How to Quickly and Easily Edit iPhone Photos for Instagram


Every so often, I’ll get asked how I edit photos for instagram. Almost all of my photos are shot on my iPhone 6, although I do have a Canon Mark iii and Fuji XT1, too. If you’re just looking to take better photos while traveling or day-to-day, I’d recommend the Fuji XT1 or X100T. The T1 offers interchangeable lenses, and the 100T comes with a 35MM equivalent, similar to the iPhone.

So let’s talk about the shooting editing process. 

First of all, I shoot in natural light whenever possible. The above photo looked like this pre-editing. It’s pretty but was shot on a gloomy day, and wasn’t very bright.


My editing process is usually fairly simple. I start in VSCO (my favorite photo editing app) where I alternate between the A6 and S2 filters. See the dots below the photo? You can adjust the filter’s strength using that bar. I never really go below 10 or 11.


I then export and save, open in instagram, and up the brightness a little bit.


Go back to that first gloomy photo. So much better, right?


Last weekend, I shared this photo of my dogs.

img_7833Look at the immediate difference after adding the S2 filter.


And then increasing the brightness.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

And my living room. I shot this during the day, but it was cloudy and not nearly as bright as I wanted it to be. dmoss-insta1So I added the A2 filter. img_7829

Upped the brightness and clicked that little sun button at the top to add a little clarity. Don’t overdo it–keep it at around 20.

And the finished product.      img_7761

So there you have it. A quick and easy way to up your instagram photo game. Any questions for me? Leave them in the comments below!

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  • Maria Fernanda Roman

    October 25, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    Thanks for sharing your tips! my editing skills need some improvement.
  • spends2much

    October 22, 2016 at 12:22 pm
    Thanks so much, this was really helpful! (Also, Buddy is the cutest dog I have ever seen in my life, no exaggeration.)
  • Ivana @ The Charming Life

    October 17, 2016 at 4:31 am
    This was so helpful, Danielle, thanks so much for sharing! I really love tutorials that aren't overcomplicated and don't take 2 hours to follow :)
  • Erica

    October 15, 2016 at 10:44 am
    Thank you for sharing! I had read somewhere that A6 was the most popular VSCO filter, but never added it. I think S2 is my favorite now! Do you have a favorite filter for shots with people?
  • Verónica Rodríguez

    October 15, 2016 at 9:54 am
    Thanks for sharing your magic tricks!