One of my all-time favorite blogging tasks is definitely this one Image editing. I just love to put the finishing touches on pictures, after all, you don’t put so much effort into staging a picture perfectly for nothing: You fiddle and tinker with a little photo set, choose lovely decorations for the right mood and often work your way from centimeter to centimeter to the right angle. But something is missing. Something is just not perfect yet. The white table is too yellowish, the light is not optimal, the contrast is only so-so – and how did the spot get there anyway, I didn’t see it through the lens before.
Fortunately there are a lot of possibilities Editing images and that mobile for the smartphone or "like a boss" for the computer. But what’s the best way to get the perfect Instagram photo and a consistent feed now?? As always, the best way to learn is from the pros, because if you take a closer look at the Instagram feed of top influencers, you’ll see how much work really goes into such a "random-looking photo". The days of Instagram being some kind of "snapshot" app are long gone! And even though Instagram now offers a lot of filters and editing options, you should still think about professional editing.
1. Light – The be-all and end-all for your perfect photo
But before we start with the different possibilities of image processing, let’s make a short stop at your source image. Because the most important thing before the whole editing ceremony is the light. There are a lot of ways to brighten up an image, but as soon as the subject becomes noisy because it was shot way too dark, you’ll get that area brighter, but you won’t be able to get it in focus. The light does not only control the sharpness of your image, but also the whole mood that is transported by the photo. For example, did you know that most fashion bloggers shoot their photos early in the morning or in the evening?? The light is so perfect at this time of day that there’s even its own name for it in photography: Golden Hour. And this is not to be confused with the Happy Hour in the cocktail bar Next Door, no, the Golden Hour refers to the time period shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset. Here, the light is much softer, flatters the complexion and leaves a beautiful "golden hour glow".
2. Why you should forget about filters from Instagram
No question: The ready Filters from Instagram Are definitely handy – you click them and one image looks like another. At least in terms of color. You want to use it to get the most out of your photo? Well, then I have to disappoint you at this point, because to really post a photo with "wow factor", it takes more than just slapping a filter over it. You know what you want to say with the picture. You know the gist. You know where the focus should be. The programming behind the filter doesn’t though, it treats every photo the same way. And so one corner is sometimes too dark, the other too bright and the most important thing in the picture suddenly doesn’t stand out as well as it did in the original photo. Do I have to re-photograph the picture now again elaborately? No, what you need is a professional photo editing tool!
Image: Golden ratio
3. Image editing like a Pro
3.1 Apps – the fast and inexpensive way to prettier photos
One way to give images a more professional look quickly, inexpensively, and without the need for Photoshop know-how is to use photo-editing apps. I think Facetune should be familiar to everyone, but VSCO and Snapseed are also popular apps that really show off their features. What I like about Facetune is that it goes beyond the typical standard settings like brightness, sharpness, contrast, etc. You don’t need a photo editing tool that goes beyond the basic photo editing and allows you to touch up a spot or sharpen/blur and brighten only certain areas with just a few swipes. VSCO, on the other hand, comes up trumps with magical filters that you can download at a low cost or, in some cases, even for free. And also Snapseed is quite extensive and can even readjust the perspective, which can be a huge help especially with city shots. But I have not yet discovered "one" all-in-one app that can really do everything – but I have discovered Lightroom!
3.2. Lightroom – A premium tool, for premium looks!
Depending on how much you care about editing your images, and therefore your Instagram account feed, it’s well worth using pro software beyond the standard apps. Even though "Photoshop" is definitely more popular than its sister program Lightroom, Photoshop is actually for touching up or retouching. Of course, you can also make all the color settings here as in Lightroom, but it is far from self-explanatory without any background knowledge.
Personally, I swear by my image processing on Lightroom – not only is it super fun to try out the controls, it’s also really easy and intuitive to use. You have endless possibilities to give an image the right look and feel, and you can even save your own settings and apply them to other photos – the most personalized filter an image editor has to offer, so to speak. Lightroom has so many other advantages – for example, it doesn’t compress photos when you save them, like most apps do, and that in turn affects the quality of the photo. In addition, Lightroom allows you to edit your images not only on your computer, but also "on the go" on your smartphone – and changes are applied to all devices, which I think is pretty awesome. Lightroom is therefore my number one choice when it comes to image editing and for me definitely not to be thought away.
Image: Lightroom before – after
4. Checklist – 8 tips for the perfect photo
- Choose the right time of day for your photo:
You want to shoot outside? Then better avoid the high midday sun in summer, rather take advantage of the golden hour.
- Think carefully about what you want to tell with the picture:
Focus on the main message and soften the background
- Everything in focus?
Take a test shot and check if your camera is really focused, nothing is more annoying than a perfect but partly blurred snapshot!
- Choose the right crop
Align everything in the center is perfect for you? Arrange the image section according to the golden section, this looks much more harmonious and makes the image more interesting
- Contrast – Give me more!
Still not satisfied with the colors? Increase the contrast to make the image more vivid. My tip: adjust the contrast already before selecting the filter.
Apply a maximum of 3 different filters throughout your Instagram feed – for a professional, consistent look on your Instagram account
When saving, it is best to use software that does not compress your edited photo, but can save it in a high quality
- Use professional software
Play with the idea of getting a professional software and benefit from all its advantages over apps. My tip: Lightroom!
A professional look of your photos does not only look nicer, but also has a positive effect on your Instagram feed: Interested people are much more likely to stick to an account that has been worked out with effort and a certain concept – and they might even leave you one or two subscriptions. In this sense, happy lightrooming!