I have done a previous post called "5 Tips for Maintaining a Consistent Instagram Feed", but I wanted to do an updated (and expanded) post on how I edit my photos and curate my feed. I'm going to be giving my advice, as well as sharing some Apps that I find helpful for creating a curated and diverse Instagram feed.
It can be hard to find the balance between a feed that is curated, without being boring. These apps can help maintain a consistent feed, while still keeping it interesting.
1. Snapseed (Editing)
I consider Snapseed to be 'Editing for Dummies'- it's simple, it's straightforward, and it's easy for a beginner to pick up. My primary use for Snapseed is a feature called 'Selective', which you can use to pinpoint specific areas of the photo, and edit the brightness, contrast, saturation, and structure, without editing the entire photo. Most basic editing apps only allow you to edit the whole photo, which is what makes Snapseed better (and it's free!)
I am especially particular about desaturating my whites and blacks, because depending on natural lighting, these tones can give off a yellow or blue hue. This is a major tip for creating a cohesive feed- when you edit, make sure your whites are truly white, and your blacks are truly black. You can use Snapseed's 'Selective' feature to desaturate specific areas, and color correct.
Another great use of the 'Selective' feature is correcting skin tone. A lot of filters (including the one I use) can unnaturally lighten your skin and make you look ghostly. You can click on these problem areas, and decrease brightness, and increase saturation, to bring a little life back into your skin tone.
(This is a photo of me desaturating my white dress).
I also use the 'Healing' feature in order to spot correct any blemishes or imperfections on my skin. Besides this, I use the 'White Balance' feature to auto-adjust any imperfections in the color tone.
From there, the photo gets shipped off to VSCO!
2. VSCO (Filter)
This is probably the most obvious, and well-known tip on this list- if you want your photos to look curated, put all of them through the same filter. Everyone has their own gold standard for what looks best, and mine is the VSCO 'J2' filter, and a little bit of grain.
I will share a couple other examples of how much a filter can do, when you use the right one.
A good filter gives you lots of creative freedom for content- you can incorporate different tones, color schemes, styles... but if you run them through the same editing process and filter, they will all come out with a similar color tone and richness.
For the last year, every single photo I have edited has gone through the J2 filter, which is how I manage to experiment with my photography, while still maintaining a cohesive feed.
VSCO itself is free, but J2 is part of the Minimalist Pack, which does need to be purchased. In my opinion, any of the VSCO filters worth using are the ones that cost a little bit of money.
3. Unfold + SCRL (Collage Makers)
If you've been wondering how bloggers and Instagrammers are editing their photos to look like Polaroids / film photos, this is likely the app they are using.
Similar to VSCO, Unfold is a free app, but most of the features worth using will cost a couple bucks. If nothing else, purchase 'FF1' to be able to create film edits.
All of the above edits were done with the FF1 pack, but there are lots of other features as well, and I will share a couple other edits below.
The other app that I use a lot is SCRL, which can be used for creating those sliding picture shows on Instagram.
With this app, you can drag as many (or as few) photos as you want, and move them around in this screen. The lines automatically tell you where the photo will cut off, and when you save the collage, the photos will save individually.
Use Instagram's multi-photo feature, and you've got yourself a sliding show! It'll look something like this.
I love using apps like these, because I think they help break up the Instagram feed, and keep things from looking too monotonous or repetitive.
4. Let's Draw (Drawing Apps)
Drawing apps are another fun way to change up your photos- I think any drawing app would work, but the one I use is called 'Let's Draw'.
There are no set rules for this- I like to outline silhouettes, and try out different colors. It's all trial and error.
5. Planoly (Planning the Feed)
This app was a game-changer for my feed- I pay $8.99 per month to have free-reign of this app, but it's entirely worth it for me.
Planoly syncs to your Instagram feed, so that you can add potential photos (the ones with the U in the top, left corner), and move things around until they look good.
You can drag photos around as much as you like.
You can also add placeholders (the black square) if you are not sure what you want there, but you know you want something.
It's a really useful app for planning out your Instagram feed, and seeing how everything will look together, before having to post anything.
This is much better than using an Instagram account as a planner, because it lets you drag things around, without having to delete and repost.
In addition, it also has a couple of analytic features, which I admit I don't look at often, but it's nice that they exist.
It will break down your Instagram statistics by week, month, or year (depending on how long you've been using the app), and show you comparisons of how much better or worse you are doing than the previous week, month, or year.
It also shows you a calendar overview of your posting schedule, which is kind of nice.
I am just sharing these additional features because they exist, but the primary reason I use Planoly is to plan my feed. Also, shoutout to @amyoftheatmosphere for introducing me to this app!
I think that I am going to keep this blog post open, in case I think of anything else worth adding, but this is it for now.
If you are interested in any of these apps, definitely check them out and explore a bit! I did not cover everything that these apps do (because that would take way too long), but they are definitely useful tools in curating a feed, and I use them all the time.
I hope this was helpful for someone!