I recently opened my own online business selling handmade, fair-trade, repurposed, and vintage jewelry from around the world.
A little while ago, I was looking at my Instagram page and wishing it had more pizzazz. My photos lacked that special something, and when I looked at other business Instagram pages, I was jealous of their beautiful, brightly lit images perfectly posed. I tried and tried to get my images light and clear, but no matter what I did, I wasn't able to achieve the same look. I just assumed I was going to have to hire a professional to take my pictures for me, which wasn't something that fit into my budget.
Then I saw a free class advertised by Brit + Co for improving your Instagram feed, and I signed up immediately. Viewing that 45-minute online class was the best thing I could have done for my business.
The first thing mentioned was that photo editing was a must. You can't just take a picture and expect it to be perfect (which is when I was like, "Wait, what? You can't?!"). The presenter mentioned a free app that she used to make her images really pop called A Color Story. I figured it was just one of those promo things, so I didn't really take it seriously until I saw what it did to her images. Of course, she was an expert photographer and took really good images, but when she edited her pictures with that app, it took them to a whole new level!
A Color Story is a free app that is pretty much Photoshop on your phone. You can pay for overlay effects if you want, but you get all the editing tools in the free version. I found some things worked for me and others didn't, but it definitely made my pictures a thousand times better.
My favorite part of the app is the curves feature. This has been the holy grail for my pictures. If you have something on a white background and it looks dark, playing around with the curves is the perfect way to brighten it up. Adjusting the curves in the image will help you achieve that perfect white, super-bright background look.
I also found that adjusting the Brightness, Clarity, and Vibrance settings can give my picture a different, more professional look. It's all about playing around with the settings and seeing what works and what doesn't.
You can see by the before and after image that it definitely made my images a lot better. I'm still learning how to make every image look good, but it's a fun process to play around and create professional-looking images with nothing more than a free app. It usually doesn't take me more than a minute to get an image good enough for Instagram!
I did notice a bump in my engagement after I started posting photos edited with A Color Story on my Instagram page. More people were liking my photos, and I have started to see more people following my account. Having a professional-looking Instagram page gives visitors the confidence that you know what you are doing! Editing doesn't take very long, and it will make your pictures and business look like the professional you are.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.