Monday, April 8, 2019

How I edit & plan my Instagram photos!

This year I am doing my Instagram a little differently. If you couldn't tell I am focusing on a different color each month! So far, I did red in January, pink in February, and blue in March. I thought this would be a fun challenge to make me think of different outfits using pieces focusing on a certain color. Also, it would challenge me to wear new colors and colors I normally don't wear all year. Creating a color coded Instagram has forced me to also plan content a little more carefully. There are a few ways I do this which ties into how I edit my photos. 
Planning | My first step to create this color coding idea was to establish a color for each month. In my notes section on my phone I thought about what color I saw representing each month. Some of them were obvious like pink being for February. But, other months I had to get a little more creative. After I established each month's color I went back through my old photos and started collecting pictures that would fit into each month. I created folders on my computer to keep each month's photos. This has kept me super organized, plus it helps me visualize how each month's feed will look. 

Another part of planning is scheduling out my feed. I use the AColorStory app's Grid feature to do this. I used to use Later, but I found AColorStory is much more flexible and has a lot more features! AColorStory lets you shuffle your pictures around to create your feed, plus lets you set a time to remind you to post. This helps me plan out my feed and remind me to post content! In addition, you can edit your photos through AColorStory and they have some great filters and effects. Unlike Later AColorStory doesn't limit how many photos you can plan out. So, I can see how my feed will look months at a time. 

Content Creating | Along with planning comes creating my content! I have a running notes page in my phone of photo ideas I want to do. This can include outfit ideas, photo locations, whatever! Particularly, if I am going on a trip I like to plan out my outfits and photo ideas. For example, when I was planning my outfits for Disney I had all of the colors for each month in mind when outfit planning. I had a wide range of outfits so I had content for months to come. I go to Disney often, but not every month or week like some. So, I have to be a little more strategic when outfit planning so I have Disney content all year round. Then for a trip like Mexico, I knew what color I was planning for April. So, I bought some new pieces in this color story to wear for my trip. Then also planned on wearing older pieces in new ways for the trip. Like I said, its really challenged me to be creative and come up with new combinations for old pieces in my featured colors.  

Editing | In a world full of bloggers selling pre-sets it can be hard to decide which one works for you, or what you want your Instagram theme to look like. A while back I found some free pre-sets through Pinterest and I've been tweaking and using them ever since. You can find pre-sets on Pinterest simply by searching free LightRoom presents. In a way I create my own pre-sets based off of existing pre-sets. So, they aren't completely mine but I tailor them to make them exactly what I want. For example I start with a free preset then adjust the brightness, change it to be cooler or warmer, and change the exposure to customize it! From there I save my own "customized" pre-set through Lightroom through the create pre-set tool. This way I can save it and automatically apply it to all of my photos. I bounce around from a darker pre-set to a lighter and brighter pre-set depending on the time of year. Currently I am using a pre-set I made from my Hawaii trip. It's much brighter and happier, which is perfect for spring. Another Adobe app I use is Adobe Sketch which allows you to draw fun paint strokes onto your photos. You may see this affect on some of my photos. 

Just goes to show you don't have to spend $100+ to have pre-sets or a cohesive feed. All of this is done in LightRoom which is an Adobe program for editing photos. LightRoom does cost money, which I know not everyone wants to spend on a photo editing program. So, there are a few free editing tools I would recommend. 

I love the AColorStory filters available through their app. Some are free and others you pay for. You can get filter packs for around $2.99 which includes multiple filters you can use! I particularly like the new Noelle Downing filter pack I AM. It has the similar look to a lot of the big blogger's pre-set packs but doesn't require LightRoom and are under $5. This is a great option if you don't want to spend a ton of money but still get warm toned filters for your photos. Other free apps I like to use are A Design Kit and PicsArt to add fun affects and decorations to my photos! There are a ton of free resources to use out there so don't feel pressured to use expensive presets to create your feed. 

One thing I think people loose sight of on Instagram is that it is a creative outlet first. Be creative and be unique! Don't use the same preset everyone uses, stand out and create your own unique way of editing. I've slowly come to the attitude of doing whatever I want on Instagram. Likes don't matter, what matters is you are having fun and creating content that makes you happy. Having people like it is just a cherry on top of the cake. I remember having Instagram back in 2010 and nobody was on it. I just posted random photos using Instagram's filters. I still have those photos on my feed (if you really want to scroll through all of my pictures you can see them!). I'm not someone who deletes all of my photos to start over. It's fun to look back and see how far I've come and how much the app has evolved. Plus, someone has to document all of my hilarious #ootd photos from high school right? 

I hope this post has helped you gain some new tips and ideas for Instagram! What are your favorite editing tips? Let me know in the comments! 


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