So you wanna be Instagram famous? Here’s our first tip: Stop using filters. They make your pics look the same as everybody else’s. Plus, you can do it waaaaay better on your own. If you’re dying to rack up likes on your next #OOTD or coffee shop pics, you’re going to have to edit them on your own. But don’t freak out. It’s actually super easy, even if you don’t know the first thing about photography. Let’s walk through that scary “wrench” section of Instagram. Here’s what you need to know to start editing.

Young people taking a selfie while eating pizza


1. Brightness: Most of the images you see that perform well on IG are super bright. Usually this is because of natural lighting, but if your lighting situation sucks, you can fake some by amping up the brightness.

2. Contrast: Basically this will make your brights brighter and the shadows darker when turned up.

3. Saturation: Upping the saturation will really make your colors POP. Be careful though, because you don’t want to look like the color has gone crazy in your pic.

4. Warmth: Turn it up to bring out the reds and yellows in your pic, turning it down will bring out all the blue and green tones.

5. Highlights/Shadows: This is basically each half of the contrast option. One will help you adjust the brightest parts of your photo (make them even brighter or bring them down) and the other will get you control over the darker parts.

6. Sharpness: This will bring your pictures into better focus. But if you use too much, your pics will end up looking super pixelated.


Pics of Your Squad in Bad Lighting: Bring the brightness up to make the faces pop, bring the contrast up a tad to give definition to everybody’s face and then increase the warmth and saturation a bit until everyone’s skin looks glowing.

Vacation Shots: These are among the easiest to touch up. If you took the picture from far away, all you really need to do is increase the contrast a bit. If the picture is a bit dark, you can bump up the brightness and sharpen it into focus. If there’s a lot of blue in the shot (from the sky or sea), consider making the picture a little more warm to make the colors fantastic.

Eeeeeats: Food pics can be super hard to shoot and even harder to edit. Try your best to keep all shadows out of the shot when you’re snapping. To draw the eye into the details, turn up contrast and brightness. Turn the warmth down and give both saturation and sharpness a little bit of a bump up.

Action Shots: The focus of this one is clarity. Bring up brightness and contrast, but on this one you’re probably going to want to turn down the saturation. If you need extra help getting the shot as bright and clear as possible, turn the shadows down a bit. Bring sharpness as far up as you can without making the shot look weird and grainy.

Now get out there and start shooting. We promise we won’t tell anyone if you bookmark this page for future reference.

Do you have a fave trick for touching up your pics? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)