If editing terms like brightness, saturation and contrast send you spinning, Instagram filters could be just what you need to take your grid to the next level.
In 2018, your Instagram aesthetic is more important than ever.
You could be living the best version of your #bestlife, but if your Instagram doesn’t have a cohesive look, doing all those things for the Gram will have been for nought.
Top accounts just look so put together, and we don’t blame you for experiencing the occasional grid envy. You love their vibe but know you don’t have the time, money or skills to use expensive editing tools.
What Are Instagram Filters
Instagram filters are an easy, quick way to enhance your photos prior to posting. Whether in Instagram itself or another editing app, you select a filter to apply to your photo based on whatever look you’re hoping to achieve. Each filter is a combination of effects.
Like so much of social media, there are no hard and fast rules.
Instagram filters are an opportunity to express yourself, create photos your followers will love and take your Insta game to the next level.
Let’s dive a little further into why you should absolutely use Instagram filters.
#1: Save Yourself Time And Money With Instagram Filters
We all love Instagram, but very few of us have hours and hours to spend editing photos. Even if you did, editing software can be expensive and difficult to use.
With Instagram filters, you’re just a few taps away from the perfect post.
#2: Create A Cohesive Look With Instagram Filters
Instagram is more than your most recent post. Don’t forget the big picture: your grid as a whole. Think of your photos as a collection.
Instagram filters make cultivating a fluid theme as easy as a double tap.
#3: Build Your Personal Brand With Instagram Filters
We hear “personal brand” more than “matcha latte,” but what does it mean? Before your followers even see your handle, you want them to know a post is yours. It just screams you!
Experiment to find the Instagram filters that best represent your vibe.
Instagram Queens Helene Sula (@heleneinbetween) and Jenna Kutcher (@jennakutcher) both have grids that are totally #goals. Even though their content is completely different, both accounts exemplify cohesive, thoughtful themes.
Perhaps even more importantly, both accounts reflect the women behind them.
We’d be surprised if Instagram filters weren’t a key part of their social media strategies.
How to Use Instagram Filters
Now that you’re sold on using Instagram filters, let’s get to work figuring out which ones are best for you.
Instagram Filters For Posts
Did you know Instagram has over 40 filters to choose from in the app alone? That’s a lot of options!
Set aside some time to go through and play around with the filters.
In the app, tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen to create a new post.
Once you’ve selected a photo or video from your phone’s library (or taken a new one), tap “Next” in the upper right corner of the screen.
Below your photo, you’ll see a row of filters. Scroll right for even more.
To apply a filter, simply tap the filter once. Tap it a second time to adjust the strength of the filter. Sometimes less is more.
Save yourself even more time by customizing the order the filters appear in. Just tap and hold the filter you’d like to move.
You can simplify your life further by editing your list to include only filters you regularly use.
To hide a filter, hold it down and drag your selection to the “X” that appears. Get out of here, Kelvin!
Ultimately, the Instagram filters you decide to use are up to you. But, to get you started, check out the Gram’s most popular filters, according to a recent study by Canva.
- Clarendon: For color that pops, this popular filter brightens, highlights and intensifies shadows.
- Gingham: Feel the nostalgia with this vintage-inspired filter, and bring an old-timey vibe to your grid.
- Juno: Make your cityscapes rich and real with this filter that intensifies and brightens warm hues.
For their study, Canva examined the filters and geolocation data of more than 1 millions recent Instagram photos from around the world.
Tip: Don’t miss out on Instagram’s hidden filters. Scroll all the way to right until you see the box labeled “Manage.” Tap that to be taken to a complete list of Instagram filters. The filters with a check mark are the ones you see in the app. The filters without a check mark are “hidden.”
To add a hidden filter to your toolbox, give it a check mark by tapping the filter. It will now appear as an option when you go to post a photo or video.
Instagram Filters For Stories
Instagram filters aren’t just reserved for posts to your grid. You can use them in your stories too.
Once you’ve taken a photo or video in stories (tap the camera icon in the upper left hand corner), swipe right to check out your filter options. There are 11 total each named after cities around the world.
For something a bit more playful, check out the face filter options by tapping the smiley face icon. A row of colorful icons will appear at the bottom of your screen.
When you select a face filter, instructions like “Open your mouth” or “Tilt your head back” appear on the screen.
Show your followers your silly side and have fun adding everything from sunglasses and dramatic makeup to dog and rabbit ears to your Instagram stories.
Tip: Snapchat was the first app to use face filters, and if you still prefer their floppy puppy ears to Instagram’s, you can add photos or videos taken in Snapchat to Instagram.
Take a Snap, and tap the Download button. Exit Snapchat, and open Instagram. Enter stories, and swipe up on the camera screen. Select your Snap, and upload it to your stories.
Experiment With Instagram Filters For Photoshop
If filters take your Instagram game to the next level, then presets elevate you to social media superstar status.
Think of presets like high-quality filters.
Professional photographers use editing programs like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to adjust everything from brightness and saturation to sharpening and removing red-eye.
But, for the average Grammer, editing software is expensive and difficult to use.
That’s where presets come in!
Popular influencers and professional photographers make presets in Photoshop. They sell the ready-to-use presets on their websites, and many have links in their Instagram bios.
Generally, presets are sold in packs. The settings come in a variety of tones and vibrancies in order to enhance and complement any photo.
A pack of presets can cost anywhere from a few bucks to $100 USD. Accounts are banking on followers wanting their look for themselves.
How to Use Presets
You can download the Adobe Lightroom CC app to use presets on your mobile phone.
The app is available to both Apple and Android Users. Adobe requires you to create an account, but don’t worry, it’s free.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, import your presets to your phone. We suggest creating an album to keep them all in one place.
Any photos you wish to apply a preset to must also be added to the app. Simply tap the add photo icon in the bottom right hand corner to do so.
After you’ve decided which photo you’re going to edit, select a preset.
Open the preset, tap the three dots in the upper right hand corner and select “Copy Settings.”
Return to the picture you’re editing. Tap the three dots, and select “Paste Settings.”
If you like the way the preset looks on your photo, tap the three dots again and select “Save to Device.”
Not feeling that particular preset on that particular photo? Just hit the undo arrow to try another.
If you mostly like the way the preset looks but need to do a little adjusting to make it look just right, use the editing options located at the bottom of the screen.
Tip: As you’re trying out different presets on your photo, save all your favorites to your phone. This way, you can look at them side by side (and maybe even get a second opinion) before selecting the one to post.
Just remember to hit the undo arrow after saving the photo in order to have the original pic to continue applying presets.
Beyond Instagram Filters
Now that you have your grid looking fabulous thanks to Instagram filters, why not keep your social media momentum going?
Upleap provides dedicated account managers who will grow your Instagram with organic followers. You’ve put in the work finding the perfect Instagram filters. Let Upleap help connect you with followers who will appreciate it.
Check out our no-commitment free trial, and learn how you can get more Instagram followers with us!