make editing quicker as you find your groove.
I’ll also note that I get asked all the time ‘how do you make all your photos look the same?’… I think what is being referred to in those instances is the cohesiveness of my feed. Again this is important to some people and not others. I would never be so extreme as to exclude whole families of colour from my pictures let’s say (not knocking anyone who does, but I just like to post whatever I want and think that would be really limiting), but I think that once you become familiar with an editing app and are doing the same steps for most photos, your feed will start to look more pulled together.
That’s all I got, friends! Did it answer your questions about how I edit my photos? Any apps that you prefer? xx