06/11/2017

HOW I EDIT & THEME MY INSTAGRAM


If you've seen my Instagram, you'll know that I have somewhat of a 'theme' or colour scheme and that, at the moment, it's particularly Autumnal. Now, while Instagram 'themes' are sometimes frowned upon by some bloggers as 'fake' or 'high maintenance', I just never felt happy with my Instagram until I finally got comfortable with my theme. For me, having an aesthetic/colour scheme/theme is as satisfying as wearing red socks with that red jumper or adding a little gold ornament into the room to match the gold feet on the coffee table. It makes everything fit into one piece. But, I would say that, what makes my 'theme' different is that it doesn't require me to take 100 photos at once and only ever post them. In this post I will explain how I use different apps to enable my everyday life, activities and adventures can be posted but still manage to fit into a theme for my Instagram. 


A little disclaimer; I don't think a theme is vital to your Instagram. In fact, I definitely don't think my Instagram is as heavily themed as other accounts are but, however they look, everyone's is equally great. The reason my Instagram can be seen as 'themed' is because I do use the same edits for each post meaning they are all linked in that way. The reason I'm wirting this post is because I went through a time where I just couldn't settle with my Instagram; I felt at a loose end and as though it didn't express me - this is for those that feel the same!

The two main Apps that I use are the trusty common ones: VSCO Cam and Planoly. 

VSCO Cam

Whether I take the photo on my DSLR (currently the product that helps me the most with focus controlling) or my iPhone 6 camera, the majority of anything that I upload onto my Instagram or blog has a run through VSCO Cam. I use the feature 'Copy Edits' from existing photos in the library then 'Paste Edits' onto anything I want to post. The main filter that I use on my photos was purchased form VSCO shop - the packs start from 99p each and are pretty worth it. The one that I use on nearly every photo is C1 from the 'Vintage Classic' pack. 
Obviously, because I add these edits to all sorts of images, some of the photos don't take the filter as well as others. In this case I will adjust the edit a bit so, because of that, I won't always go full-on with the C1 filter.
I then add exposure which I feel is always added to photos in the blogsphere because, generally, brighter photos tend to go down well. Again, the amount of exposure that gets added to each of my photos depends on the existing brightness. For example, if you see the image of the Madeira Cake above; due to the area of the room in which that photo was taken, the picture needed a bit more exposure than the Leaves next to it which was already accommodated by natural light. I might sound easy and 'duh' but, a few months ago, I too found it difficult to get this balance and be able to work with my editing.
After this, I generally add 1+ of contrast. This is because I like my images to have quite a bit depth and also reflect that 'moody' autumnal vibe. Contrast is brilliant for scenery pictures because of the levels that it manages to enhance but can also work really well at highlighting products in flat lays - just be careful no to use too much. 
The 4th crucial edit that I add onto my pictures on VSCO is 'Fade'. I usually apply this edit to between 4+ and 5+ and it is really useful for toning down the image, stopping a striking colour, and generally giving a calmer vibe. If you want to apply 1+ of Contrast but you feel it makes your image look too harsh, try adding Fade and see if that can compliment your image. 
In addition to those, there's often things that do get added or taken away from new images. For example, sometimes if an image looks a bit green, I can go and + Tint, to bring some more contrasting pink tones. Similarly, if the picture looks blue or too cool, I'll up the temperature (and vice versa). 
Overall, it did take me a while to come to a settled 'theme' for my Instagram using VSCO and I did do a lot of experimenting. I do recommend that you take time to fiddle around with every different control on the app, and learn to work for the image. If you have photographed a product, don't just edit that product - it's easy to forget about the background and foreground, but they're just as important.

If I didn't add fade to this edit, the deepest shadows of the trees would be black as opposed to the most pleasing, wholesome dark green.

PLANOLY

I don't doubt you've heard (if not have) Planoly but, if you haven't heard already, it's basically a place where you can preview how you Instagram image is going to look next to the rest of them on your grid. This is something I think is vital if you wish to have a theme or colour scheme because it prevents you from making that awkward mistake of posting something, hating the way it looks on your grid, then deleting it. 
Planoly is a great way to test colours together. For example, if you have a lot of photos with blue in them, you can use Planoly to space the images out to avoid too much colour-flooding. I tend to do this on my account and, at this time of year, it's green. While a lot of my photos include green (because of my use of nature and outdoor places), I like to break up the green colour but also use this as a way of linking my images together.
It might sound complicated but, honestly, with a watchful eye and attention to detail, you can use Planoly to create a brilliant jigsaw puzzle of a grid.


In the next year, I do have plans to update my iPhone 6 and introduce portrait mode and better quality photographs. At the moment, I'm pretty happy with how my photos are going and I don't think that I would be this way if I hadn't settled with a 'theme', nor started using VSCO Cam. If you are struggling to find a middle ground for exactly what kind of theme/colour scheme/aesthetic that you want to start working towards, head over to Pinterest and type 'VSCO'. You'll be amazed at all of the inspiration there and, once you've had a play around, you might just find the one for you.

I think the most important message is to 'do you' - whether that is settle with a theme that reflects your personality, or just post whatever you like whenever you like. Honestly, having this vibe on my Instagram reflects me so much and makes me really happy. You should give it a go.

Feel free to ask editing questions!

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2 comments

  1. I'd love to have a theme because I find them so aesthetically pleasing but I always want to post so much that wouldn't always go with a theme. I've just let me feed go wild! I've also tried using VSCO but just can't gel with it, I find it difficult to use. Maybe I need to spend some more time with it!

    Steph x
    www.wanderlustpulse.com

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    1. Definitely! I took me a few weeks and a LOT of fiddling around to get comfy with it x

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