If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I edit my photos, I'd drop out of college and use that money to travel the world.

Actually, I'd probably just stay in school and be able to afford it, but I digress.


People assume I hate the question, but I don't! The only thing I dislike is not being able to answer it in full. Like yes, I could tell you what filter I use, but that only scratches the surface of what editing entails for me personally. 


The reason I enjoy editing is a.) it's oddly therapeutic (everyone needs therapy, and this is free, so give it a shot.) and b.) it's what sets your work apart. Today, it's easy to take a great photo. You don't need an expensive camera and studio lighting. You just need an iPhone and're a photographer? Maybe. I like to think that it's editing and post-processing that sets people apart. Editing is how you take a photo of what something is and change it into how YOU see it. It's your personal touch on a view or a sight that people have seen before.

That's why editing is important. Anyone can take a great photo.

But it takes work to know what to do with it.


One final note: every photo is different. This isn't a "one size fits all" situation. And that's half the fun of it anyway. It's like a puzzle you'll never fully be able to figure out. My editing style shifts with seasons, colors, moods, if he's texted me back or not, and so on. My goal is to never feel confined to stick with one specific style or look. While some degree of cohesion is important, creativity rarely flourishes in comfort zones. 



I take all my photos on the camera app. I know you can snap photos within other editing apps, but honestly, that's a pain. After taking photos, I quickly scroll through and favorite the ones I'm most excited about. Sometimes I find that I am especially picky during the initial camera roll assessment. A couple days later I'll go through the photos again, lower my standards and expectations a bit, and favorite a few more that didn't pass the first round of inspection.


Next, I import the favorited photos to VSCO. I began using VSCO before anyone really knew about it or even how to pronounce it. Although I've tried other apps here and there, nothing truly compares. I'm too invested, both emotionally and financally, in the app to change my ways now.

The next step is to apply a filter. The filter I choose changes a lot. I'm not married to any particular one, but I am in a pretty committed relationship with A6 (as is every other millennial) so if I had to recommend one, that would be it. 

(Click on each image above to see which filter I used!)


I've never been one to follow recipes well and editing is kind of the same. I do different things here and there, and as a result, nothing turns out quite the same. Generally speaking though, I always increase exposure and contrast slightly. I am pretty generous with the sharpening (think 4.3 or higher) and the same goes for tint as well. Some days grain gets the better of me, and I increase that by 2 or 3. And finally, sometimes a dash of fade is the finishing touch to the photo. 


And that's it! I mean, that's a lot. And there's more too. So that's not really it at all actually - but it's a start. There are other things I do when I'm feeling especially extra (and generally avoiding homework at all costs) but as far as basic editing goes - this is how I do it.

Since giving editing tips is no longer going to pay the bills, I'll be accepting donations to help pay for college, for those of you curious (or worried). Gofundme Link in bio ;))))

Karissa NickishComment