We are often asked who takes our photos for our Instagram feed and the answer is that we do unless otherwise credited with a photographer! While we would love to be able to share professional photos each and every time {because let’s face it ~ they are just BETTER!!}, so many things cross Laura’s desk every day that we want to be able to share, even without professional pics.

Here are some basic tips {from our experience only ~ there are many other apps and tools to use, but these are just the ones we prefer}:

  1. We always edit our photos completely outside of Instagram and do not use any filters offered directly in the Instagram App.
  2. Try to take your photos in natural lighting. This means without the lights on or direct sunlight hitting your area. This can be outside {we get good pics in the backyard covered patio} or inside{ in front of large open windows}. Try a few different areas to see what works best for you.
  3. You don’t have to have a professional grade camera. We use an iPhone for all of our own photos & videos, too. Having a newer version of the iPhone really helps {need to upgrade? Business expense! This is not legal tax advice, but definitely something to consider…}
  4. Once we have our original photo, we edit it directly in the photo edit on the iPhone ~ no special apps yet. Go to the lighting setting then adjust for brightness & contrast separately. See our original photo below.
  5. Our next step takes place in the Aviary app ~ this is a photo editing app available on your phone. Here we adjust for lighting & sharpness {this is especially helpful when you are showing calligraphy with fine hairlines}.
  6. Lastly we use Afterlight if we still want to get a little more brightness for the photo.

Here is the original photo for the one shown at the top of the post. As you can see, these simple steps made for a brighter, sharper photo in under 5 minutes!


As we mentioned above, there are many, many other photo editing apps you can use {or even better you can edit in Photoshop if you’ve got the time/skills!}, but hopefully these tidbits on what we like will help you on your way to a better, brighter Instagram feed.

Let us know your preferred photo editing apps below in the comments!

Laura + Alyssa