Ever taken a few a photo you love but it suddenly doesn’t match your feed? There are a few tips that can help you create a consistent Instagram feed through editing. These tricks and tips for editing photos will help develop that consistent color theme on your Instagram.
One of my biggest challenges when it comes to editing photos is getting the lighting the same. So when I can’t, I have a few edits and dials in Lightroom that really help out plus some editing options. I know I’m inspired when I see feeds of photographers like Emilie Ristevski or Carley of Carley’s Camera. There’s something about the way everything goes together and creates a consistent look. Over the last few months, I’ve been focusing on sticking to color tones and palettes that help get this look:
So after a few years of working around my editing style, I found a few key tips to help do that. Ready to create that dreamy, consistent Instagram feed? Here are my top tips for editing!
How to Edit Photos For a Consistent Instagram Feed
Before you start…
I want to preface this entire guide for editing photos by saying that photography is personal. It’s meant to look different from one another because it’s ultimately your creation. Yes, it is good to draw inspiration from others. My hope is that it will give you the inspiration to create what you love. And most importantly, these tips below will help give you the tools to do exactly that!
Tip 1: Edit in Lightroom and use Lightroom Presets.
This is my first tip and because it really does make a difference. Editing in Lightroom gives you so much more control over the photo. From highlights to tones, it gives you the ability to adjust each photo accordingly.
Next, edit with Lightroom presets. What are Lightroom Presets? They are essentially filters that have been developed that can act as one-click edits for photos (not all the time but mostly). There are presets available for their mobile application (mobile is free) and desktop. When you edit with the same presets, the coloring panel and white balance are all set the same. This means that every photo you edit it will have the same tones.
Each preset may not work with every photo, which may require some tweaking but that’s okay. It’s a starting point and a guarantee for getting the consistency down. During certain seasons, I’ll edit with the same presets for an extended time. I’ve been using my CDMX collection since February which just launched for mobile and desktop.
The great thing about Lightroom Presets is that you can use them on mobile and desktop (pending the package you buy). Lightroom mobile is completely free as well so this is a great editing tool to use if you’re just starting out.
Tip 2: After applying a preset, adjust your color palette.
What do you do if the colors are off a bit? After I apply a preset, I will immediately adjust my color palette in Lightroom. This is huge for getting the colors to all match.
What is your color palette? Decide if you want it to be very saturated or undersaturated. Will your greens be very green or more muted? Blues — do you want darker, rich blues or lighter, airier blues? This single function is a determiner for getting your colors to be cohesive.
The dial to adjust in Lightroom: the HSL / Color panel.
This panel controls each color independently. *HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance.
- Hue controls the shade of color. For instance, greens can be more blue or yellow.
- Saturation controls how much of the color. One way to think about it is the intensity of the color.
- Luminance controls the reflective brightness of the color. Or another way to think about how it is how dark or bright you want the color.
When you sort out your preference for this, it will help you match the editing of a photo. Often times when I put two photos with greens in it, I need to adjust one or the other to match. Like if a forest shot has too much “blueish-green,” I’ll tone the hue to be more “yellow-green” and less saturated to match say a park photo that has more grass in it.
Tip 3: Dial in your temperature and tint.
Have you ever seen a feed that feels uber warm or uber pink? These two effects can be controlled by temperature and tint. The temperature will make your photo feel more golden or yellow when it is increased. For the tint, if you want your photo to feel pinker, just adjust up your tint to have more pink in it. This is a great effect to add after you’ve applied a preset and adjusted the color panel.
Here are two feeds that have that warm feeling for an example:
Tip 4: Add a flare.
Love a vintage feel? Boost up the grain. Love something smoother? Drop your highlights and clarity.
Just these few dials in Lightroom add a personal touch to the photo. Some other fun apps for adding some extra touches to your photos are:
- VSCO for some extra filter touches
- Afterlight for dusty filters (like a vintage camera)
- RNI Films for real film grains and more.
Tip 5: Use an app to plan your feed.
This is probably the most important part of developing a consistent feed. By using an app to plan your feed, you can see how photos will look together. My favorite app for this is Planoly.
I’ll drop photos in and even re-edit if I think some of the colors are off (especially blue and green hues). It helps you visualize the colors together and see what appeals to the eye.
Final tip: Think of it as a checkered pattern.
This has been one of the biggest changes for me in how I see my grid. I love a checkered look where an image alternates. Switch between:
- light and dark photos
- busier vs. emptier photos
- close-ups vs. far away images
This back and forth creates depth and keeps it interesting.