how I edit my photos | @beautiefullthings

In the past 18 months, I have been able to grow my Instagram by 10 thousand + followers. While content is extremely important for gaining an audience and reaching people, your visual appeal is extremely important. I get a lot of questions regarding how I edit my photos so I wanted to share some tips with you, and my favorite editing tools. I keep it simple, and typically use my iPhone 6 for most of my photos.

vscoVSCO is hands down my favorite app. I’ve purchased a few different presets which give me the exact look I’m going for. It’s extremely important to create a cohesive theme and brand for your page. I’ve heard a lot of the attacks on Instagram about bloggers whose pictures don’t look like real life. For me, my Instagram feed is a form of art. I work hard to create a cohesive feel. It’s not about making my life look perfect or attracting a ton of followers and likes. Photography is a way I’ve found to express myself, and if others catch on and like it, even better! But it’s not about making my life look perfect, trust me, my life is far from it. It’s a way to capture a moment I love or share something that inspires me.

My second favorite photo editing tool is airbrush. I primarily use this app for the filters, adjusting them for slight alterations. My favorite filters include Rosegold and NYC. When you open the photo in the app, click “filter” and then select a preset that matches your brand. In order to avoid a photo looking overly-filtered and edited, you can scroll your finger up and down to adjust the strength of the filter. I usually reduce these to 2 or 3 instead of the original strength (10). This allows your photos to look clean, crisp, and fairly natural.

I’ve developed a fairly regular routine for editing my photos to cohesively match my
brand. Here’s an example of a step-by-step example of a photo edit using the VSCO and Airbrush apps.The first photo was taken with my iPhone 6 in natural lighting. Typically the best way to do this is to take your photos near a window or natural light source. Experiment with different angles, props, and backgrounds to create the feel you want.


Step one: apply VSCO preset A6 (A5 and A6 are my two favorites) After:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Next, I took the photo into Airbrush and applied the Rosegold filter, reducing it to 2, and the NYC filter, reducing it to 2. Here’s the final photo:


3 steps-2 apps. That’s it. Remember to take your photos in natural light and experiment with different backgrounds and colors. Let your photos be an expression of your own brand and style. I’m not walking you through this to have you do the same thing as me-although you might-but to show you tools to achieve your brand’s look.

In this past year as I’ve personally grown and realized who I am, it’s influenced my social media platforms and network interactions. Don’t try to change your style and who you are to gain approval in the form of likes and followers. Find your niche and share that with the world. The greatest power you have is that no one can do it just like you. You have something unique to offer to the world. Don’t copy other successful bloggers, “Instagrammers”, or photographers, own your own style and become the one others want to copy.

Other photo editing apps that I love include ColorStory and Afterlight.


madyson grace

locked doors & new paths

Is there a door that’s closed in your life?



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It’s locked and bolted and you believe that if you could just break down that door, the other side would hold all that you need.

But it feels impossible to get through that door, and so you’ve tried looking for new ones, but you just don’t see them. You don’t feel Him. You aren’t excited, you feel like your growth is stunted, and every door you think was God’s plan has been shut in your face.

Look for a window.

Because God is working in a different way. What He has next for you might not be anything glittery and gold-

It might not be a beautiful oak door that leads to all you dreams fulfilled and pain erased, perhaps it’s a window that’s hard to climb through. A window that looks different, that feels small and insignificant. But on the other side of that window-perhaps there is a beautiful season of life just waiting to be uncovered.

And all of these small windows–maybe they’re leading us down the road to Him.

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In fact, I know they are.

I am convinced that what we see as small opportunities, God sees as a glorious unfolding of His perfect plan.

Keep walking and look for the windows, even when you’ve been expecting an opened door.

And when you find the windows–those light beams of grace shining through–climb through them. You never know what is waiting on the other side.

p.s. my dress is from Simply Bliss Boutique // I just LOvE this shop & the mission behind their brand. You can find the dress here (wearing size small)