I could be accused of living two lives; the reality (ain’t no rose tinted glasses there), and my Instagram life. The latter being the fantastically filtered, stylistically shot alternative.
Now, you can frequent some of the most beautiful locations in the world, snapping away on your iPhone 6 (which believe me, is more than capable of a beautiful shot), but if post production is not your forte, then those fabulously located shots are likely to be grainy, too bright or too contrasting with your Instagram ‘theme’.
Now, what is an Instagram theme, I hear you say? De riguer for any blogger, you’ll see a ‘theme’ on the social platforms of 99% of the blogging population. Whether it’s overly exposed (to give particularly white photos) or all monochrome, desaturated (to dull down bright colours) or composed only of tropical beach images, a theme is not only visually pleasing, it gives a focus and purpose to your blog and social platforms too.
Whilst a professional camera is unbeatable when it comes to nailing the perfect shot, the many apps available to download totally transform a mediocre photograph to an unbelievable one.
So which apps and why?
VSCO: Originally used by bloggers to view their Instagram images before uploading. You could check colours married together well, shots worked together and any future photos you wanted to post, you could view these alongside your pre-existing ones. VSCO then got rid of this facility (eye roll), and now I use the app purely for it’s plethora of fancy filters. Download all the filters you can within the app (the free ones), my favourites are A5, A6 and A9.
SNAPSEED: The mother of all light changing apps. Add in daylight, take out red tones to faces or dull skies, select just one detail in the photo to pinpoint where light or darkness is needed and remove small unwanted details using the ‘healing’ tool. Got an annoying bit of rubbish in the corner of the image? No worries, just patch over it with healing and hey presto, rubbish gone! Simples.
FACETUNE: The final step in the editing process for me. Once I have the lighting perfect, the filter spot on and the raw materials all in place, this is where the magic happens. Use the ‘whitening’ tool to brighten walls, cloak cheesy coloured teeth and make the whites of the eyes pop. Then use the ‘details’ tool to enhance eyes, sharpen hair and any outfit details. Be careful to not go overboard though – I can spot a facetuned face a mile off and guys will just think you have ‘creepy eyes’.
PLANOLY: The new Instagram planner. Like VSCO used to offer, this app lets you plan your upcoming Instagram posts and see which photos work best where. Upload any images into the app and drag and drop into place where they compliment eachother most favourably. Schedule future posts too – Planoly will actually post on your behalf at the desired time. Kind of like a PA right? Without the ability to make tea or coffee…