Instagram Notes: How I Edit My Photographs

Photography by  Eliza Borrett  / Editing by me!

I asked on twitter whether you all would be interested in a blog post about my Instagram editing, and it seemed that you really really wanted this post. So finally, here we are. I knew there was going to be a lot to say with Instagram as I am one of those people who constantly change up their feeds. So I've decided to make this a month long series called 'Instagram Notes' and there will be four sections in total over four weeks.

Today I'm starting with editing, from what apps I use and recipes for filters. You know me, I'll of probably changed my feed again before this goes up - so I'll try my best to do updated versions of this throughout the year.

It's worth noting that this is just how I edit my Instagram, it's not the right way, it's not a way in which guarantees Instagram fame or whatever - it's just a little of what I fancy!

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VSCo + My Edit

I was going to talk through all the editing apps there are but to me, there is only one app and that app is VSCO. I have been using VSCO for about 3/4 years now, I'm a fully subscribed member which means I have full access to all of the filters, it costs just under £20 a year and if you like switching things up as much as I do, It's money well spent.

VSCO is great for creating your own edit as such. You can copy and paste your edits from one photo to another and save them as recipes too - much like presets on Lightroom. I think a lot of people get put off by how many filters are on there but if you just take some time to learn them, know what works for you and what doesn't - it soon becomes a really fun and creative playground.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I like my photos warm, very warm, with a vintage feel and a sense of nostalgia on top. Statistically it's worth noting a more neutral, blue-y toned photo statistically does better than a warm one but for me, over the last three months I have more than doubled my following - so I think it's all down to personal preference.

Since I first asked whether people were interested in my edits, I have actually changed them - so I'm going to put both of the recipes here for you in case you liked one more than the other:


Allie Edit #2

So this is the Instagram edit I'm currently running on my feed. I fancied something a little lighter and softer as we going into spring. This one works really well on neutral colours, skies and greenery alike. It's pretty sepia toned, so I know it's not to everyones taste but I'm enjoying it!

To create this look here are the steps to take:

Filter: M5 / Mood

Exposure: -1.9 (depending on light situation)

Contrast: +1.4

Temperature: +2.7

Sharpen: +5.0

Clarity: +2.4

Grain: +4.1

Highlights Tint: Peach +6.5

Shadows Tint: Orange +7.6

Allie Edit #1

Okay, on the left we have the edit I had been running for a few months. It's served me pretty damn well. It helped me refine my brand a little more and make my images become recognisable as my images, if that makes sense?

The specific things I was looking for in these photos were warm tones, flattened backdrops and a high contrast.

To create this look here are the steps to take:

Saturation: -1.6

Skintone: -1.5

Sharpen: +8.2

Clarity +1.6

Vignette: +6.1

Highlights Tint:  Cream +1.5

Shadows Tint: Orange +2.2

Filter: C9 / Chromatic

Exposure: -3.2 (depending on light situation)

Contrast: +3.3

Shadows: +3.7

Highlights: +12

Temperature: +3.8

Tint: +1.3


Little Extras

I mostly keep to VSCO but occasionally I'll add in some extras if I'm feeling it. If I want to add some dust marks (like old photographs) I will use the Afterlight app and use the pack 'Dusty' - number eleven is my go to on that. Sometimes I'll draw on my images, for this I use an app called Paper by FiftyThree. It's really easy to use with you finger, sadly unless you have their stylus you can't use a normal on on it though. Also, occasionally I'll take a photo on the HUJI Cam and then put it through VSCO - such a cute app, it really reminds me of film photographs from my youth! Thanks to Rhianna for recommending that one.

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instagram stories

Yep I'm one of those who edits their Instagram stories. I can't help it, I just love to edit. To be honest once you have filters set up in VSCO it takes no time to process them. No big ol' secret here, I just use whatever filter I'm running at the time. Consistency and that.

Although on my Instagram Stories I do tend to doodle on them using Paper which I mentioned above and sometimes I'll pop it through Afterlight and pop it into a polaroid frame. I just like to do what I fancy on stories. Nothing is too crafted.

Collage Grid


Honestly, just uploading my collage grid onto here is making my miss having a collage grid. They are so damn beautiful. The way they flow, the hues. 

I've had a LOT of people asking my how to create this collage grid, so I couldn't not include this. However, upon writing the instructions out - I realised how long winded it is and decided it either needed it's own blog post or to be in PDF format.

So, I decided the latter - I've created a full on set of instructions on how to create a collage grid in pdf format, for safe keeping and that.

If you would like a copy of this delightful PDF it will be sent out with the Slow Sunday Club Newsletter this Sunday 11th March.

If you're already signed up - fantastic, all you need to do is sit back and wait until Sunday. If you haven't signed up yet - press the button below!

I hope you guys enjoyed this type of post, there's three more in the series to come 

P.s. Have you signed up for Slow Sunday Club yet? The seventh edition comes out Sunday 11th February.~