I give good GRAM, Instagram that is. My picture-taking-and-instgram-sharing-ways landed me in the finalist circle of this year’s Black Weblog Awards. And even though I didn’t win, I am still pretty honored and proud of the collection of pretty I’m curating over on the inspired by Beatrice Clay IG feed. Almost daily I get someone tweeting me, FBing me, or emailing me asking me about #vscocam or how I use VSCO CAM to make my photos prettier.
Well today I will let y’all in on my secret and take you through a visual step by step on how I use VSCO CAM. Consider this VSCO CAM for beginners. VSCO CAM is a powerful, beautiful and simple photo editing and sharing app, but I only use a small fraction of its photo editing capabilities. And since I believe simple can really be beautiful, I stick to the VSCO CAM basics in my daily use of the app and will share my 4 step easy peasy process.
Get ready, it’s so simple you might miss it. HA!
How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier
Step 1. Download the VSCO CAM app if you haven’t done so already. VSCO CAM is available for both iOS and Android. YAY!
Step 2. Take a good picture. What makes a good picture? Glad you asked. One that is usually taken in natural sunlight and is strongly composed. Here are some resources on how yo take better photos and yes practice makes perfect and NO you don’t need a fancy camera. I take all my photos both the ones I use on this pretty blog, on Instagram and even the ones I sell for real money on Etsy with my iPhone 5.
Sure I love a good DSLR, film and polaroid camera (pssst I own all three types by the way) but the secret to taking a great photo isn’t having the fanciest hardware or lens, it’s having a fancy eye for light and composition. But I digress cause weren’t we talking about VSCO CAM. LOL. Right, where was I.
Step 3: Now that you have a decently composed picture taken with decent natural sunlight, import it into VSCO CAM (just click on VSCO CAM icon on your phone, navigate to library then click the “+” and import image from your camera photos). I should pause here to say that I always use my IPhone’s camera to take all my pics and then import them into VSCO CAM…force of habit. That and I like to keep my original images just in case I want to edit them differently later. So here are a couple simple unedited BEFORE photos I shot in my sunny kitchen on my white Ikea table (white is always a great background and perfect for making your photos prettier).
Step 4: I literally use the same steps in VSCO CAM every single time. Ready? 1. bump up the exposure, 2. bump up the saturation, 3. sharpen, and 4. add my favorite filter f2. THAT’S ALL FOLKS. See pretty simple.
Some other tips – Jot down the settings as you batch edit your photos. I’ll take 4 photos and edit them in VSCO CAM one by one but because I took them all under the same conditions – a la my sunny kitchen and white Ikea table – I can pretty much apply all the same settings (example for the plants and leaves I applied exposure +2, saturation +2, sharpen +5, and f2 +6). Photos taken under synthetic light or by candlelight can still look quite beautiful with a little editing with VSCO CAM. A few days ago, I attended an intimate evening event and snapped a series of low-light photos. I imported them all into VSCO CAM, bumped the exposure to +3, sharpness to +2 and the T1 filter to +9 and ended up with some magical moody photos made prettier with VSCO CAM.
Also some filters work better with inanimate objects like f2 and other filters work better with people like HB1 and HB2. For my portrait up top, I didn’t make any adjustments to the exposure, saturation or sharpness; I simply the HB1 filter to +12. In short the simplest way to make your photos prettier with VSCO CAM is to practice and experiment.
Keep tabs on the VSCO CAM app menu for updates to the app and for FREE filters. Periodically the fine makers of VSCO CAM share free filters when they roll out new paid filter packs.
Once I finish editing my photos, I save them to my photo folder on my iPhone and later add them to Instagram using the #vscocam. Lately I’ve been curating the content I share on the VSCO CAM Grid, a photo sharing platform similar to Instagram but owned and maintained by VSCO. I share my art work in process on VSCO Grid. Are you on the Grid? Let’s follow each other – I’m “beatriceclay” on VSCO Grid, come find me….K.
Darling, that’s a wrap!
Do you use VSCO CAM? What are you favorite filters? Also if you’re a VSCO CAM or INSTAGRAM newbie and have questions leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them. **HUGS and Hi5s**