How to edit Instagram photos?

Instagram has become a powerful social app with some professional and easy to use photo editing features. Along with the photo and video filters that come with the app, there are some powerful tools you can use to really add some snap to your photos and still use the hashtag “#nofilter”. Sometimes the difference between 12 likes and 300 likes is taking an extra minute to use these easy editing tools I will share with you. 

I’m going to go over four simple tools that will take your photos to the next level. From there, you can explore more ideas and get creative. These are a few tricks that photographers, graphic designers and artists like to use to make their photos or content standout. They might use these techniques do their work in Adobe Photoshop, but we can replicate similar professionalism with Instagram.

A few important tips before editing photos:

  • Work with pictures that have excellent lighting.
  • Avoid editing shaky/blurry photos.
  • Try some fun awkward angles, they always turn out to be more interesting.

Editing your photo with Instagram’s advanced settings: 

 1. Choose and crop your photo. Then select the wrench icon to bring up the tools you will use to make manual adjustments. (see photo below)


2. Scroll sideways and select the “Saturation” tool. Depending on the photo, you might want use between 50 and 100. This is what makes the colours of the photo pop, however, don’t over do it. Press the checkmark, which we will call the “OK” button, to save your changes. (see photo below)


3. Next choose the “Highlights” tool. Depending on the picture, keep this number relatively low, between 0 – 25. Press ok to save your changes. This helps create the HDR look seen in some photos. (see photo)


4. Next choose the “Shadows” tool. This time we are going to use a negative value to really darken the shadows, choose between -25 to 0. Press ok to save. (see photo)

5. Next choose the “Sharpen” tool. Drag the effect between 0 and 50 range, don’t over do it on this one ether. Press ok and your done. (see photo)

You now should have an Instagram photo with more color and vivid details. Start with these 4 tools in Instagram, then you can experiment with more. The goal of a professionally edited photo is that it doesn’t look edited. It just looks amazing. See below for a picture of before and after.


Original Photo

Original Photo


Touched Up Image

Touched Up Image


If you found this article helpful, post to Instagram your amazing new photo with the hashtag #instagrampro2015.

Thanks for reading.