How to make your pictures look Insta Worthy| Photo Editing 101

Not every time do we have pictures that naturally look fabulous #nofilter (fyi no filter doesn’t mean no editing). Just like,on ourselvesa little makeup enhances our features. That’s exactly what good editing can do to a picture. By good editing I don’t mean a lotof filters but certain basic adjustments too can really bring out the right shades and features in an image.

Not all instagram worthy pictures are just clicked on a camera and uploaded. There is a lot that goes behind the scenes to make a picture look the way it does on the Gram!

You guys voted for this post and here I finally is. In today’s post I shall spill all the beans on how & what goes into the pictures on my Instagram that brightens up your feed 😍

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Trust me it isn’t complicated. Its all about using some simple tools available to us to transform a regular looking picture. Editing is also a very personal thing, some people like their pictures to have darker tones while there are people (like me) who love to have their pictures looking nice and bright. Since I want this post to be an easy one & that you can also have your pictures look INSTAGRAM WORTHY WITHOUT even getting into PS (photoshop), which by the way I did learn a bit about because I do take clicking pictures and editing quite seriously.

I am going to make life very easy for you & tell you about apps that I am using on my iPhone for editing onthego. Before any of my images are up on the Gram, here are the favourite apps on my phone right they I swear by for editing- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC & Snapseed. Also for the text that goes on the image I use Typorama.

Here are some important and simple steps TSC follows while editing pictures:


Firstly and most importantly Crop it Right! The right crop gives you the right frame and that changes everything. Here’s the thing, you cannot really change the angle of the picture. So yes, it’s important to know your pose or the angle prior but the right fit to your slim fit denim will only come with tailor made alterations. That’s exactly what a good crop can do to an image 🙂

All that unnecessary blank space can easily just be cropped out without a second thought.

Tip: when asking other people to take your pictures. Tell them to stand further away by two steps than needed. So later on you have the scope to crop the image to exactly your right fit.


Simple Adjustments:

Tweaking the brightness, contrast, highlight, shadow and exposure to an image can make it seem much brighter than what it was. Provided there is. Good Balance between all these tools. You need to also be careful while making these changes. Sometimes brightening up a picture that was originally very dark makes the picture look grainy. And up-ing the highlight too much on the image can make it seem burnt out. So play with these adjustments and find the right brightness to your picture yet letting it look sharp. Another good way to make a picture seem brighter is to lower the shadows.



Bringing out the sharpness or the ‘detail’ in the picture is what brings out all the features and the depth in the image. Let’s say it gives it that life like feel. Another fabulous feature to use is the HDRScape (on Snapseed). It not only brings out the depth in the image but also the vibrancy. But be very careful when using the hdr scape mode, Do-Not use this on close ups of people’s faces. It enhances all the lines and marks which don’t look appealing at all.

Being all about the detail, I have a admit; some pictures with the ‘glow’ effect give it that complete dreamy feel. It’s a feature I seldom use though (maybe because most of the pictures on my Gram are about the impact). But once in a while it’s a good change and also a good way to make a grainy picture look pretty rather than being a waste.


Vibrance/ Tint:

I am all about happy and colourful pictures. Increasing the ‘vibrance’ or ‘ambience’ as named on these different apps can really help in giving the picture that vibrant feel. It most often works better than increasing the saturation as that looks too intense.

Sometimes I like to give the pictures a pink-ish tint. And sometimes to push up the warm tones I give the picture a yellow tint by only 5 points. But don’t forget it’s these tiny changesthat give a picture that personalised touch.


Filters and filter intensity:

The question always is- To Filter or Not To Filter? Well, let me be outright honest with you and say; I yet don’t know when to use a filter or just leave the image with adjustments. Filters are more of a trial and error thing, is what I have come to realise. Try at least fourfive filters that you think would work well with the particular image & choose your best pick. The idea when using a filter is to make sure that the image doesn’t look over edited.

Another fool proof way to post a throwback picture is to use the B&W filter. Never ever fails.

So what if you like a filter but feel it looks too edited? Well, here is where you adjust the intensity of the filter (just like you can with the filters on Instagram). A TIP to keep in mind while doing a B&W picture is to make sure the contrast isn’t too high when editing pictures with people in it!



Getting a little technical, here is a tool that you will find almost life changing-


This tool has literally helped me keep images when I almost scrapped them because of small (yet cannot ignore) issues. Or for times you didnt need to edit the whole picture but just certain parts. Disclaimer: this tool is a little tricky! But when used the right way (and with outside) this one will almost be inseprable from.

Im not going to say more. Just look at how I brightened up myself in the picture on the right, below. Similarly sometimes if your face is bright and if the background is dull you can play around with spot editing (even in terms of saturation). Or if you have seen certain images that are black in white, except a subject that is in colour, that can be done with the Brush Toll too. Go Ahead and open Snapseed now to get experimenting.


FINAL TOUCHES (on Snapseed)

Tonal Contrast:

We already spoke of sharpness of an image and how I love my images to be sharp and have an impact. Well, my final touch to an image is to increase the raw feel to the image. Tonal Contrast is what I use to build up that detail and I love that raw effect it gives. For pictures that are more focused on the face I keep the mid-tones to 20-30 at max. And all the other setting like high-tone and low-tone to 30 itself.


Box packaging:

If you have seen my Instagram feed then you know my pictures have a white background. This is so that overall on my grid it looks like the pictures are all spaced out. To get this white background/box I use the expand feature on Snapseed.



Helpful Tips:

  • Do not use the instagram filters. I personally feel they are absolutely useless.
  • Secondly post editing, when adding a picture on the gram make sure to edit and increase the sharpness on the image (about 30-40% max). This will add that extra real-feel to the picture.
  • When specially editing a picture for a thumbnail make sure to keep the contrast and vibrance high so the image really pops up when seen in small size.

I hope you liked all these tips and found my little edit workshop easy to comprehend. Do tag me in your pictures on the gram once you use similar editing features as mentioned in this post. Find me on Instagram @thestylechair
For any queries or collaborations mail me on

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The Style Chair

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9 thoughts on “How to make your pictures look Insta Worthy| Photo Editing 101

  1. Pingback: HOW-TO Get the Best Pictures from your Travels!? – TheStyleChair

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