10 Instagram photo editing trends Every Marketer Should Know in 2019

Last Updated on May 22nd, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Instagram photo editing trends

In case your brand is on Instagram, it’s vital to keep up with the newest Instagram photo editing trends.

Instagram users post over 95 million pictures each day and spend an average of 32 minutes scrolling via posts and Stories.

With so much content, users’ tastes evolve quick. And they are always looking for different, fascinating images to hold their attention.

Which means you want to ensure your images do not look stale and dated. When you are still favoring the classic Instagram aesthetic, we are sorry to let you know that your followers are over it.

Right here’s a round-up of what looks fresh on the platform these days, and incorporate it into your content strategy to keep those likes coming.

Check out these 10 Instagram photo editing trends under, and learn how to apply them to your own images.

10 top Instagram photo editing trends

1. The #nofilter edit

Instagram users are beginning to get filter fatigue. The Instagram presets that dominated influencer accounts in the past have worn out their welcome.

As this article in Shape points out, “there’s a fine line between altering and editing.” Altering images to an unrealistic degree sets up users to feel bad about themselves. Their sunset images are never that vibrant!

And when every picture on Instagram is retouched to perfection, the polished images start to lose their allure.

Instead, 2019 Instagram users prefer to see more natural images. In these, people and objects have real texture. They are more fascinating and engaging than airbrushed photos.

You should not abandon all editing to make this trend work for your brand. You could clean up your images by removing blemishes or dirt with an app like TouchRetouch.

Adjusting brightness or contrast will also subtly enhance your photos. Learn more secrets to editing your photos while retaining their natural look.

Retaining a little bit imperfection, like shiny skin or a wrinkled shirt, is vital. Great photos have become so ubiquitous that a “flawed” picture gives refreshing contrast.

2. The digital “film” photo

Continuing the theme of authenticity is the digital “film” picture. That is another Instagram photo editing trends dominating the platform.

When you have wondered whether influencers and brands are actually scanning Polaroids or publishing film photos, the answer might be no.

Instead, they are utilizing apps that create film-like effects for images and videos. These embrace light leaks, vignettes, and blurs.

Possibly the most well-known of those was Huji Cam, which NY Intelligencer called “the trendiest photo app” of 2018. However, there are lots of different options, like RNI FilmsVHS Cam, or Storyluxe. All give your images that dreamy, vintage quality.

Nostalgia is a strong force, and these apps are basically time machines to the late 90s when disposable cameras were king.

However, multitasking apps like Afterlight 2 and VSCO also have lots of tools for giving your images that retro, analog look.


3. The photo-doodle

Yes, we let Ned Flanders name this Instagram photo trends.

In contrast to a few of the other Instagram editing trends on this round-up, this one isn’t subtle or natural at all. Instead, it’s all about including flair to your images.

It is the Instagram equivalent of decorating your textbook covers in high school. These posts embrace brushstrokes, stickers, and text for a playful look.

A popular app for reaching these effects is A Design Kit, which comes with presets and tools for adorning your posts.

Typic is another prevalent app that permits you to create typographic photos.

This trend is fun and youthful. It is well-suited to brands which have a vibrant, energetic aesthetic. When you do not feel like the #noedit vibe is a match for your brand, this trend may be more up your alley.

4. The vertical photo

Many things have changed on Instagram since it was released method again in 2010. (Do you all of the sudden really feel historical?? Me too!)

For a very long time, square images were the only option. Even after the platform started permitting different dimensions, square images reigned supreme. Posting any vertical images was considered an amateur move. However, that is lastly changing!

Vertical images are rising in popularity, as more and more people access the web on mobile. In 2019, three-quarters of all web site visitors will come from cellular units.

Instagram has all the time been optimized for cellular. However, this Instagram photo trends is rising there as well, with more posts that mirror the dimensions of a user’s phone screen.

Vertical images give your photos more impact, by filling the screen and eliminating distractions. Additionally, they provide you with new chances to play with composition and framing to make amazing images.

Before posting, ensure that the square version of your picture that appears on your account grid still looks good! Even in a full-length picture, the center of the picture needs to be compelling and not awkwardly cropped.

5. The collage picture carousel

Carousel photos have been around on Instagram for a couple of years now. However, it’s only recently that creative use of the format has taken off.

Increasingly, influencers and brands are published carousels with a collage-like format. They look like scrapbook images, inviting you to scroll and see what is just out of view.

SCRL is an app designed for creating carousel layouts. It permits you to design a seamless panorama for Instagram, making it good for lookbooks or visual storytelling.


6. The uncurated candid photo

A clear subject framed by loads of white space has long been an unbeatable Instagram formula. And for good cause: it’s refreshing, clean and pleasing to the eyes.

But inevitably, users need something new and fascinating. Minimalism is nice for your sock drawer (ask Marie Kondo), however, not so much for your feed.

As a substitute, Instagram users are responding more to informal, candid photos. And when you are tired of arranging every element of your images, that will come as a relief to you!

This pattern is obvious in journey and portrait pictures too. Images with motion within the foreground and the background, in addition to multiple subjects, look more fascinating and fresh.


The purpose is to take a photograph that does not seem like it might be endlessly reproduced. Instead, you wish to seize one thing true and particular.

It may seem like that is simple to achieve, however, there is a skill to it. You may have to take lots of images before you discover one that works.

7. The muted color palette

When you have been dialing up the saturation and contrast on your photos, it’s time to change gears! Soft, muted tones are appealing to Instagram users in 2019.

Think white, warm beiges, and subdued colors. Just like the resurgence of film-like images, this palette has an appealing vintage look while staying clean and polished.


This color pattern is especially related for fashion and beauty brands, as it mirrors the runway trends for 2019.

The feed for vintage shop Hey Jude is another example:

Hey Jude instagram profile

When taken together, images in this muted palette have a calm, relaxing vibe. It is a soothing break for your overstimulated eyes.

When you like the softness of faux-film images, however, you want to keep your images sharp and polished, this pattern may work for you.

8. The real food photo

That is the edible counterpoint to the no-edit portrait picture. When you have been on Instagram for a while, you have probably seen enough Pinterest-worthy pastries and artfully stacked pancakes for one lifetime.

Now, users are hungry for real food images. They might not be as pretty, however, they do look like they are actually made to be eaten. In some cases, they already are! In 2019, you could do away with the rule that “the camera eats first.”

Of course, it’s still vital to think about the tenets of good photography. Focus, lighting and framing your subject will still enhance your picture.

For restaurant accounts and food influencers who want to share real, accessible content, this pattern is a refreshing change.

9. Black-and-white photos

In case your brand is refined and sleek, you might worry about the 2019 Instagram photo editing trends for grainy, casual photos are not a good fit.

Do not worry: there’s another trend that may work for you. Black-and-white photos look better than ever on Instagram in 2019. They provide an editorial, polished look that is clean and minimal.

These images feel modern and vintage at the same time. Similar to the sexy 1990s Calvin Klein adverts I used to cut out of magazines (and then hide from my parents).

Want to experiment with this trend? Attempt an app like Black or Camera Noir. These emulate the look of black-and-white film images.

10. High-flash photo

As this article demonstrates, trends are cyclical.

All of them eventually come back: it’s true of flared jeans, Backstreet Boys tours, and high-flash images.

These three things were all popular in the 1990s, and the celebs have aligned for them once again. In fact, for some brands (like American Apparel) the high-flash look has never gone away.


Like lots of the other trends on this list, it is a little bit retro. However, not in a dreamy, hazy method. These images are sharp, saturated and intense.

The flash could be unforgiving, however, with the right subject they provide crisp, vivid photos.

This type of pictures is cinematic but not polished. It still feels authentic and real, like an image captured on a disposable camera, but stylish.

To achieve this effect with a smartphone, invest in an external flash unit and sync it to your iPhone camera with a device like Tric. This will provide you with more control and quality than just utilizing the built-in flash on your iPhone.

Or use a real DSLR and add your photos to Instagram from there.

Ready to experiment with these Instagram editing trends? Social media will constantly evolve, and your brand needs to evolve with it. At least you could have fun with your images as you do!

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