Let's be real - Instagram is part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not😜 And while we're at it anyway, why not create beautiful, eye-catching and engaging photos for it! I've shared with you my editing tips and posting strategies a few times before, but since my editing has changed and so has Instagram, I wanted to share with you an update on how I edit my photos so that you can pick up these tips too💛 I literally use the same steps on all of my pics and they're super fast and easy, but make a huge difference!

Now, as for my Instagram photos in general, about half of them are taken with my phone, another half is taken with a professional DSLR camera. The photos that are taken with my camera, I edit on computer using Lightroom (I'll share a tutorial for that next!). But in this post I'll focus on the photos that I take and edit using only my phone. These types of photos are always very instant, which is the whole idea of Instagram, and often create a far bigger engagement than professional photos. Even though I absolutely love beautiful high-quality photos, I also love the realness that phone pics bring, which is why I stick to using both for my Instagram😊

So, without further ado, today I'll share with you how I edit my photos step-by-step. Let's get started!😉

how to edit instagram photos on phone

how to edit on vsco for good instagram

editing photos on vsco for instagram


The first thing I always do after I've picked out a photo I want to post to Instagram, is open it in VSCO app, which is my absolute favorite in editing phone photos😉

Here's how I do it:

  1. As the first step, I crop the photo to 4:5 (which is the size for a vertical Insta photo). This way I'll know exactly how the photo will look on Instagram.
  2. After I've got the cropping right, it's time to edit! 90% of the time I go for the HB1 filter, cause I like the brightness and sort of coolness of it. Sometimes I also use A5 or F2 if the photo seems a bit dull with the HB1 filter.
  3. When I've picked out the filter, I play around with it a bit, seeing how much is enough for this particular photo. It always varies based on the photo, so I can't really give any suggestions here, but most times I go for something between 7-12.
  4. After setting the filter right, it's time to edit the pic. I always add more contrasts to the photo (up to +1.0), then sharpen it and add clarity (also up to +1.0 for both).
  5. The fifth step is an optional based on the photo I'm editing. But if it's a bit too bright or dark, I change the highlights / shadows / exposure / temperature of it. Nothing too much, however, cause it will bring the photo quality down, so up to 1 point is the maximum I do.
  6. Then, if everything seems to be OK, I save the photo to my camera roll in actual size and post it on Instagram😊

photo editing guide for instagram

instagram photo editing guide


Now, in most cases editing the photo in VSCO is all I do. But! When I feel like the pic is still missing something or is a bit too dull, I like to add a little lens flare to it in an app called Lens Distortion.

Here's how I do it:

  1. I pick the photo I edited in VSCO and open it in LS.
  2. For the flares, I always go with the principle light hits. I usually use the fifth flare, but if I want to blur the background out a bit more I go with any of the first four flares.
  3. Once I've picked out the right flare for the pic, I bring the center of it to the right place eg. where the sun is. This is really important, since you don't want the sun to shine in the the wrong place. It will be just too obvious hehe🙈
  4. When I've found the right place for the flare, I play around with it a bit. I turn it and change the angle. Enlarge it or instead make it smaller to fit the best and I always reduce the opacity of the light hit.
  5. When all is set and I've got a nice light on my photo, I save it and post the end result on my Instagram and that's it!😊

I hope you found these tips helpful!
Would love to hear your feedback if you try editing your photos using this guide😘


  1. Such a beautiful outfit!

  2. They are fabulous tips gal. Surely trying em out. Waiting to see how you do dslr edits <3

  3. These are such awesome tips- your Instagram photos are stunning! I've never really played around with lens flares before, but you've made me want to try it out.

    Rachel xx
    The Daily Luxe
    The Wrap Blouse Trend: Your Ultimate Guide

    1. Thanks Rachel! Definitely give the lens flares a try ;)

  4. Thanks for sharing! Im thinking of switching up my insta pics. I love adding sunshine for extra glow and would love to make them brighter and dreamy x

    1. I'm so happy to hear you like these tips, Diana! <3

  5. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. photo editor

  6. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. daycare photographer in Sydney.