How I Edit My Instagram Pictures

     As weird as it sounds, I love editing pictures.  I’ve had the VSCO app since it was called “VSCOcam” back in 2014 and I’ve loved it ever since!  Today I’m sharing how I edit my Instagram pictures for my account that corresponds with this blog, @apocketfuloffaith.  I’ve always loved watching “How I Edit My Instagram Pictures” YouTube videos so I thought this might be fun!  I’m by no means a pro, but I really like the way I’ve been editing my pictures lately!  Keep in mind, these steps vary from photo to photo, but this is typically about what I do.  Enjoy!

     After I take and upload the photo from my camera (I use a Canon EOS Rebel T6), I open my photography/editing folder on my iPhone.  These are all of the apps I ever use on my Instagram photos, but it’s very rare that I use anything aside from VSCO, so that’s all I’m going to show you today!  I really love VSCO and I would definitely recommend downloading it if you don’t have it already, it’s free and it will seriously improve your Instagram game if you use it correctly!


     Once I’ve opened the Instagram app, I choose “Import” and select the photo(s) I’m considering posting.  Today it’s just one, but often I’ll have a few that are pretty similar and I’ll edit all of them before choosing one to post.


     Now that I’ve uploaded the picture to VSCO, you can get a better look at the before.  I don’t think anything about this picture looks really bad, it’s just a little darker and less colorful than I’d like it to be.


     The first thing I do to all of my Instagram pictures is choose the filter C6.  As extra as it sounds, I did buy this filter in a package on VSCO but there are lots of great free options too!  If you’re not willing to put down money on photo editing (I wasn’t until a few months ago), I would highly recommend the filter C1 if you’re looking for a colorful theme, HB1 or HB2 for a more minimalistic, black and white kind of theme, and F2 for a colorful but soft, muted look.  You can actually adjust the intensity of your filter by tapping on it again and playing with the levels, but personally I usually just leave it all the way up.


     The first thing I really mess with after I’ve filtered the picture is exposure.  I usually turn it up just a smidge if the picture’s a little darker like I mentioned this one was, but sometimes when I use flash the pictures appear a little washed out and then I would turn the exposure down to -1 or -2.


     After I’ve brightened up the picture a bit, I like to turn up the contrast just a little too.  This usually makes your photos look like they’re better quality than they actually are, even if it was taken with an iPhone (been there)!  The trick is to turn it up no higher than 2, once you pass 2 the picture’s shadows begin to get too dark and the highlight points become white.


     Next I like to use the straighten tool to make sure all of the lines in my picture are straight.  When a photo is taken without a tripod usually they’re a little crooked, so this is really helpful.  I think having all of the lines in a picture straight (like the line where the road meets the grass in this picture) makes it more aesthetically pleasing to the human eye and therefore more likable if you know what I’m saying!


     After straightening the image I usually turn up the sharpness a bit.  I would recommend never turning your sharpness up past 4, at that point photos tend to become grainy, dark, and honestly kind of ugly.


     Once I’ve sharpened the picture I usually like to turn up the clarity a bit too.  This feature also helps to add more definition to the picture, but the same “don’t go past 4” rule applies here too.


     Here’s a little trick for my fellow pale girls out there.  I discovered the highlights feature a couple years ago while messing around with settings on a picture and it has been a bit of a life changer.  Turning highlights up to about 7 or 8 will decrease the flash or sunlight reflection on your face (or whatever your picture’s subject might be) and make your skin appear a tad darker.  Yes, I just taught you how to make yourself appear realistically tanner in photos, you’re welcome.  This trick is especially helpful for all of those late night, bright flash photos that tend to make your face look completely washed out.


     Next I like to turn up the saturation just a bit to bring a little more color to the photo.  This tool can definitely make or break a photo.  If you use this the right way, it’ll make your pictures seem bright and colorful, but if you use it the wrong way it’ll be super obvious and your skin will literally be orange.  I would recommend never turning the saturation up past 4.


     At this point, I’m pretty much done editing the photo, but I like to go back to the initial exposure setting and turn it up a little more now that there’s so much edit on the picture.  Settings like clarity, sharpness, and contrast are all great, but they often make a picture grow darker, so always check exposure again before saving the photo.


     My camera takes pictures that are classified as “2:3” and “3:2” in VSCO, but Instagram makes you crop it to what VSCO calls “3:4.”  I usually do this cropping in the VSCO app instead of through Instagram because I’d rather crop the photo than zoom into it more, which is all Instagram really allows you to do.


     This is the final product!  I like my photos to look realistically bright and colorful and I think this editing does a nice job of accomplishing that.  Like I mentioned in the intro, this editing varies from photo to photo because the lighting isn’t the same in every single picture I take, but this is a good example of what I usually do!


Thanks for reading!  The outfit shown in the image I edited for you today is featured in this blog post.  Be sure to check it out (linked here) and find all the details on this outfit there!

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Two Year Blogiversary

     Today I’d like to share something sort of special with you all.  While I have prewritten this post to go up while I’m at YoungLife camp, this specific date is so special to me and I want y’all to know that.  May 31st is the anniversary, “blogiversary” if you will, of this blog, and today marks two years.  It’s so crazy to think that it’s been two years since I decided to make my own blog and it’s even crazier to look at how far it, and I, have come.

     Two years ago, I was leaving middle school with a big love for Lilly Pulitzer and monograms (which has since decreased a bit), passion for writing and fashion (that definitely hasn’t changed), some outfit photos taken on my iPhone 5s (boy am I glad that has changed!), and a little fashion Instagram, @apocketfulofprep.  I’d begged and begged my parents to allow me to start a blog and was so thrilled to finally have the permission to do so.  I had no idea what I was getting into and if you told me then that I would become an ambassador for Jadelynn Brooke, own a DSLR camera, have over three thousand Instagram followers, make travel videos, and write a total of 111 blog posts in the next two years, I would’ve thought you had the wrong Faith.  I didn’t realize the commitment that having a successful blog entailed nor did I realize how much fun it had the potential to be.

     As a person I have shifted from large obsessions with material possessions to grasping onto experiences, whether it’s a concert, trip, or night at YoungLife club.  As my relationship with Christ grew, I decided to use this platform as a place to share God’s love every once in a while and I think that’s one of the best decisions I could have made for this blog.  I have begun living a life of adventure with God and I have never been happier.  I hope you can see this through some of what I write, as that has become my one of my greatest missions.

     A year ago, I was almost somewhat ashamed of this blog.  I was teased for my blog all through freshman year of high school which wore down my motivation to make time to write blog posts and ultimately led to me taking a long hiatus.  Before sophomore year began, I decided I wanted to own up to this creative space I had made and make it something to be proud of.  I reread and edited all of my old posts, adjusted and reorganized my site, and began posting regularly again.  I later invested in a blog domain and renamed my site A Pocketful of Faith to expand the blog and leave the name I was teased about for a year.  I came to realize that this is something I love, something worth fighting for.  This blog has illuminated my passion for style, writing, photography, and sharing God’s love.  It has helped me realize what I want to do with my current life and with my future.

     Thank you so so much for your support in this blog, whether you’ve been following me from the very start or you’re reading it for the first time today.  It means the absolute world to me that you take time out of your day to read the things I have to say and look at what I’m wearing.  That’s still so surreal to me.  I appreciate you all more than you could ever know and your comments, direct messages, likes, participation in livestreams, and emails never fail to brighten my day.

I love you all so very much.  See you here tomorrow for a new outfit post!

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My 16 Favorite Blogs of 2016

     If you follow multiple blogs, you’ve probably seen a number of “Links I Love” posts or something of the sort where bloggers share their favorite blogs with their readers.  I’ve always thought about it, but have never gotten around to writing a post like that.  Today, in honor of approaching the end of the year, I thought I would share sixteen of my favorite blogs of 2016.  These blogs are run by young women in whom I see class, kindness, ambition, and style in and I am so happy to share the works of these lovely ladies with you all.  It is my pleasure to have acquaintances with a few of these girls and I have truly loved getting to know them through collaborations, giveaways, and snail mail throughout 2016.  Without further adieu, here are my sixteen favorite blogs of 2016!

  1. A Sunny State of Mind – Meg is a high school blogger I’ve read from and collaborated with and I have to say I just can’t get enough.  She’s so sweet and all of her posts on her blog and Instagram are just plain adorable.  Her style started as “preppy” but has definitely evolved and I love it.
  2. The Road Les Traveled – If you’re looking for a blogger that will give you a serious case of wanderlust, Lesley Murphy will fulfill your need.  Not only does she get to travel 24/7, have the cutest closet, and is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, she was also on season 17 of The Bachelor.  Cool, huh?
  3. Belleoftheball45 – Abigail is one of the bloggers that made me want to start my own blog.  Her style is pretty well described as “classic New England prep” and her blog is so well done!  She’s worked with a ton of companies including Vineyard Vines, KJP, and Jadelynn Brooke.
  4. Lonestar Southern – Kate is a fashion blogger from Texas and her style is seriously my favorite.  She follows trends but always stays modest and classy which I love!  I also follow her on Snapchat and her Southern accent is the cutest.
  5. Classy Girls Wear Pearls – Sarah Vickers, better known as the wife of KJP, has one of the oldest “preppy” blogs and has been an inspiration to each of the newer preppy bloggers in some shape or form.  She’s such a classy woman and her relationship with Kiel is actual goals.
  6. Navy Striped Peonies – Paulina is a high school senior from New England.  Her style is also best described as classic New England prep, much like that of Abigail and Sarah Vickers who are mentioned above.  Paulina began her blog just a few months before I started mine and I’ve always loved reading her posts.  She’s made stickers and sent them out to readers and I was so happy to receive one (little fangirl moment haha)!
  7. The College Prepster – Carly Heitlinger is one of the first bloggers I ever followed and I have loved every post she’s written from the start.  Her super chic, classy Kate Spade-esque style and constant travels into New York City never fails to draw me in.  I also love watching Carly’s vlogs, she has the cutest dogs named Theodore and Hamilton (are those not the cutest dog names you’ve ever heard?).
  8. I Believe in Pink –  Amy is a senior in college at the University of Richmond as well as a life, style, and travel blogger.  Her style is similar to Kate (from Lonestar Southern, mentioned above) in its class and simultaneous trendiness.  Her bright smile and fun style radiates in my Instagram feed and her blog posts are some of my favorites!
  9. Lucky Day – Shelby Revis is a Lilly lover and Disney parks pass holder located in Celebration, Florida.  Her blog posts are typically fashion or Disney related, which are two things I adore!  Her younger sister, Bailey, has an Etsy shop called SailBows (I’m pretty sure Shelby co-owns it) in which she sells “preppy park ears” (the original Lilly Pulitzer mouse ears), which honestly totally describe them both.
  10. Kelly in the City – Kelly Larkin is a preppy Chicago blogger who is often seen in a Lilly Pulitzer shift or a Barbour jacket.  She’s married and this year she had the most beautiful baby girl named Emma!  Emma has already made appearances on her mother’s blog and adds to the love I already had for Kelly’s blog posts.
  11. Preppy NYC – You might recognize this name from a couple collaborative posts I’ve done this year (here and here).  Fiona is a super sweet friend that I’ve made through blogging who lives in New York and travels yearly to Nantucket (I’m so jealous).  She, like a few other bloggers I’ve mentioned, has a classic New England style and I love it!
  12. Live the Prep Life – Brooke is another friend I’ve made through blogging who is located in Texas.  She’s so sweet and her style is what I would describe as Southern prep, consisting of Lilly shorts, Lauren James dresses, and things of that sort.  Her blog reminds me of mine when I first started in summer of 2015 and I love reading her posts!
  13. Daily Dose of Prep – Lucy, who goes to James Madison University in Virginia, is preppy life and style blogger from Richmond, VA.  I love her sense of style and when she is home from college she works at the Lilly store in her local mall (job goals!).  She is also a rep for KJP (the brand owned by Sarah Vickers, listed above, and her husband Kiel), which I think is super cool.
  14. XOXO Allison Nicole – Allison Nicole is a college student at the University of Kansas who runs a lifestyle blog with the occasional fashion post.  What I really love about this blog is how authentic and incredibly herself Allison Nicole seems to be.  Read a few of her posts and you’ll see she seems so fun and spirited!
  15. Preppy Life Texas – This blog is run by three super sweet middle school girls I have met through the Jadelynn Brooke ambassador program; Mackenzie, Gabrielle, and Avery.  Mackenzie and Avery are twins, and Gabrielle completes their best friend group.  Their blog is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to read more of their posts as their blog grows!
  16. Classic Katie – Katie is a preppy blogger from the Richmond area with a super classy style.  It’s not at all rare to see her blog and YouTube channel feature pieces from Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you check out some of these blogs and enjoy them as much as I do!

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