how I edit iphone photos for instagram

My iphone is like an extension of my arm – it’s by my side at nearly all times of day (and night). I love it for texting and checking the weather and asking siri important questions like ‘how many days until …?’ (asked by a certain second born who is slightly excited about his upcoming birthday) and watching cute youtube videos like this one and this.

Most of all, I love it for the camera.

Admittedly, an iphone does not take the same quality of photos as a real camera, but the fact that it is always with me, easy to use and quick to capture everyday moments works out just fine for me. It is fun to practice photography with my phone – looking for interesting angles or composition or finding the right light – and sharing those photos on instagram is a favorite, too.

I almost always do some editing before posting to instagram (I like a slightly dreamy, washed out look) and thought I’d show you what that looks like.

raw-and-edited-instagram

We’ll use this photo taken yesterday of a piece of my mom’s blackberry pie (yum).

Here it is straight from the camera:

blackberry-pie-raw

It’s a nice photo and could probably be used as is. But running it through some photo apps gives it just the right amount of artsy-ness to make it a little more visually appealing.

I use the standard camera app to take photos and then edit through Afterlight – a simple to use $.99 photo editing app.

editing-photos-1

I begin by opening Afterlight and bringing in the photo from my photo stream.

editing-photos-2

I brighten slightly, add a bit more contrast and occasionally bring the sharpening up slightly as well.

editing-photos-3

Next (here’s the most important step) I choose the guest filters and then the Russ filter to get the dreamy/washed out look I like. You can change the opacity to adjust how strongly the filter is applied. Once I like the look, click the check mark to save.

Instagram is set up as square photos, so sometimes I use the crop tool to cut the photo into a square before posting.

Sometimes a photo just looks better with it’s original rectangular proportions, so I like to add borders to get the square size without cropping the photo. To do this, I click on the borders icon, and then Original.

editing-photos-4

Next I click on the side borders and it will automatically turn the photo into a square with white margins. Click the check mark to save.

Once finished editing, I click the Done button at the top right and then save as a small image to my camera roll. I like to save a copy to my photos and post to instagram from the IG app, but you could also just click on the instagram icon from Afterlight to post. Your choice.

And here is the final edited image:

edited-blackberry-pie

Just those few simple steps really give an average photo a fancier look!

Here are a few more before & afters to see the subtle, but pretty difference editing makes:

office-desk

audrey-kitchen

concessions

laundry-room

swimsuit

africa-shopping

be-strong

peony

Hope this is helpful in making your photos more beautiful!

RESOURCES:

afterlight

SnapShop iphone course (I took this course last year and it was so good! If you want help learning how to compose interesting images, play with settings, learn more about editing and fun photography tools, Ashley teaches it perfectly. Learn more about her excellent photography courses here).

See my instagram feed here.

Continue Reading | 13 comments

farmhouse inspiration

We’re finishing out our summer with a quick stay with my family at The Farmhouse.

farmhouse

Isn’t it beautiful?! The Jones side of the family has rented this restored 1800′s farmhouse for the past three years and it’s been such a perfect place for our families to be together.

(UPDATE: here is a link for details on The Farmhouse)

Being here reminds me of how much I love the look of a farmhouse. Just clicking through my pinterest boards confirms it. Here are a few of my favorties:

farmhouse-inspiration

farm-porch

I’m particularly drawn to a classic white farmhouse with metal roof.

But a wood barn is also charming.

brownfarmhouse

shingledbarn

woodfarm

Black trimmed windows are an added bonus and give a farmhouse a more modern feel (which I’m particularly drawn to).

farmhousewithgarage

modern-farmhouse

But what we love most about The Farmhouse and what is so appealing about these images is the open space, the views and greenery and endless sky.

barn-in-field

When I think of a farmhouse, it feels like a deep breath, fresh and bright and simple.

farm-in-woods

You can see all of these pretty farmhouses and more on my pinterest board called Home Sweet Home. If your curious about what style I like best, just hop on there and it will become quite obvious (think white, natural wood, stone, lots of windows and pretty lighting.) See all my pinterest boards here.

Continue Reading | 17 comments

rwanda one month later

One month ago today, I was on my way to the beautiful country of Rwanda.

rwanda-collage

I miss it so much.

Since returning I’ve been asked many times, “how was your trip?” “what did you learn?” “how has it changed you?” “what was the best part?”.  I don’t know how to answer any of them except just to say I miss it.

I could tell a thousand stories of things we saw, history we learned, resilient people we met, worship we heard, tears we cried, meals we enjoyed, friendships we made, and yet none of it feels like enough.

Rwanda changed me, for sure, but not necessarily in the ways I would have expected. The best I can do to explain it is just to say that the world for me became smaller. I feel so deeply connected to the Rwandans we spent time with. They are moms with the same love for their children, the same dreams and desires and worries. Their tears and joys are the same as mine and it feels beautiful to hear their stories and enter into them.

A reader who commented on my twirling in Africa post said it best:

I feel like we know these things for a reason and that God knew that when His people from here come in contact with His people from there, for a little while the heart of the kingdom beats softly in unison“.

It makes me cry every time I read that.

Oh, I just loved it. All of it. We cried so much and heard such hard stories to take in. But we also laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed before and ate amazing food and felt encouraged with stories of healing and progress and hope.

I created this artprint for our StyleForJustice trip and would love to offer it to you as well.

justice-artprint

Gary Haugen is the founder of an incredible organization called International Justice Mission and I can’t say enough about how valuable their work is. You can learn much more about IJM here.

To download the print, log in or sign up for our library of freebies.

Continue Reading | 8 comments

receive free tutorials, downloads, blog updates & more

join over 70,000 email subscribers
and be inspired to create, decorate and celebrate.

we respect your privacy . you can opt out at any time