6 steps to cool instagram pictures

calling all instagram addicts: i’ve been working on my first instagram book via blurb for the holidays, and noting how instagram took over in my personal-photo-memories department. this year i took less pictures on my SLR camera then any year previously in the past decade+. and although i am trying to change this, i also realized that if i am going to remain completely and hopelessly addicted to instagram i should invest a little more time in each of those photos. i love using instagram and i’ve even thought to buy likes on Instagram to make my posts get a little more attention, i haven’t tried that yet though!!

with doing so, i frequently get asked what apps i am using or how i created a certain instagram pic. for those of you who care, and want the inside information, this post is for you! the versatile apps listed below will let you customize, color-correct, crop and add rad effects to your photos before you upload them to instagram. (you might even be ready to ditch the instagram filters once you check out these apps.) Apps like kenji will also help you reach out to the people who are the most likely to want to start following you too, which must be helpful if you are trying to start a small business!

1) VSCO cam: this is my favorite! oh, i love the vsco filters. #5 is my top obsession. it is worth every penny of that ninety-nine cents. need help learning your way around vsco? watch this one-minute video.

before/after VSCO –

2) afterglow: if you want to crop your photos in an adjustable trendy shape, and who doesn’t? get this app!

3) whitagram: a white background for instagram. if you dislike cropping a picture that doesn’t work as a square, or when you post it on instagram, you get a black border… this will solve that challenge.

for example:

4) picfx: endless options, i use it for the light/bokeh filters, it really shines in that area!

5) diptic: there are a LOT of apps to create photo collages, this is one of the more popular ones. you can also add rounded corners to your frames. i don’t create collages very often, but when i do you can put together more than one picture, like this: {this is one square in instagram, kind of confusing on this post design.}

6) morebeaute: i just added this app this week, and it kind of makes me laugh. it brightens, lightens your skin tone and smoothes your skin in just 2 easy steps, voila! you can see before/after images below, i turned down all the tools, but you can go cray-cray with this… and look gorgeously flawless.


{my incision appears nasty, but in real life looks great. it will be scrubbed clean in one more week! all the dermabond/blood residue will be gone! right now: it i-t-c-h-e-s so bad.}

looking at my instagram profile makes me smile. some people don’t “get” instagram, but if you think of it as a kind of digital scrapbook, it starts to make sense. it doesn’t have to stay digital forever, either: in this post i shared numerous ways you can turn your instagram photos into books, magnets, so many different types of prints!

do you have any questions? any editing challenges when you are posting to instagram? leave them in the comments below and i will try to answer them asap. also, do you have a favorite photo app i didn’t mention? i would love to hear what they are!

If you’re keen to improve your Instagram game, take a look at these instagram bio ideas.

cheers to great instagram pictures, friends!

p.s. does ‘elf on the shelf’ visit your home? you can follow my instagrams this month @see_jane to see mr. bean’s daily deeds. and! come back tomorrow, if you have an elf, i have a super cute (free) surprise for you! xo.

14 responses to “6 steps to cool instagram pictures

  1. Totally just downloaded the moreBeaute2 app. Now I’ll never have to wear makeup again! Wait…I guess I do see people in real life too.

  2. Loved this post. I can so relate to barely using my “real” camera anymore! All the apps and Instagram make picture taking way too fun and addicting! I like to post a lot of pics on ig so I can turn it into an album and look at our year in a nutshell! Thanks for all the app recommendations!:)

  3. I love all these apps, I have them all but the beauty one, I will have to get on that!
    Also, probably my top favorite is called snap seed! You can adjust brightness, contrast, white balance, and sharpness, and more! It’s great to adjust a few things before a filter!

  4. I love Instagram and was introduced to it by you!! Thanks for sharing these cool apps. I will download them soon and try them out. You always continue to amaze me with all of your wonderful ideas. Thank you!!

  5. This is perfect info for me since I just barely got instagram! I’m still trying to figure out the basics but this is really good to know.

  6. Thanks for all the great Instagram tips !
    I’ve been meaning to download the VSCO cam for a whil but I’ll be sure to do it now that you’ve recommended it 😉

    I really like using the app “Labelbox” to add labels onto my Instagram pics. You shouck check it out if you don’t know it yet !
    Have a great week Jane !

  7. Oh I am so glad I found your lovely blog. So much joy and a plethora of information for an instagram newbie like me. I was wondering what you use to make your instagram collages on your blog. Leax

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