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May 26, 2022

Edit Your Instagram Photos Like a Pro With These Smart Tips

  • January 25, 2022
  • 11 min read

Instagram is still undeniably a steady visual game-changer in the social media arena. It has continued to evolve, adding more features and refining the online dynamics to keep things lively and engaging for every user. Millennials and Gen-Z’s can say amen to that. 

Whether you’re marketing on Instagram or just simply browsing through for inspiration or entertainment, the visuals you see will always stand out. The key thing about posting on Instagram is using photos, images, and visuals that are quality. Content that exudes quality and is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes has proven an increase in engagement, likes and reposts.

With all the available applications and tools within your digital reach today, you don’t have to be a pro to pull off stunning and dynamic visuals for your Instagram feed. You can edit your Instagram photos like a pro.

Here are some tips to get you started: 

1.    Bring in Quality-ready Shots

When you already got a game for your Instagram photos, in the beginning, you’ll get the flow of the visual dynamics in the long run. Taking good, quality photos beforehand gives you the upper hand, to begin with. It’s like you already have great bread, and then the filling or the jam simply complements the quality of the bread at hand. Altogether, it’s a beautiful fusion. 

So, needless to say, take quality photos. Take lots of photos first so that you’ll have a wide range of options to choose from when you’re finally ready to post. Alongside this, bear in mind to always consider good lighting—natural light is still the best. Snapping your photos outdoors is still one of the best choices for taking portrait shots or simply nature-inspired images. A perfect sunny morning or golden hour in the late afternoon wins it completely.

As they say, a picture paints a thousand words—so with even just one stunning photo, you’ll be able to deliver inspiration and encouragement. Take note, too, that as you build up your portfolio of pictures for your IG feed, the level of consistency on the quality of photos should be there. From the kind of filters you use to how you edit the images, you must have a certain level of consistency. It’s like building a personal brand but following how Instagram works: quality and consistency.

2.    Lighting Matters

We can never overemphasize this, and you don’t have to be a pro to get this one right. 

As briefly mentioned above, consider good lighting. Always. You don’t need to have an expensive camera—although quality equipment is a huge factor, even with just your smartphone and good lighting, you can make it work.

And the truth of the matter is lighting is a deciding factor for the quality of photos you deliver. Even if you utilize a great editing tool, but the lighting in your photo already sucks, it still won’t work. 

If you’ve spent much time on Instagram, you will instantly notice that most photos are heavily invested in great lighting. This should not be a problem as there are a lot of amazing photo editing tools that can refine your photos all the more.

3.    Find the Right Filter

When you hear the word “filter,” you automatically relate it to Instagram. When you’re heavily invested in Instagram and other social media platforms, most likely, you’ve used the filters that are readily available on the application. Filter makes your content more dynamic and fun. It just enhances your photos, reels, and stories to make them look better. 

These filters don’t just enhance the quality of your photo to your desired outcome. They also give you room to be creative with the lighting, contrast, color adjustment, and many more. 

Instagram offers a variety of those filters, and just recently, you can explore newer filters that are more interactive, that is just so fun to use, and can spark up your photos and posts altogether. Effects and filters are both available on Instagram, and they have different elements that you can maximize to bring about content that you want to deliver to your viewers.

4.    Capture it with Caption

With great photos come great captions and hashtags. Whether it be a long caption or a short, quirky one, putting in a catchy caption is an Instagram must. When you incorporate a caption or a message on your post or photo, it gives your followers the chance to comment on it, leaving room for engagement and interaction. That’s how the Instagram world works. 

Posting a photo with a caption that delivers your marketing strategy can speak volumes. This also works well if you’re marketing on Instagram or a business account tied in. Just put in the right words to seal the deal.

5.    Apply the Rule(s)

In photography, there are almost unspoken rules simply taken into consideration. You don’t have to go to a photography school to learn this. Some learn it from well-meaning friends, some learn online (Youtube!), and some discover it along the way.

We have the rule of thirds to consider when you take a photo. This is to help enhance your photo composition. It serves as a guideline that breaks down the picture into “thirds,” so you’re looking at nine boxes and four grids. Based on the rule, once you know how to position some aspects along these grid lines, you’ll have better photographic compositions. 

Now, you can do this on your smartphone too. Your camera has a grid feature you can utilize. These grids guide you to make sure your subject is in the center. As much as possible, maximize your phone as it has features that can give you the hand you need to deliver IG-worthy photos. 

Consider also other elements such as contrast and exposure. You can always explore your photo editing feature on your phone or use photo editing apps that are insanely amazing. Regarding the contrast of the photo, make sure that the range of brightness of your photo is still on point by avoiding heavily dark tones unless you’re going for a more serious undertone. 

6.    Flat Lay It!

Some say this is already passé, but obviously, we can still see thousands of Instagram photos that are flat lays. Flat lays work best when you want to emphasize a particular object. 

When you’re marketing on Instagram and showing off a product for marketing purposes, using the flat lay option is the way to go. You can also play around with backgrounds for your subjects and use solid colors to make sure the main subject or product stands out.

One thing to take note of when doing flat lays, especially when you have a lot of items to feature: do not overcrowd the area. Ensure that the main subjects or items have ample space between each other to have visual clarity. Allow each item to stand out on its own even if all of them are captured in one flat lay photo. As a good photographer, you can still capture the uniqueness and value of the main subject in a flatlay.

7.    Photo Editor Tools are the Bomb

If you want to keep up with the best photos on Instagram, utilize photo editor apps. There is so much you can do with those photo editing applications that are readily available—resizing, background editing and scaling, more effects and filters, dynamic texts, stickers, graphics, retouching, photo inversion, among others.

Don’t get me wrong, hiring professional graphic designers and editors is still legit and a significant investment. No shame in that! If you have the budget to hire professionals, go for it. But if you are simply just wanting to elevate your Instagram feed a bit or want to bump it up another notch, you can do it on your own and turn to photo editing tools for help.

Let me share with some of our favorite photo editing apps

A. Pixelied

Pixelied has an excellent photo inverter feature to provide your photos with the look of traditional negatives. You can have the option to set it into different hues to make the color elements pop out.

But what do you need a photo inverter for?

If you want to go the extra mile for your Instagram photos, evoking feelings of thrill and adding in a cool vibe to it can bring out the type of mood you want the photo to exude. Trust me, adding these elements to your photo can make it stand out and garner more likes.

With Pixelied, you can crop, blur, darken, pixelate, and set the tones for the contrast and brightness of your inverted photos. Not only these, but Pixelied also offers other great features, such as adding photo backgrounds, borders, emojis, texts, logos that can spice things up for your photo.

B.     Snapseed

With its quality editing and its ability to deliver a professional photo finish, Snapseed is the tool to help you level up your Instagram-worthy photo game. It may look like an essential photo editing software. Still, it delivers features that can provide complexities and refine the elements you need to provide quality photos.

Snapseed’s brush tool option provides an easy retouch point. It has more than 25 different tools that you can maximize to transform your photos into great content. Basically, with Snapseed, you can maintain quality photos with less effort. It is a go-to app for photo editing. 

All the more, if you’re running a business and you want to get things moving in digital marketing, you need to put your A-game when it comes to producing quality photos. With the existing competition on social media platforms, especially on Instagram, your content needs to appeal to the masses. With photo editing apps like Snapseed, you can drive efficiency further without sacrificing the quality of your output. 

C.     Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor 

If we’re talking about remarkable and professional output, Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor takes it to another level. To build up your brand or just your visual presence on Instagram, I suggest exploring this tool. You can check out innovative features, such as improved photo editing features, photo storage and management, Lightroom presets, photo sharing, super resolution, crop and rotate tools, easy control to edit light and color properties, healing brushes, and many more. It even has Lightroom tutorials you can look into. These tutorials aren’t those long, boring videos. These are 4-6 minutes, informative, concise and dynamic videos that you can digitally, mentally and creatively digest.

Your basic photo will not remain basic with Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor. By utilizing the features on its plate, you can easily learn to adjust the hues exposure, shadows, colors, tones, and many more. Who says you can’t get any more creative with photo editing tools?

Living up to one of its taglines, “Make images that match the moment,” this tool can deliver efficient results that suit the occasion. With Instagram as your platform to serve the photos you have refined and edited, you can be sure to make those images pop out, stand out, and bring inspiration that match every moment.


Instagram as a visual platform will continue to improve, evolve and it will provide dynamics that will keep the users engaged. Quality images, inspiring photos, and pictures that tug the heart and connect with you on a personal level, that’s Instagram for you—plus so much more.

Suppose you want to invest time to build your brand or portfolio or a business to spice up your digital marketing strategies. In that case, you can look into Instagram to create beautiful disruptions and content that matter. 

As Instagram evolves, more trends will come out of it, you will discover new viral photos and videos, but all of them will go through the dynamic changes that the digital wave can bring. Let’s just simply ride that wave and enjoy every bit of the moment.

Author’s Bio:

Shelly Solis is a digital marketer who loves challenges and good case studies. She is the CEO and co-founder of SaaSLaunchr, a digital marketing service provider dedicated to helping SaaS companies with guest post outreach, content writing, marketing, and SaaS SEO.

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