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Choosing an Instagram theme for your Instagram feed is, by far, one of the most important decisions you’ll make when first starting out. Your theme and editing style are what brands your page and your Instagram, sets you apart from others, and dictates what type of collaborations you’ll get. It’s important when choosing an Instagram theme, you go with one that speaks to who you are and what you represent. There are a million ways to edit photos and new editing tools and apps come out every day, making it super easy to play around and find a style that works for you. In this article, we’re going to lay out the steps for choosing (and refining) an Instagram theme and sharing our favorite editing apps.

Choosing An Instagram Theme

Step #1:  Choose A Direction

When choosing an Instagram theme, it’s important to first identify your “angle” or an overall direction for your feed. Do you prefer light & bright or moody & low exposure? High contrast or low contrast? A really simple way to figure out what aesthetic you’re going for is to look at your saved images on Instagram. This will show you what your immediately drawn to and what photos/looks you tend to like.

Another way is to check out Pinterest!

Step #2:  Head to Pinterest

Pinterest is the holy grail of editing, and a great place to start when choosing an Instagram theme. Go to the Pinterest search bar and type in “VSCO formulas”. In the unlikely event that you don’t already have VSCO on your phone, download it! Pinterest is filled with tons of people who have created editing “formulas” for this app. There are specific settings and numbers for different themes, so you’ll know exactly how to achieve a certain look. There are sample photos and the formula numbers on all of the cover images, making it super easy to scroll through without having to open any links.

Even if you aren’t into using formulas or being that specific with your style, Pinterest is still a great way to look at different feeds and find common threads to the themes you like best. Are they all bright? Do they have muted or bright colors? This will help guide you when choosing an Instagram theme for your own photos.

(Just a heads up! Not all of these formulas are perfect for every photo. Keep reading for our solution to this editing obstacle!)

Step #3:  Pick Out Your Filters & Stick to Them

This might seem like common knowledge, but the best Instagram feeds get their cohesive look from a consistent editing style. The easiest, and arguably the best, way to achieve this is by using a filter. As mentioned above, VSCO is one of the most popular editing apps out there, and it’s for a good reason. VSCO has a TON of filters and filter packs available for free, and even better ones for purchase. Once you find a set of filters you like best, you can use those interchangeably for the photos that suit them best.

VSCO is not the only option for editing though! Another great editing app is Afterlight. Much like VSCO, Afterlight has a generous number of free filters and tons more available for purchase. This app also has a feature that lets you add grainy/vintage filters over your photo. We know a number of bloggers who exclusively use this set of grain filters, called “Dusty,” to edit their photos with no other editing aside from color correcting. Very worth checking out.

Another option for filters is Adobe Lightroom. This software is pretty pricey with a decent learning curve, so if you don’t think you would use it regularly, we’d say stick with the apps. The benefit to paying more for an editing software, though, is how amazing it is. Lightroom is an incredibly powerful editing software with amazing quality. Lots of popular bloggers, content creators and photographers have developed their own Lightroom presets available for purchase on ThemeForest, Etsy and other similar sites. The other benefit to paying for Lightroom is that it comes with an app. The app is amazing for editing specific colors in a photo, as well as other basic light and color correcting. It’s only available to those who own the Lightroom or have an Adobe account/login associated with Lightroom, and is probably the editing app we appreciate the most on our own phones.

Step #4:  Think About Your Colors

Color is probably the foundation of choosing an Instagram theme. Some of the best feeds on Instagram contain similar colors or stick to a set of colors at a time. In most feeds, you’ll see recurring colors within 12 squares of each other to give the whole feed a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing look. It’s important to think about color not only when editing photos, but when taking them too. Planning your outfits/locations/content and feed definitely help to make achieving this much easier.

Choosing An Instagram Theme – Pro Tip for Themes & Editing:  In VSCO, you can copy and paste an edit, cutting the photo editing process in half. You’ll still have to tweak little things here and there, but the hard work will be done! Select a photo you’ve already edited in your VSCO library, then click the three dots on the bottom right navigation, now click “copy edits.” Repeat the same process on an unedited upload and click “paste edit.” Viola! If you’re looking for more inspiration on your quest to choosing an Instagram theme, head to the Wolf Blog for more content editing tips and tricks!