HOW I EDIT.

By Polly Florence - September 12, 2017


One of the questions I get asked most frequently is 'how do you edit your photos?'— so I knew when I started this new blog I would want an editing tutorial to be one of my first posts!

I kind of want to add a disclaimer here— this is just the way I like to edit my Instagram photos at the moment and I change and discover new ways of editing all the time. These are just some ideas of how to edit a photo, I love seeing different types of edits, I don't think one particular way of editing is any better than any other way, so you do you!

So with that said keep reading to find out how I edited my most recent Instagram picture...



This is how the photo looks completely unedited— taken on my iPhone SE. To edit I use
three apps— Afterlight, VSCO & Snapseed...




The first thing I use is Afterlight (it costs £0.99 but in my opinion it's totally worth it, if only for the dusty and light leak filters!) I started by clicking on the clarity button and turning it
up to around 20, I tend to judge it by whatever looks good!

When I'm editing a bedroom shot like this one I like to turn the brightness up quite a lot so that's what I do next. With this picture I turned it up to around 37.



The next step is to add the dusty filter so I click the button and choose which filter I want to use, usually I pick filter 11 and then I'll turn down the opacity, so it's a little bit more subtle, to around 30. Again generally I just go with whatever I think looks good for the particular picture.



This is how the picture looks after I've finished editing on Afterlight.




The next thing I do is use VSCO to add a filter. Once I've uploaded my photo to my VSCO album I go to choose the filter I want to add, usually A6, which I then will usually turn down to about +9.0 or again however it looks best with the picture I'm editing. Also depending on the photo I'm editing I might increase the temperature to add warmth, which I did with this picture, up to +0.6. Then I saved it to my camera roll as 'actual size'.




And this is how the image looks after I've finished with it on VSCO...




For a long time this is where my editing process would stop and then one day I discovered Snapseed! Snapseed is free and I've found it to be one of the best editing apps around. Once I've opened my photo on the app I go to filters and click grainy film. I add the filter X04 and adjust the settings as in the picture below.




The next thing I do is use the brush tool on Snapseed to brighten the darker bits of the photo, in this case the back wall that looks particularly dark. I would usually up the exposure to around +0.7 and brighten the wall. 




And that is it! I might tweek it a bit on Instagram before posting and if I'm editing a flatlay I probably wouldn't brighten it as much and I might add more grain or something but it honestly just depends on the photo and what the lighting was like on the day that I took it.

Anyway this is how this particular photo looks before and after...




I hope this has given you an insight into how I edit my Instagram photos and this hasn't been too boring— if you have any other questions please leave them below and thank you so much for reading!

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17 comments

  1. Love this! By trial and error and looking at all the different filters, I've pretty much settled on a similar process as well. I love the way you position objects in photos and can never seem to photograph coffee well!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm so glad you like it! I found it took a lot of trial and error for me to find a way of editing I loved!

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  2. Thank, thank, thank you for this post! Afterlight is genius application!

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    1. You're so welcome, I'm so happy you like it! And yes I love afterlight!

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  3. This was a marvelous post, Polly. I truly admire your photos and your photography so much. I wanted to thank you for one thing most of all-for, whether you realized it or not, proving that you don't need an expensive camera to be a successful photographer. I really enjoyed reading this, I'm obsessed with your blog, and I'm looking forward to more!
    x
    Veda

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    1. This comment has made me so happy, thank you so much, it means so much to me that you like this post and my pictures! I can't wait to share my next post with you! Hope you're having a lovely day!

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  4. I think I sunk into YOUR Instagram feed and forever more was very unhappy with most others (I know there are different lovely styles) because I am a warm cream/browns/oranges person myself. Candles too. Books galore. In fact I found a workaround way to get some of the same 'feel' and altered my style to where I liked it much better and have gotten compliments since I changed it just 2 days ago. I came back to your feed again and just told myself someday I can get closer to that. Happened to click on your blog link....and what do you know I found...this article :) Happy camper here and next moment I have I will get all these apps and follow your step guideline. Thank you SO much for all the value. (I am an author by the way....converging upon the same love for cozy warm reading spots)

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    1. Ah I'm so happy to hear that you like my pictures and my blog post, thank you for your lovely comment!

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    2. That was me above. I would like to do this, and I do not think this is the place to ask this question...but one 'bit' that is preventing me from going through all these steps is that I need the 'reyes' filter effect from Instagram for most of my photos...they are particularly good for hiding poor photography skills on my part for landscapes.

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    3. And how rude of me....not sure why this keeps showing up as 'unknown'...I did follow you and sign up for your newsletter...dork girl I guess 'AnnMarie Lamb'. I will try to fix this name issue here on blogger too.

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  5. Love this post! I've been trying to find good photo editing software for a little while. Might try out Afterlight! Thanks for the tips!

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    1. No problem, glad you found them helpful! So happy you love the post!

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing this!
    Was looking all over for dust effects!

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  7. Just found your blog and Instagram feed. Loving both!

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  8. Polly, I am about to go through a process of trying for a style I like for outside/travel photos. I like yours very much (pumpkin patch, Amsterdam, and even your lovely outside door/building photo). Do you do something different for editing for those compared to your inside photos? Also, what is your best tip on how you bring so much 'bronze tone/color' out in your photos. Ha... it is strange/absurd of me but I wish much more of what I could see had this lovely bronze. Thank you.

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  9. So, you always use more than one editing apps, right. I think I need to erase some apps because my phone memory is full. So I can download after focus and lightroom apps.
    But, I still curious how do you get same feel and tone for every photos.

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