Creating a Theme: How I Edit My Instagram Photos

I get so many questions about how I edit my photos and keep a “theme” to my Instagram, here’s a quick guide on how!

It’s come to my attention that a lot of people are interested in how I edit my photos for Instagram! Which is flattering of course. But I thought it would be easiest to compile everything I’ve learnt along the way, into one blog post. That way when I am asked, I can point you in the direction of this post instead!

A lot of the questions I’m asked are often the same, and they run along the lines of;

  • Which editing apps do you use?
  • Do you use filters?
  • What kind of camera do you use?
  • How do you get your photos to all look the same?

And the answer isn’t usually a straight one. In fact, it’s a lot of factors pulled together. I’m by no means a photographer, so my knowledge on photography isn’t as broad as some, but there are a few simple things that I do to keep a consistent look on my Instagram page. I’ll try to keep this as straightforward as possible.

1. My Camera

I use the Canon G7X Mark II. It’s an awesome little camera with a 24-1000mm lens capability. What I love most about it though is how compact it is, I don’t have to lug around lenses and it’s super easy to take on little outings.

Now, you can just use your phone camera. But the reason I prefer my canon is because the photos are so much more true to colour, which makes them a lot easier to edit.

I do, from time to time, use my iPhone X camera, in moments I might not have my camera near, however almost always, the photos look Grainy and more orange? For some mysterious reason. Again, if I was a photographer, I could probably tell you why. But for the most part, I really do find the iPhone X camera a bit of a let down considering it’s hype when it was released.

Here’s a comparison of a photo taken with my iPhone X vs my Canon G7x Mark II with no filter applied;

2. Consistent Lighting

I almost never post photos I take after dark. And no, not because they’re racy (shhhh). Mostly because the lighting after dark is often hard to edit, it’ll also effect the way my theme looks in grid format.

That’s not to say you can’t do it, I just personally don’t. And that contributes to my overall theme on Instagram.

3. Apps

I only use a handful of apps, the main one being “Lightroom CC”. However “Facetune” “Quickshot” and “Polarr” also have cool features.

Lightroom is definitely the one I use most though, on every single photo I take. Mainly because of it’s preset feature

4. Filters/Presets

This is a huge contributor to the overall consistent theme of my photos. Believe it or not, every single photo I upload has the same filter applied, it’s called a Lightroom preset.

Now, you can use any filter you like, from any app you like, whatever resonates with you and you think goes well with your photos will work. However, in particular I use Lightroom presets. Lightroom is a free editing app, and the “presets” are a seperate feature you can buy, upload into the app, and then use as you please. They are similar to filters however you get more control over them as you are able to change aspects of them as you need to such as exposure and colour (something you can’t do with traditional filters)

This in particular is what gives my photos the “peachy” that look a lot of my followers ask me about! I simply adjust the SAME preset according to the photo I am editing.

Here’s an example of the difference a filter or preset makes to a raw image!

Presets are ALL over Instagram. And google in fact! So have a hunt around and find one that resonates with you!

I was gifted mine, from a great friend Robyn, who runs a travel page on Instagram @twoworldwanders ! But there are similar ones all over the internet.

5. Colour

Another aspect that contributes to the way my grid looks, is the colour variation of my posts. I try to stick with 2-5 colours that are hidden SOMEWHERE in every photo I take. And I’ll always try not to post that same colour variation in a row, but rather scattered. For example I’ll never post a picture with a plain white background twice in a row.

“Plann” is a great app to play with in this regard, it helps you move the images around as if they were already in a grid format. So you can see how they would look if you posted them in that order.

Consistency is Key!

The secret is consistency! Using the same camera or iPhone, in similar lighting with the SAME filter every time, is what gives your page a “theme”.

But really, there are no rules! You don’t even have to have a theme if you don’t want to! I love the peachy hue of my theme, but you might light darker tones, or more monotoned looks! Have a play, see what works well with the kinds of images you take, and go from there. Get creative, and as long as you’re enjoying it, who cares?!

Xx Emily @ lovinglittleone