Three Easy Edits That Will Upgrade Your iPhone Photos

Hey friends! It has been so highly requested that I share some of my editing tips, so I'm starting with basics! In this post I'll be sharing three simple steps you can take to up your Insta-game. These are quick tricks that completely change your photo in five minutes. If you do nothing else to your photos, this will definitely bring you to the next level. 

But before we begin, please take a moment and download my holy grail of editing apps: Snapseed by Google. I've been using Snapseed since the beginning of my blogging days. Snapseed is an incredible free resource. I would equate it to a mobile version of Photoshop. It's very user-friendly and easy to navigate. There are so many features you can play around with, but most importantly you can adjust basic settings, which is primarily what I use it for. All three of the tips featured in this post can be adjusted via the "TOOLS" tab under "TUNE IMAGE". 


Got your app ready? Let's get started

1. Adjust brightness! 

Brightness changes everything; I can't stress that enough! This is especially important when you are editing iPhone photos on an older iPhone. These pictures tend to be darker and more shadowy.  How bright you make them is totally your preference. I like my photos to be as bright and crisp as possible. However, upping the brightness too much might affect the quality of your photos. So when it comes to Snapseed, I tend to only adjust my brightness to a level of +35 or less. 

It should also be noted that a lot of brightness depends on where you take the photo. I prefer to take all of my photos outside. The best brightness actually comes from a cloudy day. The amount of sun isn't so bright that it blows out the contrast of your photo and cloudy weather tends to bring out some really nice, natural tones. If you are taking photos indoors, I try to only use natural light from a large window if possible. Overhead lighting is often harsh and discolors the photo, bringing out warmer tones. I like to take my indoor photos at around 10AM right inside my big bedroom window with my overhead lights off. This provides enough light to illuminate my subject, but leaves enough shadows that I like to play with the brightness in Snapseed!

2. Adjust ambiance! 

This is my favorite way to elevate my photos. It instantly makes flat photos come alive. Ambiance, (the editing tool, not the atmospheric mood) is Snapseed's way of controlling the light by editing both shadow and contrast level at one time. 

Use with control, though! Too much added ambiance can oversaturate your images. You can either increase or decrease ambiance, depending on your desired effect. I always increase because I prefer a more vibrant look. Adding an ambiance level of about +14 is a safe spot and creates a nice glow around my subject.  I definitely advise playing around with it and finding a level that you feel comfortable with. My favorite way to use this tool is to add a punch to sunset and cityscape photos!

3. White balance! 

As I mentioned earlier, it can be hard to perfect lighting and tones when taking a quick iPhone snap. This is where post-process white balancing comes in! You can easily edit photos to reduce warmth from an overhead light or bring out cool tones in panoramic shots. (This can be done in two ways, but we are discussing the easy way in this post!) A quick way to white balance is under "WARMTH", the last option in the "TUNE IMAGE" menu. This edit is pretty self-explanatory. To balance out your colors, slide to either increase or decrease the warmth. It's a subtle change, but can make or break a shot. Because I strive for light and bright images, I usually decrease the warmth. It helps my colors stand out. 


And there you have it! In about five minutes you have totally transformed a quick mobile snap to a lively, well-adjusted shot! This is a fast way to associate your brand or account with attention to detail and quality content. Taking the extra time to present work that you're proud of to your audience really makes a difference. They will notice! 

Next time we will dive deeper into editing, so get your Insta-worthy shots ready!