Blogging / photography / Technology


This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Last Updated on 29th January 2018 by Sophie Nadeau

Since starting to take photos just under a year ago, photography has easily become one of my biggest passions. You won’t find me going anywhere without a fully charged camera (even if that just means my phone)! Here’s a quick guide on how to edit Instagram photos (all of the apps below are free to downloads- however, some do have paid add-ons):

If you follow me on Instagram (@sophieannenadeau – lots and lots of Paris inspired pictures), then you’ll probably have seen that I edit nearly every single one of my photos. However, I don’t really have time to spend hours editing each one on Lightroom and Photoshop on my computer so I do 99% of my editing on my phone itself. In fact, I only ever use three apps to edit my photos!

1/ Snapseed

I have only recently started using Snapseed after being recommended to do so by countless friends. Although it has taken a little bit of getting used to, it is easily now my fave photo-editing app due to its versatility.

The best feature: hands down, the best feature on snapseed is the selection tool where you can select a small circle of the image to edit. For example, if you want to darken the sky to bring out the clouds but keep the rest of the image the same, you need only put the little easy to move button exactly where you want the sky lightened.

Fave filter: Tonal Contrast

how to edit instagram photosDSC01358-01

2/ Fotor

Fotor has been my go-to photo editing app for some time. It’s easy to use and you can also add text to your images as well as make photo-collages (perfect for Pinterest (@solosophieblog))!!

Best feature: Colour balance options. Not only can you change the red, green and blue, but there is also a handy little colour curve for more precise editing.

Fave filter: Gloaming

how to edit instagram photos Fotor_146282582416430

3/ Instagram Itself!

Of all the ways on how to edit Instagram photos with free apps, using Instagram itself is definitely the easiest! The tools for in-app editing in Instagram itself are great- particularly if you’re in a rush or don’t have too many things on the original photo to correct. In fact, for the longest time, I was only editing my photos here. The filters are pretty neat too; if you double tap on them, then you can reduce their intensity. I like using filters at 20% and under in order to preserve the original image’s ‘look’.

Best feature: Lux- My favourite little button on the in-app editing software is the little sun in the middle (the sun is in the middle of the top of the screen following the May 2016 update).

Fave filter: Aden

how to edit instagram photos DSC01334-01

What do you use to edit your images? Let me know in the comments below!

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • dani
    20th June 2018 at 11:42 am

    i have been in your blog for few days now and launched mine today. =) i wanted to ask which apps are the easiest to use in photo editing and i found this article very useful. thank you and keep it up! =)

  • Herve humbert
    27th April 2018 at 11:22 pm

    This is great. Working spare time on a blog from South of France and I came across your post about La Ciotat. I found your photos stunning so thanks for the tips on apps for photos. It was a missing piece in my blogging jigsaw 🙂

  • Georgia Brooks
    20th February 2018 at 10:03 am

    In my humble opinion, Instagram has repeatedly proved to be a great tool for reaching out to users. Their platform provides more attention to ads than just about any other social networking app, and users use the app throughout the day. Thanks so much for sharing such a valuable post.

  • Stefanie
    4th February 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Hey, really enjoyed going through this blog post! Really useful advice and just downloaded Fotor, hehe ! 🙂

  • Mike
    9th January 2018 at 4:19 am

    Hi Sophie. I’ve really enjoyed looking at your blog and especially your photographs, I just referenced your page on Venford Falls to figure out how to get there on an upcoming trip to the UK and Dartmoor National Park. Two things I notice about your pictures, 1) You’re developing a great ‘eye’, your compositions and framing is really excellent for someone newer to photography, your pictures are only going to get more dynamic and better as you grow as a photographer.

    2) I hope you take this knowing that it comes from trying to help you because I see so much potential… unfortunately what lacks in consistency is the exposure, blown highlights, blocked shadows, dynamic ranges are too large, you’re using a good quality camera so I can tell it’s not the camera, it’s the post processing. While you might enjoy doing your post processing on a cell phone app, I implore you to consider changing and start doing your post processing on a laptop as soon as possible. Your beautiful pictures are suffering from the typical editing problems of doing so on a tiny super high contrast screen that cell phones provide and your pictures deserve better, you’re capturing your images at a high level by your great eye and a quality camera, but the post is setting all of that back.

    I hope you continue to grow as a photographer you are doing so well already, but to really put your images at the level of everything else you are doing, I hope you soon make the transition to a better post production technique, I think if you start viewing your before and afters on a bigger computer screen you are going to be blown away at the differences and be super pleased with your photography and grow even more. Your pictures are really good, better post production will give them the final quality they deserve, preserving the dynamic range and reducing all the blown highlights and balances.


  • Roger Twose
    14th August 2017 at 7:09 am

    Thank you for this post. I am always on the look-out for the perfect photo editing app that I can use right before sharing some photos on Instagram. I really like a beautiful mess and think that the timer app will come in handy as well. Great tips.

  • Sabrina
    9th June 2016 at 1:22 pm

    The filter with Fotor looks so good !!

  • Darina
    16th May 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I use Fotor very often! Easy and good quality!

  • Emily
    16th May 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Love using Instagram as my final edit. Sometimes people can’t believe it, but I use Instagram all the time. I like to put a filter on my photo from another app, and then I do all my sharpening and lighting in Insta :). Great post! Always curious to see what other people use and their process!



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.