How I Take and Edit Instagram Photos

Happy Monday everyone! It is April and currently snowing but that’s ok! We are going to just pretend Spring is here and talk about something I absolutely love- Photography!! Growing up I enjoyed the occasional photo opportunity but ever since I began blogging, I realized how much I loved styling, capturing, and editing the photos. So I thought I would share with you how I take and edit Chic Neat Sweet’s Instagram photos.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Face

Step 1: Set Up

Where I take the photo changes around a bit but the ‘equipment’ stays the same. I have a piece of white poster paper that I lay down beside a window or glass door. I usually take my photos in the morning or mid-day (when it is the brightest out) and now that it is staying light longer, I can squeeze in a photoshoot in the afternoon. Then I lay a cotton sheet over the poster (I have found this helps shadows, and softens the image all together). I use my iPhone to take the pictures because I can easily transport the photos to other apps to edit and share.


Step 2: Style

If you haven’t seen CNS’s Instagram, besides the occasional quote, our feed is flatlays (objects laid out in a specific manner, that is usually meant to be aesthetically pleasing). The objects I use depend on the topic of the photo. Typically I have one or two objects that are the main focus and then I style the image with related objects or with props. Props I use may include flowers, confetti, words, etc. For example, if my flatlay is about a bullet journal, the journal would be the main focus, then around the notebook I may put pens, pencils, markers, paperclips, or washi tape as props. If a specific photo I am working on doesn’t have a ‘main object’, then it may have a theme. For example the photo could just be of flowers laid out (I show this specific photo down below to show how to edit it) or a collage of words written in calligraphy. Styling can be the hardest part of photography, so my biggest tips is take pictures while you are styling. That way you can see if there is an empty corner or space along the way.


Step 3: Snap the Picture

If you are a blogger, I am sure you can relate to taking 100s of photos, just to get one perfect photo. I will take one photo then realize I need to adjust the objects, then I will take another photo just to realize the camera wasn’t centered- it’s a process! The easiest way I have found to take my photos are to use my camera app, and switch the layout to “Square”. This is extremely helpful because, “Square” is Instagram’s automatic size and you don’t have to crop your beautiful photo! In the past I tried to be minimalistic with the objects, but currently I like filling the screen. After I take a bunch of photos, I pick through them. I delete some and then narrow down the ones I like to the one I love!


Step 4: VSCO 

VSCO is a free photo editing app that allows me to copy and paste my edits, so I am not having to constantly input the brightness, contrast, etc. You can get to that point too, once you have found the edits you really like! After I have made all of the changes I save the image back to my camera roll, where I add the new image to my CNS Insta Album in my Photos app.

My VSCO Edits:

  • M5/Mood Filter +5
  • Exposure +1
  • Contrast +1
  • Temperature +0.5
  • Tint +2.5
  • Saturation +1.5


Step 5: Photos App and Adjustments

For the last step, I edit the photo in my Iphone’s Photos app. The two main edits I make is cranking the brightness (Under the light category) up and lowering the cast (Under the color category). I don’t have specific amounts to tell you because it all depends on the photo. As I adjust it I compare it to the other photos in the album. This ensures my theme’s consistency and balance. If need be I may also adjust other factors such as contrast or exposure. Once the image blends well with the other photos, I am done!


The first few times you edit your photos it can be time-consuming, but after a few times it will come naturally to you. At this point I could probably do it with my eyes closed!(: By no means am I a professional photographer, and my editing skills are always improving, as well as changing, but I do enjoy styling and creating aesthetic flatlays to share with all of you! I hope this post was helpful! If you have any tips for me let me know! As always, don’t forget to stay Chic Neat and Sweet!



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6 thoughts on “How I Take and Edit Instagram Photos

  1. I haven’t been that proactive in making my photos look professional lately, but the more posts I make, the more I want to start doing higher quality photos. The poster board idea is great! Thanks for the tips ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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