Photo Fun & Filters

Take it from  Portlandia-- sometimes you just have to "Put a bird on it!!!!" 

Take it from Portlandia--sometimes you just have to "Put a bird on it!!!!" 

For photos, you've gotta get those filters on! 

Now, before you start raising protests that we live in a world too much shrouded by over-saturation and fake facades, I'm not propounding being duplicitous. The fact is taking the time to present oneself and one's work in an attractive manner is just good business.

Does this mean you shouldn't celebrate things in their natural state? No, of course not. By all means, celebrate your natural best with #nofilter. BUT, please do brighten that indoor photo, add a bit of contrast, and tone that yellow hue down. Seriously. 

Now, I am definitely not a professional photographer and all of my Instagram photos are shot with my iPhone 6+. This being said, what's super cool is that there are so many awesome, intuitive apps out there to help novices like me. You may already use some of these, but if not, I totally recommend trying these out--most are very inexpensive and worth every penny! For each, click through for the app website, reviews, and further info. 

A Color Story - I may as well start with my go-to these days. For anyone photoing colorful images or looking for fun ways to add flair, this app is for you. With a variety of filters and light flair options, you can use them as they are or fine-tune them to fit your photos for a personalized look. You can purchase individual filter packs or, conveniently, package deals. The latest addition to the app is photographer Jeff Mindell's amazing Skies Over pack--these are the all time for skies, people. Want a rainbow sky? Done. It's called "Miami." Here's my favorite edit from last week, using "Positano," from the Skies Over Pack:  

Darkroom - This is the easiest app I've found for removing tones you don't want in your photo--those pesky yellows & oranges resultant from room lighting, for example. Just reduce the saturation of any troublesome hue and you'll be surprised at the difference. I will say that when it comes to indoor lighting, if the lighting isn't right, wait for a brighter day! As I'm sure you've witnessed, there is definitely such a thing as over-editing a photo--not cute. For crisp, bright, clear photos, wait for daylight. Use Darkroom as a help though for minute edits--plus it's free! 

Whitagram - Wanting a way to add clean borders to your photos, to break things up a little in your IG feed? It's a purely aesthetic choice, but I am so glad I started doing this a few months ago because my feed had started feeling claustrophobic. Now, I'm breathing easier! This app is an easy way to add borders any width desired--you can also frame full-sized photos, showing the entire image. This does size down your photos in IG, so play with it and see what looks best to you. You can also add text to photos with this app, handy for creating ads or adding quotes atop your images. 

VSCO - The classic photo app! I use VSCO dominantly for my outdoor, city shots--the vast array of filters gives you lots to choose from. You can also see your photos in gallery-style, helpful for IG post planning. VSCO has it's own photo community too, so there's the opportunity for interaction on that platform.  

Of course, last but not least, don't neglect the brilliant & basic toos "Brighten" & "Contrast"--these can make a world of difference when used just enough. 

So there you have it--tips from a learning novice, happy to share! I'm continuing to glean from the many great resources and tutorials online, and I encourage you to do some digging too. No doubt you have some tricks up your sleeves already--feel free to comment and share below. I love learning new techniques with a creative community. 

Happy photoing, editing, and art-ing this week! 

Portlandia gif from

© 2017, Anika Zebron Design