If I'd started blogging in, say, 2014 then yeah, sure - I would have paid more attention to the quality of the photos I was posting and focused on "audience engagement" (shudder, shudder, shudder).
But I started blogging in 2010. And back then, my blog was read by approximately four people: my mom, my mom's friend, my mother-in-law, and me. So I didn't really pay that much attention to my images. Instagram was nowhere what it is today (i.e. all stylized posts and hashtags) and frankly, I didn't really know how to make my blog and photos look more glossy and polished.
Bloggers can be so reticent about sharing their knowledge. On one hand, I kind of get it: it's like, you love your mama's secret bolognese sauce so much, you don't want anyone else to know that a sprinkle of nutmeg at the very end is what gives it that gorgeous umami flavor (I totally made that up, btw. Has anyone tried nutmeg in spaghetti bolognese? Yes? No? What is umami, exactly?).
But I'm terrible at keeping secrets, so here are the two photo editing apps I use on a daily basis ...
Although I have Photoshop at home, I edit most of my photos on-the-go, which means that I depend on apps. I watched a YouTube video the other day of a fashion blogger who edits a single photo in four different apps before posting it to Instagram (I'm sure there are people out there who use more).
I have neither the time nor the patience. Sometimes, I edit a photo so much that my eyes cross and I have to ask John, "Which is better? One? Or ... [swipes to second version] two? One? Or ... two?" After a long pause he eventually offers, "They look exactly the same". Helpful.
So, for now, I mostly use two: VSCOCam and Snapseed.
I really like the HB1 and HB2 filters in VSCOCam for flatlays and food. I used to use the filter on "full strength", but now I prefer a more subtle look as these filters can sometimes zap the saturation out of an image.
I also tend to use the HB1 and HB2 filters for my #fwis photos on Instagram:
For landscapes and architecture when I'm out and about in London, I like to use Snapseed, which is Google's photo-editing app. I feel like I can really "fine-tune" my photos using the tools in this app (there are so many terrific tutorials online and on YouTube), plus some of the filters can make a photo look really sharp.
Unlike other Instagrammers and bloggers, I don't have a set filter that I use all the time. This means that my "grid" can be inconsistent, but I prefer using whatever method I think looks best in that moment.
The HDR Scape filter is a little OTT and crazy, but sometimes, I can't resist it!
We recently visited Aqua Shard for breakfast on a grey and gloomy morning. I snuck a quick pic on my way to the bathroom and, while the view was still spectacular, the tonal contrast of the buildings below looked quite flat and ugly. A few swipes later ...
A little more vibrant and softer, right?
Even sans filter, I find the tools in Snapseed really easy to use. It's the best for making photos brighter and lighter without compromising on quality or sharpness.
Do you edit your photos or do you prefer an au naturel look? What are your favorite photo editing apps?
Update: Cherie, in the comments below (follow her on Instagram @delicately - she is so lovely!) just reminded me of Afterlight, which I know is super popular amongst bloggers. I've just downloaded it and love it!