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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.

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my favorite resources all in one place

This one took me forever to finally get finished, but I now have a page dedicated to my favorite resources. I call them the Tools I Use.

tools-i-use-resources

You can find the page by clicking on the SOURCES image from the sidebar over there on the right.

I’ve compiled a list of tools and products I use regularly with links to where you can purchase them. Things like my printer, colored envelopes, the alphabet stamps seen on many different projects and where I order my paper.

tools-i-use-screenshot

I’ll continue to add more products/sources when I think of them. If you have any other suggestions or questions about where I get things, leave a comment and I’ll add it!

To visit the Tools I Use page, click here.

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temporary stripes (tutorial)

This is such an odd project. I’ll just tell you that from the start.

diy-stripe-pitcher
It’s a bit weird, but super cute.

diy-striped-pitcher

I have these white pitchers (old from IKEA) holding cooking utensils on our kitchen island and I’ve been wanting for forever to paint stripes on them. It has just never happened. When I was taking photos for our summer house tour, the pitchers were plain white and I wanted them striped for the photos. With not enough time or the correct porcelain paint to do it right then, I went with option two: temporary stripes.

stripe-pitcher-wood-utensils
Now the easiest thing would have been black electrical tape, but we didn’t have any, so I scrounged through my craft supplies and found a lightly patterned washi tape that seemed like it would work. Here’s how it happened:

SUPPLIES // white pitcher (like this) . washi tape . black permanent marker

stripe-pitcher-supplies

STEP ONE // wrap pitcher with strips of tape.

stripe-tape
You can measure in between stripes, or just eye it. Depending on the shape of your pitcher, the tape will have a few wrinkles as you press it down. Don’t worry about them, they will not really be noticeable when you’re finished.

stripe-pitcher-washi-tape

Here is mine with just the washi tape. It would be fine like this, or you could use any other cute pattern of tape (here is my favorite source for washi tape), but I really wanted mine to just be black and white.

STEP TWO // make those stripes solid

draw-on-stripes
I colored right over the tape with a thick permanent marker.

stripe-pitcher

And now the stripes are just right.

stripe-pitcher-top
It’s doubtful I will ever grow tired of classic black and white stripes, but the nice part is, the stripes are temporary. Just remove the tape and you’re back to a basic white pitcher.

peonies-in-stripe-pitcher
See? I told you. Weird. But super cute.

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