How To Edit and Export Instagram Photos

how i edit and export instagram photos


How I edit and export Instagram photos must be one of the most common questions I get asked.

I used to take every single one of my Instagram photos with my iPhone. But since I got my Fujifilm camera, and now my Canon, I lean towards making my feed entirely of high-quality photos. The difference is very noticeable.

If you want some tips on how to shoot with my DSLR go check out my Photography Tips Series (the gear, basics and settings, storage and back up, the edits).

My Instagram theme changes a little bit depending on how I’m feeling. It started basically with a white-beige and black aesthetic. Right now is a white black and green aesthetic. Which probably will change because I’m not feeling it anymore. But it is always a bright, clean and minimalistic theme. And all of my themes have in common that white is the predominant color.

The thing is, to make your feed cohesive you have to have a theme. So when taking pictures you know what you are looking for.


When I take my Instagram photos with my iPhone I edit them all on VSCO. My favorite filter is A6! I increased or decreased the exposure depending on the photo, add a bit of contrast, lower the saturation, corrected white balance, sharpened it a bit, and sometimes even add a little fade. I like the look of lifted shadows. Reminds me of film.

how i edit and export instagram photos


But now, I shoot most of them with my DSLR, so I edit them on Lightroom.

In Lightroom, I use a preset I made as a base to start working, and edit each photo as they need to because every photo is different, have different colors, different exposures and you can’t correct them all the same with one single click.

I like my Instagram photos bright, contrasty and on the warmer side of the spectrum. I like to decrease highlights and lift the shadows. Decrease the saturation and increase vibrance a bit. I also apply a lens profile correction because my 50mm 1.4 has a little bit of distortion and some dark vignetting in the corners.

how i edit and export instagram photos


I crop my images in a 4×5 aspect ratio because that’s the portrait ratio of Instagram. And is best if you use this because it covers most of an iPhone’s screen. Rather than a landscape ratio because it takes only a small portion of the screen. And you want people to look at your photos, not scroll passed it!

how i edit and export instagram photos


When I have the images ready I export them with a custom export preset I made to export at 1080px wide and 1350px high. 1080px wide is the recommended resolution Instagram gives.

If you upload images smaller than this they will look awful. And on the contrary, if you upload very large images, Instagram will compress them for you, and it won’t look as great as if you just export them with the right resolution.

how i edit and export instagram photosSo yeah, that’s about it. This is how I edit and export Instagram photos.

It can be a little limiting but remember you don’t have to follow any rules if you don’t want to. It’s just that is more aesthetically pleasing when you see a cohesive theme! But you do you!

Let me know in the comments below how you edit and export your Instagram photos! Do you shot them with your iPhone? Or with your DSLR? Let me know!



    • andrea
      July 20, 2018 / 11:42 PM

      Thank you so much! Iā€™m glad you like it! šŸ™‚

    • andrea
      July 23, 2018 / 4:37 PM

      I’m glad you like it!

  1. July 21, 2018 / 4:53 PM

    This is such good information!

    • andrea
      July 23, 2018 / 4:33 PM

      thank you! I’m glad it was useful!

  2. July 22, 2018 / 6:04 PM

    This is such an informative post! I especially appreciate the detail you go into when describing not just what you do but why you do it. I mostly use my iPhone for photos now, but I sometimes use my point-and-shoot, nothing fancy, so these editing tips will come in handy!

    Sockwun |

    • andrea
      July 23, 2018 / 4:34 PM

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate feedback like this! Phone cameras are incredible nowadays!

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