How To Edit Instagram Photos

It’s vital to know how to edit Instagram photos. You want your photos to look amazing, as best as they can! A sure-fire way to do that is to know how to edit.

In this article, we’ll give you our top editing apps and tips so that your feed will be looking flawless in no time!

Edit Instagram Photos In The App

Of course, perhaps one of the most convenient ways to edit an Instagram photo is to use the app’s editing tools.

However, these are not the best filters in the world. Some people have managed to make them work and create a flawless feed!

How to edit in the app:

  1. Open Instagram and click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Choose a photo to upload and click next.
  3. Choose a filter from the scroll of options. If you scroll all the way to the end, click manage to discover even more filters.
  4. Double click on the filter to adjust the intensity of the filter and add a border.
  5. Once happy, click the “Edit” button underneath the filters.
  6. Here you can adjust brightness, contrast, structure and more. Each photo needs a different procedure depending on the lighting it was taken in, so, use these tools to make a flawless feed!
  7. Once happy, click “Next” and you’re ready to write your caption, tag people, add locations and upload!

The great thing about editing on Instagram is that you can edit videos, too! Lots of apps don’t allow you to edit videos.

This photo was edited with Clarendon filter on Instagram.

Edit Instagram Photos With VSCO

VSCO is one of the most popular editing apps. If you edit Instagram photos with this app, you’ll have professional and flawless photos.

The app is free but if you pay for a membership you get much more filters and editing options. Plus, it’s only $19.99 a year. On Instagram, you need to invest some money to get anything back!

Thankfully, because VSCO is so popular, there are lots of recipes floating around online.

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+ #vscocheatsfreefilter #vscocam Here's another one, a free special filter for fall lovers! This film is very suited for the upcoming cozy season, autumn! It has a strong faded brown effect that creates a bold autumnal look on your pictures. It strongly affects the entire details and brings out the beauty of neutral tones. I'd highly recommend it on medium lighting setups, not so composed with lights and a good balance between dark and bright lightings. This is so good on having a break with in your house full of stuffs related to autumn such as coats and socks for outfit, coffees, small lights, brown leaves and more. It is very suitable for the colour scheme related to earth tones that's chiefly frame of brown and orange hues. The vintage tones can be also a good alternative colour scheme for this. That's all! Save and try it! 🍂 — If you don't have a clarity tool, try to adjust the contrast to +3 and add sharpen to +2. If you want your photos look like vintage, try to add grain or dust from any filtering app contain that features. Give a blast now! Have fun amigos! 🍁 — Q: Are you into reading books or watching movies? 💡

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@vscocheats has hundreds of tutorials for creating the best VSCO filter. No matter what look you’re going for, you can achieve it on Instagram.

Of course, the app is easy to use!

  1. Upload your photo. Click on it and choose the slider icon at the bottom.
  2. Choose your filter from the huge selection. You can narrow it down by choosing the categories, such as “For this photo”, “Featured”, “Warm”, and more.
  3. Click the slider icon again and use the tools to perfect your final image.
  4. Once happy, click save.
  5. To save it to your camera roll, click the three dots at the bottom and “save to camera roll” at actual size.

Only 5 easy steps to creating the perfect Instagram feed!

This photo was edited with the popular M5 filter.

Lightroom App

Another option is to edit Instagram photos with Lightroom. On your mobile, Lightroom is free.

If you’re using a desktop, Lightroom costs a monthly subscription, but it’s worth it! In Lightroom, you have unlimited options. Plus, you can edit RAW photos.

If you’re serious about photography, then Lightroom is the way forward.

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All I see is you.❣️💫

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We can guarantee that professional Instagram photographers will edit Instagram photos with Lightroom and/or Photoshop!

If we focus on the Lightroom app, we can talk about using it for free. Although slightly more complicated than VSCO and Instagram, once you get the hang of it, Lightroom is great!

  1. Create an album on Lightroom with the plus button.
  2. Name your album, and add some photos.
  3. Use the tools at the bottom to create the style you want.
  4. Once happy, click the three dots at the top and click “Create Preset”.
  5. Name your preset. This is essentially your own unique filter.
  6. Click the three dots again and click copy settings. Then go to a new photo, click the three dots and click paste settings. Now you are putting the same preset on all your photos!
  7. On the other hand, you can scroll along the tools at the bottom and click presets. There you will see the preset you created. Click it to apply it to the photo and confirm with the check mark.
  8. Once you’re done editing, click the box and arrow icon at the top, save to camera roll, and you’re done!

Lightroom is great because it doesn’t decrease the quality of your image during the editing process.

Although there are no filters to choose from, you can easily create your own.

Also, you can buy presets online! Your favorite Instagrammers might be selling some, or you can find thousands on Etsy. They’re usually only a couple dollars and wonderful for you to edit Instagram photos with!

Aspyn Ovard creates and sells her own unique Lightroom presets.

Edit Instagram Photos With Afterlight

Although those are our favorite apps to edit Instagram photos with, we’ll share a couple more for good measure!

Afterlight is a really great option to start with. It’s free, easy to use and has lots of options.

Besides filters, Afterlight also comes with overlays, dust effects, light leaks, and funky borders!

This photo was edited using the Afterlight dust effects and light leaks. If you want to edit Instagram photos with a vintage retro effect, then Afterlight is the place to go!


HUJI cam exploded with popularity last year. Basically, it’s a disposable camera on your phone!

You point and shoot and wait for the photo to develop. You can’t control what the photo is going to look like. Like a disposable camera, you have to hope for the best!

Thankfully, HUJI cam does use similar colors in all its photos so if you’re looking for something to edit Instagram photos with and achieve a coherent feed, HUJI cam is a safe choice.

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It takes awesome photos with lots of personality!

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Window Seat. 💺

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Edit Instagram photos with the HUJI cam for a quick fix on achieving a quirky fresh look on your photos. This fast snap turned out amazing, as it focuses on the light areas, turns down the exposure on the darks but saturates the photo really well.


We couldn’t leave without mentioning Snapseed, Google’s own editing app.

We love Snapseed because it’s free, unique and has lots of options!

Possibly the best thing about Snapseed is selective editing.

If there’s one area of your photo that you need to lighten, darken, or whatever, you can use a brush tool to do so!

Screenshot Of Selective Exposure On Snapseed

In this image, I’m using the brush to up the exposure on the main subject of the photo. If you click the eye icon, you can see in red where you are editing.

Screenshot of Brightening Exposure On Snapseed

Click the eye icon again to get rid of the red. You can now see what your photo looks like with the exposure upped!

Thankfully, this app comes with filters, effects and special tools as well. There’s no limit when using Snapseed!

Now that you know exactly how to edit Instagram photos, you’re ready to start your journey as an Instagrammer! For more tips, check out Upleap. Upleap will provide you with a dedicated account manager who will help and teach you to grow your Instagram account, build your following, create a great online presence and expand your brand. Click here for a free trial.

💡 Related Post: 8 Instagram text hacks for better IG stories


By Beth McCallum

I'm Beth, a Scottish writer and bookworm. I'm currently agent hunting for my debut novel while running a candle business from my home. I obsess over dogs, Hamilton, chai lattes and recently, Harry Potter. I know, I'm decades late.

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