*Tutorial video at the end of the article*
We all follow those Instagram accounts showcasing beautiful images. When we look at their pages, we decide we want to follow them often times in less than 3 seconds. A major contributing factor to making those decisions is how well the aesthetic on the grid matches.
A Couple Examples:
Today I am going to show you the process I use to start out my photo editing so you can edit your own Instagram photos right on your phone! Using the same editing process across your photos can start to help give your grid the look and feel you desire.
Before We Begin
Download the Lightroom app on your phone (this is not an ad) and sign up for your free account. You do not need a membership to create an account on the app, only to use the desktop site version.
1. White Balance (Temperature)
Your white balance determines how accurately the color white shows in your image and therefore effects the rest of the colors within your image. In my personal opinion this is the single most important part of editing your image.
When a photographer shoots with their camera, they control the white balance as a setting on their camera. And while iPhones are great for taking photos, changing our white balance in our phones just isn't an option. So we can make a few small adjustments to correct and enhance the image in the Lightroom app.
First, determine if the image shows an object that should appear to be bright white (like a cloud or a sheet of paper) and determine if your image appears off-colored. You may notice it looks a little more orange or blue than you'd like. From there, all you have to do is adjust the slider to the opposite color until the image looks more correct. You can always adjust this again later if you feel it's needed too.
The exposure controls the brightness of your image. Don't be afraid to turn these levels way up to create a super bight and airy effect. Be mindful that you may lose some detail in the highlights of your image by drastically changing the exposure. Sometimes you may want to turn the image up and bring back some of the details (covered in step 3).
3. White/Black Levels
The white and black levels can help restore details lost within the parts of the image that are too bright or dark to show. Clouds are a really common example of this.
4. Vibrance & Saturation
Vibrance and saturation are really a stylistic preference. Changing the vibrance of an image will effect how bright your colors appear, while the saturation controls how rich your image appears. You may want to lower the saturation slightly to create a more vintage look.
I tend to lower the saturation and increase the vibrance slightly when editing to create a bit of a faded look without losing too much detail in color.
It's always amazing to me how a simple crop or fixing the angle of an image can really enhance its professional appearance. When it comes to cropping, if you notice there are extra details that distract you from the main subject, it may be a good idea considering cropping. Many people like to crop their images square for social as well.
Watch A 4-Minute Live Edit:
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AND DON'T FORGET to tag me on instagram in your photo edits @baileymbain or #baileymbain so I can help share your content. 💖
Bailey M. Bain