How I Edit Blog Photos On My Phone in 3 Easy Steps




Most bloggers are constantly looking to up their photography game, whether to accompany a sassy new post or for the ‘gram. Whilst fundamentally a lot of it comes down to how well you can actually take a photo in the first place, editing can not only help to create a sense of cohesion and branding but also hide a multitude of sins (e.g. mega creased bed sheets, toast crumbs and yellow lighting).

Although I do use Lightroom for most of my photography, sometimes I want to make a quick edit when I’m on the go and in fact, I have now actually tailored my Lightroom presets to my phone editing, rather than the other way round!







The first thing I do is I open the edit option in my photos app – if you’re not an iPhone user then..well…sorry. I’m sure there’s an Android equivalent – then I make 3 simple adjustments.



Nothing, I repeat, nothing irks me more than a wonky photo. You’ve got a beautiful image and then BAM oh look there’s a doorway casually chilling at a 45 degree angle. The straighten tool is a life saver, use the guide lines and make sure the horizon line is straight. If your image doesn’t have a horizon, like a flat lay, look for something that you intended to be straight such as the edge of a book. Not only does it look a million times more professional, you won’t risk making your followers seasick either.





This tool is your new BFF. It will lift and brighten your photos without blowing them out like getting too happy with the exposure tool will (hi Voldemort nose). I judge how far I push it based on the picture but generally I aim for somewhere between 0.50 and 0.70 – sometimes I’ve been known to go the whole hog and whack it up to .100. Wild!





Be careful with the brightness tool, it’s great for giving your images a boost but misused and it will make it look like your having your brunch amidst that weird heaven/cloud scene with Harry and Dumbledore in the Deathly Hallows. I normally go somewhere between 0.15-0.20 and often reduce it again at a later stage. If the image needs it, bring the contrast up slightly too to make sure it’s still got some depth.





I’ve got a real love/hate with Facetune. For actually using ON a face or body I’d say it’s a big no-no; not only does it look a lil bit ridic, it’s also akin to photoshopping yourself and that makes me feel a bit uncomfortably. That being said, there are a couple of tools that are really handy for blog photos…



This tool is the main reason I ever open the app. It’s perfect if your white walls are actually a bit yellowed or your crisp white sheets are verging on the grey side after many a wash and many a spilt cuppa. What I like is that you can actually see the colour whitening as you slide your finger across the image so you can ensure that you’re not verging too close to ‘Simon Cowell’s Teeth’ on the whiteness scale.




Didn’t iron your sheets (nobody has time for that)? Big fat crease right down the middle of your top, making it look like you have three boobs? No problemo. Use the smooth tool to gentle blur out creases! Again, I’d use this sparingly or your picture will just look a bit strange.


The detail tool is really great for picking out accents in an image, such as a metallic piece of jewellery. A little swipe can make something shine a little brighter or look a little crisper.




Which VSCO filter you use is entirely up to you, I’ve experimented with a few and finally settled on one that I think suits me best. If you’re after a real sense of continuity then choose one that works for you and stick with it as it will create a sense of cohesion across your imagery. Once you’ve chosen your filter, use the adjustment tools as you see fit. I follow the below pattern, but am always mindful of the individual requirements of the image:




I set my filter to somewhere between +6 and +8 depending on the image.


I tend to reduce the exposure by 0.5-1.0 to counter balance the brightening I did previously.


I increase the clarity by 0.02-0.04.


I don’t have a set rule for saturation. If the colours are looking a bit garish I’ll reduce it, equally if my picture is looking slightly washed out then I increase it a little!


I usually take the temperature down between 0.04-1.0 depending on the white balance. The yellow an image, the more I bring the temp down and if I’ve increased the saturation I may bring it down a bit further to counter this.


I tint all my images +1.0. There’s no rhyme or reason, I just like the soft glow it gives!





TA-DAH! I hope that’s somewhat helpful. Having read a lot of these posts myself I wanted to show you clearly what I do but also make sure that you have the confidence to do your images in your way. Instagram would be a VERY boring place if we all had perfectly white C1 feeds so find the style that you personally love the most and own it! Here are some more examples of iPhone only edits:




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  1. September 5, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Yasssssssssssszzzzzz. Such wizardry. Such a helpful post, thank you! Although I’m slightly depressed as my iphone doesn’t seem to have the brilliance tool on it. (Damn you 5S!) Can’t wait to steal your tips, especially when I actually get round to upgrading my phone haha xxx

    • Beth Sandland
      September 6, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Ahhh babe! That’s almost retro now 😉😉 xx

    • Beth Sandland
      September 6, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Thanks Catherine! I only discovered it recently and it’s suchhhhh a babe!!!

  2. September 6, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Great post beth, I’ve never used iPhone’s inbuilt editing maybe I should try! I’ve given up on VSCO a little cause I basically gave up on the whole theme thing so I usually use snapseed, but might give Facetune a try! xxx

    • Beth Sandland
      September 6, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      I used Snapseed for a bit but I found it overly fiddly and I just wanted something quick and simple! Totally get you though, I think themes are restrictive. I only recently discovered the built in tools on the iPhone and it really helps for a little boost! Xx

  3. September 8, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I LOVED this! I’m a rookie to photoshop and all those confusing and technical things. But this explained it so perfectly! Your before and after pictures show you have some real talent! I would never think the before pic could turn into that!

    Just found your blog via Twitter – I love it!

    • Beth Sandland
      September 12, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Kara! So glad it was helpful!

  4. September 12, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I love all your photos beth thanks so much for this post babe

  5. October 20, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    Ahh this blog post is a life-saver, it has helped me so much. I always struggle to make my photos look bright without looking too fake so seeing how you have managed it was so helpful and the edited photos look amazing!

  6. December 14, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    This post is life changing ahahah Thank you!! Literally thank you

  7. December 29, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    Hey! I love the style of your images on instagram so appreciated you spilling the secrets on your blog. I have dabbled with VSCO but I find when I upload, then look at my feed as a whole the images editted on VSCO appear slightly blurred and not as clear as they are when looked at individually? I’d be so grateful if you have any insight on this? Thanks so much!!

    • Beth Sandland
      December 31, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      Hmm, I don’t have a very helpful answer I’m afraid other than that IG (and FB etc etc) often reduce image quality, especially where they were taken on a decent camera. Xx

  8. December 30, 2017 / 5:04 am

    Thank you for this post. It’s very easy to follow all your advices . And btw I love your Instagram and now your blog. I’m so happy that Lydia Millen recommend you on one of her stories.

  9. March 1, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    Always great to see the bts editing tips. Loved reading this since your insta feed is pretty amazing 👌✌️ Thx!

    • Beth Sandland
      March 1, 2018 / 5:15 pm

      Thank you!

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