How I edit my photos – lightroom, apps and aesthetic feeds

I often get asked how I edit my pictures on Instagram to give them that magical look and to achieve an ‘aesthetic’ feed.

Here is everything you need to know about Instagram editing and how to get that beautiful, vibrant and aesthetic feed!

There is no such thing as the perfect picture or the perfect filter. Different content creators and artists have their own individual styles and look that they want to achieve. Some people don’t want to use any filters at all while others love to play around with as many apps as possible to express their individuality.

As a viewer of this content, some people like to see images in their raw natural colours, while others are more drawn to the illusion of perfection and the little splash of magic that picture editing software adds.

Before you dive into all the technicalities, you need to figure out your theme, the vibes you want to convey and what you want people to gain from your page. My colours are very bright, so lots of oranges and reds and pinks with my outfits having lost of patterns, florals, textures and shapes, because I want to be able to brighten up your day and hopefully inspire some positivity, optimism and motivation when you see my feed.

Some pages are more desaturated, some have blue themes, some have black and white themes and some have raw natural feeds. Whatever your preference is, just do you, post what you want to post, like what you want to like, and always remember to allow others to do the same.

Now, getting right down to it, here are the apps and some tips and tricks that I use to edit my photos.

Lightroom

Lightroom is an Adobe Creative Cloud app that you can download onto your laptop or your phone, from which you can then use ‘presets’ (essentially filters) to edit your pictures and give them the look you desire. The software comes with a few inbuilt presets and the dashboard has all of the adjustment tools that you would need to change everything about your picture, from the different colours to the contrast and exposure and the amount of grain you want on the picture.

You can also download presets online for free but these days a lot of your favourite Instagrammers are selling their presets. However, these can be quite expensive but that’s justifiable because their pictures are their livelihoods and the presets are what gives them that ‘magic’ touch so they’re basically giving you their secret weapons.

It took a bit of time and trial and error, and although at first I was using a few presets I had bought online, I’ve finally perfected my own presets that I use on my pictures. But my ultimate Instagram feed idol that I don’t think I’ll ever stop obsessing about is my favourite mama blogger @misskyreeloves because I’ve always felt that there was something so magical yet simple about her pictures.

If you want a super helpful all you need to know video guide about Lightroom, check this video out!

Kirakira+

This is the app that I use to add some glitter and sparkle to some of my pictures. Sometimes the light needs a bit of enhancement for that extra touch, for example when you’re using fairy lights and you really want them to stand out. This app is available in the App Store and is perfect for that sparkle!

So I edit the picture in Lightroom first, and then in Kirakira+ for the sparkle.

Afterlight 2

I use this app to add that old vintage worn paper look to my pictures because sometimes that’s just what they need. In addition to adding that dusty effect, you can change the way the light works and shift some colours and it’s quite a lot of fun to experiment with. It’s also available in the App Store!

So if I was going to use this app as well, the order would be Lightroom and then Afterlight 2. Or I could use all of the above so it would be Lightroom, KiraKira+ and Afterlight 2. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, it’s actually a lot of fun!

Photoshop

Now I personally haven’t uploaded any pictures with photoshop yet because I’m still playing around with the software and still learning how to make things look the way I want them to. But I follow so many awesome Instagram accounts that have mastered the art of Photoshop AND that are more than willing to share their tips and tricks with you if that’s something that you’re interested in. Here are some of my favourite accounts that use Photoshop to create some magical content.

@the_life_of_aivax

@joelrobison

@sienna.and.i

Extras! Instagram Stories:

Unfold

I’ve got quite a few questions about how I make my Instastories prettier white backgrounds, different frames and pretty fonts. I use this app to make my stories look more put together especially when it’s a travel story with more than one picture or video.

 

Photo Timer +

Sometimes I don’t have anyone around to take my pics for me OR there’s an angle that I want that’s not possible without a bit of imagination. So this app helps me set a timer and set my phone where I need it to be, and then make a 5-second dash to where I need to be to get the shot. Like that picture down there, that took a bit of manoeuvring and some cardboard and tape on the ceiling.

Finally: the secret weapon. Natural Light!

The most important thing when trying to take good photos, no matter how many apps or presets you use, is to make sure that the raw form of the picture is done in good lighting and decent quality.

Basically, you need a good camera. If you have an iPhone, you shouldn’t have any problems taking good quality photos but make sure that you learn how to make use of light and angles, which is easily done with a bit of online reading.

If you want to take the next step and invest in a DSLR camera, then you can’t just buy it, snap away and expect to automatically get good results. You need to understand your camera settings and be able to adjust them the right way. Make sure you’re shooting in raw so that when you upload your pictures to Lightroom, for example, you will get the best results when you apply your presets.

I think the learning curve when I got my camera was about 3 months and it was only after doing some reading of my settings booklet that I was able to begin using my camera to its best potential and even now there’s still so much to unlock. If you’re curious, I use a Canon EOS 200D 24.2 MP DSLR Camera with an 18-55mm lens.

The outcome you want from your pictures will depend more importantly on the type of lens you use and when choosing a lens it’s therefore important to know what you want out of the pictures you want to take.

So there you have it! I hope that these little tips and tricks can help you get the look that you dream of for your feed. Good luck creating your magical content!

Sit back, grab some Oreos, and I can’t wait to see what life has to offer us next!

Love,

Vadz

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