Sunday, 10 April 2016

INSTAGRAM || HOW I EDIT MY PICTURES

I am sure a ton of you can relate when I say, 'Instagram is my guilty pleasure'. Do I need to sit there looking at supermodels being all fabulous whilst I tuck into my second packet of biscuits? No. Do I still do it anyway? Of course!
Honestly, I would describe myself as border-line obsessed with Instagram, and you can guarantee that if I am sat on my phone, taking a break from work, I will be scrolling through my feed to catch up on everything! I almost feel ashamed to admit that I probably spend at least an hour a day on the app, flicking through pictures and constantly refreshing my home page to make sure I do not miss out on anything. Wether I am just being nosey, looking for new people to follow or I am after some inspiration, I cannot get enough - It is my favourite Social Media platform, for sure. 
As much as I enjoy looking through other people's pictures on Instagram, I also love taking my own photos's and sharing them with everyone on my page, (if you do not follow me already, you can find me by searching aliciaamyjones). Admittedly, I am that annoying person that will take pictures of anything and everything..Put a ham sandwich in front of me and I will try my hardest to attempt to make it completely 'Insta Chic' (more than likely I will fail, but certainly not for lack of trying)! The addiction has become so bad that 'Instamgramable' is officially now a word used in my daily vocabulary. Yes, it can be deemed a bit Vain, but for me I love getting creative and I just enjoy faffling about with filters and making things look fancy (I actually find it somewhat relaxing).

Back in the day when I was an Instagram newbie, I used to just use the filters and the editing tools that came with the app itself to edit my pictures, which worked absolutely fine, but every time I posted a new photo I would use a different filter. This meant that there was no consistency in my feed and I quickly started to hate how my page was looking. Some of you are probably reading this and thinking 'but, does it really matter?'..yes it does - or it does to me at least!
When I started Blogging, I decided to create myself a separate Blog Instagram page, and I knew I wanted it to have a theme on it that would really capture people's attention..however, at first I was not 100 percent sure about how I wanted it to look. I have been to-ing and fro-ing for quite a while now, trying out different filters and photography styles to try and achieve exactly what I am after..and finally, I think I am pretty much on track, and have actually found my own theme (at least for the time being anyway!) that I am starting to feel happy with and proud of.  
On my Instagram page you will find lots of flatlays, lots of make-up and beauty product shots and the occasional outfit of the day..I very rarely post a selfie, mainly because 90% of the time I am sat with my hair in a top knot with no make-up on, and I would not want to scare anybody with that image! I like all of my photos to be taken with a white background (yes, typical beauty blogger here) and I have everything very minimal, clean and airy...Not that I am particular at all! 

To get my pictures looking the way they do, I only actually use a couple of different apps..it is nothing too complicated, as I like to keep my editing fairly quick and easy. 
The main app that I use on every picture is VSCO Cam, and occasionally I will use Facetune as well. Also, I will use the editing software on Instagram, if I feel like my picture needs any last minute changes adding to it before I post it on my page.   

Any photo that I post onto my Instagram now will have been edited using 'HB1/HYPEBEAST' from VSCO Cam, and this is literally my favourite filter ever. I find that it really whitens the white parts in the picture and just brightens everything up, as well as evening out any brassy or yellow tones (I like my pictures more on the cooler toned side). Once I have selected the HB1 filter and applied it onto the image, I will then decrease the intensity slightly from +12 to +9, just so the filter is a little bit more subtle. 

After I have added the filter, I will then go into the 'editing tools' section on VSCO Cam and this is where I will adjust all of the 'usual' settings. Of course what you do to each photo in terms of exposure and contrast and things like that is not going to be the exact same in ever picture you edit, because lighting varies in every picture. Usually, I will increase the exposure and the contrast, sharpen the picture up a little bit and sometimes add an extremely subtle tint of purple. By doing all of these steps the picture will appear much more brighter and a lot clearer - Usually I will only alter these by 1 or 2, depending on the lighting etc in the original photo, just to make sure I do not 'over edit' and ruin the picture completely..It can be very easy to get carried away when you are faced with a bucket full of editing options! Doing all of these steps becomes super quick and easy once you have found the exact editing style you want, and you are guaranteed that all of your pictures will sit seamlessly together in your feed. VCSO Cam also stores all of your edited photos together in squares on your homepage, so it is good for seeing what they all look like together - it is like a sneaky preview before you upload onto Instagram.

When it comes to the Facetune app, I actually do not use it to alter too much at all. The main, and pretty much only reason I use Facetune is for the 'Whiten' feature that it offers. If I feel like the background of my picture is not as white as I would like it to appear, or it is just looking very dull in general, I simply apply the whiten tool all over the image, and it completely transforms the picture, taking it from drab to fab in about 0.10 seconds - It is a blooming miracle worker! 

Once I have edited everything and the picture is looking how I want it to, I will select the image and put it into Instagram ready to be added to my page. Before I click 'publish', I will then just adjust any last minute changes that I feel may need making..for example, increasing the brightness or the contrast, just to define the image a little bit more. When these finishing touches have been added, my picture is then ready to be uploaded onto my Instagram feed where it matches perfectly with the others already on there.. 

Before Editing VS After Editing
As you can see above, making these few small changes really does make the world of difference to how my pictures appear..they are lighter, brighter, more defined and just in general, more athletically pleasing.
Well edited photos and a good theme can definitely make all the difference to how you and your audience feel about your Instagram page. The best way to discover and find your own theme and editing style is to simply experiment as much as possible! It may take you weeks or months to find a technique that is perfect for you and your Instagram page, but just persist and play around with different apps and different filters, and I promise, you will get there eventually.
Do you have a 'theme' on your Instagram page? What is your favourite app that you use to do all of your editing? 

Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon.

Lots of Love,
ALICIA
XO 
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