Instagram tips: A beginner’s guide to VSCO

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

I love VSCO, and always recommend their smartphone app to mentoring clients and Instagram friends who want to develop an atmospheric & moody style.
I’ve been using it for so long that it’s easy to forget how baffling I once found it; definitely on a par with Snapchat for strange navigation and counterintuitive interfaces. Swipe into the wrong section and you can be lost for weeks; I swear I once saw the skeleton of a user who got stuck in ‘journal’ for life 😉.

It’s worth persevering, though; I genuinely don’t think anything else comes close for this style of editing, and once you’ve found your feet you won’t look back.

So here, as promised, is a very basic tutorial for people just trying to find their feet. I’m not revealing any great surprises – if you’re hoping to glean some more advanced tips and suggestions, you’ll have to wait for another video. This is just my ordinary, simple, two-minute editing process, but I hope it’s vaguely useful for some!

The post on white balance I reference is here, and you can see all my instagram tips here.

As an aside – how scary is it putting your voice on the internet!? On the steep learning curve of making this tutorial, I learned that a) I say ‘um’ way too much, b) I’m someone who probably needs a script and, c) working in cafes does not lend itself to recording emergency extra bits of audience. Live and learn, onwards and upwards! I hope it’s watchable, at any rate.

How did you get on with VSCO when you first tried? Is there anything Instagram-related you’d like me to cover in a future video?

  • I love VSCO, it’s so easy to use and the filters are so lovely. At the moment I’m still trying to find my Instagram style, I’m finding it difficult to keep similar colours throughout so that all my photos work together. I’ve enjoyed reading your Instagram tips! Finding them very useful 🙂
    Kayleigh | anenthusiasmfor.blogspot.co.uk

    • It *is* easy to use, isn’t it? Such a shame that people get scared away initially and don’t always get to that point.
      I’m working on a post about finding your visual style, so hopefully you’ll find that useful. It’s takes a while, I think! Lots of trial and error 🙂

  • Kate X Design

    Thank you for this! I’ll try editing before applying the filter and seeing how that might make a difference to my pictures. It’s also reassuring to know that talented people like you just stick with the basic crop/temperature/exposure. 🙂 Looking forward to your style/curation post. I’m hopeless at that. One glowing sunset and everything is out of whack! 🙂

  • Kathryn

    Thanks for this! I am one of those people who downloaded VSCO, tried it out and couldn’t get on with it. This has really helped!

  • Chiara Diack

    Thank you! I’ve had VSCO for a while, now I can get on and use it 🙂

  • Kate

    Thank you, it’s starting to fall into place now. Just out of interest do you ever use the camera to shoot with?

  • Elizabeth Dalton

    Watching this again tonight, really great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • jack

    Um, LOVED this. I’m guilty of “All images” being opened 24/7 but you’ve converted me to the Edited tab indefinitely. I struggle with matching tones for my Instagram feed because I’ve never had a way to accurately compare all of my images as a gallery. Or never thought to do that. *oof* Great post!

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  • Interesting to watch your process! I always do basic edits in another app first (usually Snapseed or PS Express) as I find they have greater control over exposure etc. I then import to VSCO and apply a filter, usually just for a bit of toning/highlight tweaks and then I tweak the settings. Planning to do a blog post soon on the apps I use. I find it fascinating how differently everyone approaches it – but that’s a good thing I think as it reflects our different styles. xx

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