One of the questions I get asked most often is how I edit my photos. And while I am by NO means an expert, below is the method that I’ve developed that helps my feed look consistent, and gives the vibe that I want. I’ve posted on this subject previously, but decided it was time for an update, as some of my methods have changed in the last year.
+ J2 in VSCO
+ Cascade* in Afterlight
+ Isle* in Afterlight
+ J5 in VSCO
*part of the Wander pack, which I believe costs $1.99
While I don’t have a single way that I edit photos each time – mostly because each photo I take is so different – this is generally my process and what helps keep my feed consistent. I use both Afterlight and VSCO to edit my photos, and use them stacked on top of each other. I always process first in Afterlight, as I think their basic editing is more precise, then finish in VSCO to create the same look across all my photos.
The first thing I do is brighten the photo, and make sure the color balance looks right. Oftentimes I find that my iPhone shoots things to be a little too green, so I will use the Highlight and Midtone feature to bring the greens back down. Sometimes I will lower the color temperature for a more bluish hue, and then move onto filters.
I typically add a splash of Cascade to start (I’m talking like 35-55%) and then follow with Isle – which gives a nice cool tone and makes warmer shades appear more muted and mustard-y. This combo together really gives my photos that warm tone without being too saturated. I only use a little bit of each of these filters, and never use them on full strength. Both are part of the ‘Wander‘ pack of filters in Afterlight.
Another feature I love to use in Afterlight is the grain effect. It adds a bit of grain to your photos, and gives it that slightly vintage, film look. I’ll usually apply the white grain at about 35% + black grain at 50% to add just a bit of grit to my photos.
Then I will take this edited photo over to VSCO to apply a final filter. I almost ALWAYS use J2, but sometimes will use J5 if the photo is of a different tone. These J filters make the whites pop, and give the photo a more minimal feel. I only use VSCO filters at a strength of around 4-6 as they can be a bit heavy, and typically do not use their editing tools with the exception of the exposure tool. The exposure tool is something I will only use if a photo is especially dark, as it can be a very heavy handed tool. I only use it at a strength of 1 when I do choose to use it.
Sometimes with the amount of editing I’ve done, when I pull the photo over to Instagram to finally post it, it can look just a little dull. If that’s the case, I will apply the Instagram filter Juno for just a bit of a pop. It’s warm and bright, so a little goes a long way, but it can help to bring some color back and just make the photo stand out.
And that’s about it! I know it sounds a bit mad to use two photo editing apps for one photo, but to be honest, filtering is one of my favorite parts of being a blogger. I always have really enjoyed that before and after feel, and I like my photos to have a specific look to them. Scroll down to see a few recent before/after examples!