Try These New and Awesome Instagram Filters and Tricks
Social media has inspired creative innovations not only from artists/creatives but also from the regular Jane and John Does. Whether they’re selfies, photos of family and friends, or travel, adventure, or nature photos, and for whatever purpose they may be, applying filters has also become a standard post-photo processing step for most users.
The variety of visual content out there — photos, videos, GIFs, etc. — is practically endless! How can you make your visual content stand out? Especially on Instagram, which is the most popular platform for photo sharing, the competition for attention is intense. With the right filter, great visual composition and an engaging visual concept can still be enhanced to give it an added edge. Instagram has naturally provided its users with wonderful filter options to customize and add a twist to their content’s aesthetics. Let’s take a close look at these awesome Instagram filters and other tips and tricks to boost your posts’ appeal.
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You Can’t Go Wrong with Classic
Everybody on Instagram has, at one or another, used some of these classic Instagram filters:
- X-Pro II
They’re classic for good reason; these filters appeal to everyone’s aesthetics and they’re not boring and not too far out either. They’re just right. The downside of these classic filters, however, is that they’re also too common. When you want your posts to stand out in the crowded Instagram-verse, “just right” just won’t cut it.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of the pleasing aesthetics of classic filters. But you can still add some oomph to your photo with a few simple tricks. One trick you can try is using your phone’s photo editing tools prior to applying a classic Instagram filter.
You can do a quick enhancement with the magic wand, or you can play around with the basic photo elements: brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure, color temperature, etc. When you’re satisfied with your work, apply the final touch with a classic Instagram filter. And, voila! You’ve made a classic look uniquely your own!
Filter Your Stories to Grab Attention
Instagram stories are among the best inventions by the platform. Designed to last for 24 hours, it’s proven to be an effective and engaging way to share stories about one’s day. An Instagram story practically delivers real-time updates to one’s followers (although many users also post stories that are not recent).
Filters for Instagram stories are specifically designed to create artsy charm, encourage fun and silliness, and help you present the best possible version of yourself (or whatever your subject matter is). Look radiant and on fleek, reveal your silly persona, or simply paint a captivating story about your thoughts, feelings, or activities.
You’ll find the Instagram story filters on the lower right-hand corner of the screen represented by a “happy face” emoji when you’re in story creation mode. During special occasions — such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day — special filters are also available for a limited time.
Here’s one tip you should always remember: Story filters work best on selfies when your photo is in full-face front view. Don’t worry about presenting your best angle; the filters will make sure every angle is your best one.
More Creative Filters From Photo Apps
If you’re really serious about image enhancement through filters and are looking for more creative ways to give your posts a unique aesthetic boost, here are some wonderful photo editing apps to help you out.
- Fotor. This popular app offers great photo editing tools, allowing you to alo adjust highlights, pixelation, and radiance, among others, as well as add HDR effects.
- PS Express. This is Photoshop’s mobile version. Its features include filter configuration, color highlights, photo clean-up and enhancement, and black and white editing.
- Snapseed. In addition to basic filter options, the app also offers the ability to retouch white balance, sharpen images, and more.
- Facetune. This app offers great tools for more detailed facial touch-ups. Their enhancement tools include making the eyes bigger, whitening the teeth, softening the image, and many more.
- Lightroom. The mobile version of this sophisticated editing app is just as impressive as the original version for PCs. It offers a lot of adjustment options, as well as various pre-installed profiles that deliver professional-looking finished products.
- VSCO. You’ll enjoy the tons of filter selections and retouching options you can play with when you use this app. It’s among the most widely used photo editing apps out there.
- Color Story. Most of the beautiful filters and effects this app offers can only be used via the paid version. But you can still try out the free ones, which are also remarkably striking.
- Foodie. This app is especially designed for food photography. If you simply love taking photos of your food or you’re a food blogger or company, you’ll find this app extremely useful.
Custom Filters For Brands
Famous brands and big-name celebrities on Instagram are now creating their own custom filters — taking their creativity to a higher level. So far, access to the service which is provided by Spark AR Studio is exclusive to those who can afford it (obviously!). But anybody on Instagram can send the company a request for or an inquiry about custom filters, and they might even consider you for their Beta development phase!
If you follow any of the personalities and brands that have custom filters, you may also get to use these filters. You can have more filter options for your IG stories by following these popular profiles: NBA, Gucci, Adidas Originals, Disney, Kylie Cosmetics, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, BuzzFeed, Vogue, Kylie Jenner, Predator, Liza Koshy, and Maddieziegler.
Creating Harmony Between Your Brand and Your Instagram Filters
When choosing filters for your brand, always keep in mind that consistency and harmony are important. Create a selection of go-to filters that work best with your brand image AND delivers a pleasant aesthetic unity throughout your content.
For example, if your brand is all about beauty and fashion, then filters that are bright, colorful, and/or glittery can be your filters’ unifying theme. For a more professional brand identity, you may go with classic, neutral, or simple filters. When your followers view your content — whether they’re single photos and videos, a carousel, or stories — they should be able to see consistency and identify your brand personality.
Try This Exercise
Here’s a practical exercise you can try to start creating a unique selection of filters that best represents your brand. Consider the following when making your filter selection:
- What do your followers appreciate about your brand? Or what message/concept do you want to relay to them through your content? Is it creativity, motivation, joy, or wellness, for example?
- Choose a sample photo that you might use for your brand. Go through Instagram’s filters as well as through your favorite photo editing apps and try out filters that you feel perfectly translate your brand image.
- Don’t just settle for one set of filters. Create different filter categories for different types of content. For a fashion brand, for example, your filter categories can be: Glamorous, Casual, and Party.
Instagram filters can do more than just correct imperfections and give your photos a glow-up. They can also provide wonderful options to enhance the creative aesthetics of your content so that your message is more clearly delivered and to encourage interaction. Filters can also help you create a unique brand image that stands out among the competition.
The best filters for your brand should represent your identity and promote brand recall and harmony among your content. When you do it right, your followers will immediately think of your brand when they see any image online that uses a similar or the same filter or delivers a similar/the same visual appeal.