How to edit your Instagram photos like a pro – part two

We interviewed two more Vamp creators for their editing tips and how to create a cinemagraph

We just know you’ve been hanging out for part two of how to edit your Instagram photos like a pro.


Last week, we interviewed @anniesbucketlist and @gabdetails to discover their editing tips, what inspires them and how they’re using innovative photoshopping techniques to keep their feeds looking exciting during lockdown.

New week means, new influencer tips. We asked Irish Vamp creator @explore_create_capture for his best tips for newbie photographers and editors and how he taught himself. We also spoke to @lifestylesydney from Australia for her pro advice on how to create cinemagraphs.



“How I created my ‘image of an image’ illusion”


I do all my edits on my phone using the Lightroom and Photoshop apps. I use Photoshop to fix any blemishes or make slight alterations, before transferring to Lightroom. For this Huawei campaign image, I took a picture on my phone of my model holding a camera. I then went to my camera roll and had that image displayed on my screen. Balancing the phone on one finger – with the image still displayed on screen and the model holding the camera behind it – I took another image using my camera. This creates the illusion of ‘an image of an image’.

When editing, added motion blur to draw the eye in and create a sense of action. Then I used Lightroom to darken the edges using the gradient filter and lowering the exposure around the subject. I desaturated most colours, apart from the yellow, to make that colour more prominent. Finally, I felt like the models face was drawing too much attention away from the shot, so I lowered the exposure over his face, making him anonymous.


“I realised my style generic and wasn’t standing out.”


I started my career about two years ago. I used to make mini GoPro videos on holidays or at concerts, which is when I first created my Instagram page. While I grew my audience, my style of photography was very generic and wasn’t standing out. So last September, I started to teach myself how to edit properly. I have never taken a photography course. I learnt through YouTube tutorials and my own experience. My best piece of advice for newcomers is experience is your best ally! The more practice you get, the more you’ll improve. If you put yourself out of your comfort zone and try different styles, you will boost your skills and confidence. A great way to practice is to try recreate a photo someone else has taken, but put your own creative spin on it. 


“I like to photograph everyday items in ways people have never seen them before” 


I generally think of all my image concepts myself. I often find a common daily item, and attempt to photograph it in a way that no one has seen before. Whether it be shot in a different angle, in action or in different lighting. I do sometimes gain inspiration from others, but I’ll always try make my image unique to me. Whenever I think of an idea, I always write it down so I don’t forget it. This has saved me too many times! 


“During lockdown, I suggest trying out different photoshopping techniques that you’ve never used before”


Editing really does help my content stay fresh, especially during lockdown. Since we can’t go out and shoot lovely landscapes or cities, it’s difficult to create an appealing image. A general ‘at-home photo’ will simply just look like an ‘at-home photo’. However, if you can edit properly, you’ll make the image seem so sharp that it could have been taken anywhere. You can also go back on old shots and possibly find some gems to re-edit. I’ve also tried out different photoshopping techniques, such as double exposure or trippy edits, like this image.



“I love the challenge you get from creating cinemagraphs”


I love the surprise element cinemagraph’s create, as well as the challenge behind making them. My inspiration for the Huawei campaign came to me while reading the brief. It mentioned that we should visualise a setup that is placed around the home, due to the current global situation. I instantly felt that this was the right time for a cinemagraph revival. I went through possible scenes at home and remembered that I always wanted to create a moving book. I’ve never created a double movement before, so that was a little challenging, especially having the phone rotating.


“All I needed to get that phone to spin was some tape and a piece of string” 


To create the spinning phone, I taped a plastic string to the phone screen and twisted it right before hitting record to get its movement. It was much easier to create the turning pages of the book. It was important that the book that was big enough so that the pages would flick through at a good speed.


When recording the scene, I was in the position as I am in the final image. I let the pages flow through my fingers and tried to stay as still as possible. This makes the retouching process much easier. I worked on the transition of the pages and the phone to get that ‘endless loop’ feel in Photoshop


“Plan out your cinemagraph scenario first before creating it”


I’ve created cinemagraphs in Photoshop, but there are different apps like Flixel, which can make the process easier. You just need a camera, tripod and an editing program. Before getting started it’s super important to plan the whole scenario out. Which actions do you want to create? Which element should be moving? And does the background work for it? Think about the looping options – does a bounce loop or repeat loop work best? It’s always good to record multiple options before committing to one. In the post production, the aim is to make the loop look as seamless as possible. This can be a bit time consuming, but comes with practice.

If you missed part one of how to edit your Instagram photos like a pro, catch up below.


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