How I Edit My Instagram Photos + Instagram Checklist FREEBIE!

Happy Friday, Cupcakes! Being a blogger and content creator, my Instagram Feed is very important to me. While I don't follow a certain theme, I am very passionate about creating high quality photographs that compliment one another. The reality is, when you take better photographs, you are more likely to attract engagement as a blogger or content creator. Because of this, I am sharing with you today how I edit my Instagram photos and some of my favorite photo editing apps

I created an e-mail survey for my subscribers asking them what post they would like to see in the future. A handful of subscribers voted on a post about how I edit my Instagram photos. So here I am, sharing with you my favorite apps I use to edit photos for the 'gram and how I use them!

On a side note, if you'd like to take part in my surveys to see what you want to see on the blog, join my friends list. Its free and you get e-mail notifications every time I post a new blog post or upload a new freebie! But don't you worry, I hate spam too, so you won't be getting any of that. 

*Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored. I genuinely enjoy all of these apps and would never recommend products that I do not personally use and love

To begin, this is typically what my flat-lay photo set-up looks like. I take all my flat-lays on this small TV stand I painted white that sits right in front of my window. I like taking photographs right by my window because it allows for natural white light. I find white natural lighting (via window) is the best to use when you aren't quite ready to invest in boxlights or other professional studio lights. I organize products, props, and whatever else I want to take a photo of and just snap a shot from up above with my phone. Sometimes I'll even stand on my small ottoman to get a better angled shot. 

What I like to do is take multiple shots of the same thing with many different angles. That way, when I go back into my camera roll, I can compare photos I like, and narrow it down to my absolute favorite picture to edit and post. 

This is the original photo I will be editing today. As you can see, it is kind of dark, colors are kind of muted, and there isn't much contrast. This will all be changed in no time to create a vibrant, beautifully contrasted photo. 
These are the apps I will be using to edit my photo. Typically, all of my Instagram photos go through all three of these apps before they are shared on my IG feed. 

Snapseed // Apple // Android

To begin, I will upload the photo into VSCO and add a filter. Most of my IG photos either have HB1 or HB2. The Hypebeast Filters are my favorite because they don't add a tint and just add some contrast or exposure to the natural colors of the photo. I tend to bring down the strength of the filter to make it look more natural. In this photo, I bring HB1 down to +5.6. Then I will save the newly edited photo to my camera roll. 

I, then, take the newly edited photo into Snapseed where I brighten and contrast the photo. I use the Selective Tool to brighten the white background of the photo. I then use the Brush Tool to darken the exposure of the Instax photos (-0,3 Exposure) to make them stand out more, and lighten the exposure of the boarders of the Instax photos (+0.7 Exposure) to add a little more contrast. After the photo has been played around with and suits my desired brightness and contrast, I export it and save it to my phone. 
Before uploading it into Instagram, I upload it to UNUM, where I can visually see what the photo will look like with the rest of the photos already on my IG. This is a great app for content creators who care about having their photos complimenting one another. I know some people use VSCO for this step, but I like UNUM because you sign into IG, and it uploads your most recent IG photos into the app, so you have a very accurate representation. You can also hide photos in this app, to see what your spread would look like if you deleted a photo. 
Finally, I do my finishing touches with the IG Editor. In this photo I raised the Brightness a bit more (+11), brought up the Contrast (+7), added significantly more Structure (+17), added a bit of Warmth (+7) to balance out the hues, strengthened the Highlights (+15), lowered the Shadows (-8), and Sharpened (+10) the photo. All resulting in the final product: 

As you can see, the final product is so much brighter, contrasted, and lively. This is typically how I edit all of my Instagram photos. 

If you are not following me already on Instagram, you can find me at @jennibearrxo_ where I share photos of new products I've been loving lately, local food that has warmed my belly, and memories I never want to forget. 

To ensure you always remember every step, I have put together a little FREEBIE for you! 

What are some of your favorite photo editing apps? Do you like to edit away or are you #NoFilter? Let me know down below! 

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*Referrals are affiliate links--meaning I will receive small commission every time a product is purchased. You are never obligated to buy anything and my opinion of these products or services are not altered just because I am receiving compensation. I respect my readers and would only share that which I enjoy myself. 


  1. Holy whaaaat? I hadn't heard of Snapseed before but it looks awesome!! Your photos are always so gorgeous, I loved getting this insight into how you edit them<3

    1. Thanks Ashlee <3 I learned about Snapseed from a YouTuber i watch actually and have been in love with using it since! I definitely cannot recommend it enough!

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