How to take and edit travel Instagram photos

chile | salt lagoon

I wanted to give a list of tips and favorite apps that help me take and edit photos better. I personally have so much fun editing and posting photos, so I maybe spend too much time doing it. Also here’s some general info about what I use to take photos:

  • I shoot most of my Instagram photos using an iPhone XS
  • I also shoot on film (more rare that I post these) on a Canon AE-1
  • Mostly my boyfriend takes my photos! (or friends or family)

Here are the tips:

Framing what’s on the photo

If you are taking a photo of (or with) a nice mountain/ roller coaster/ building, make sure the whole thing is on frame. This is a simple concept, but you might be surprised by the results.

Tip: ask your friend to stand in a spot, while you look for the best angle. Take a ‘sample’ photo, and ask for the same picture of you.

See an example here:

Distance from the camera

If you are in the photo, it’s good to be aware of how close you are to the camera. Try taking one photo where you are up close, and then one where you are a tiny part of your photo. Both are good, but I like the second type when I want the main object to be the landscape. It has a more dramatic effect. It’s good to have options! See this example:

With both tips (and a good landscape), you should have a photo like this:

Favorite photo editing apps:

Here are the only two free apps I use to edit my Instagram and blog photos:

A Color Story

This is such a good one. I follow the owner on Instagram (her family is adorable!) and so I love supporting businesses like that, owned by real people. Even Taylor Swift has used some of the effects and filters on her posts, and the Jonas Brothers created a filter pack! A Color Story has awesome tools and cute filters that I love using. I like the “Island” package the most (which is free!). I used this one for:

  • Colorful cities
  • Selfies/portraits
  • Food
  • Beach
Before + After: A Color Story, effect: Captiva from the Island pack | how to edit travel instagram photos
Before + After: A Color Story, effect: Captiva from the Island pack

Download A Color Story here.


I feel like with this one you have the most control over colors and light/shadow. I like that you can make a color brighter (like the ocean’s blues). For that go to Color -> Mix -> Select color -> Saturation

I personally have some presets I’ve bought from @doyoutravelpresets. You don’t have to buy any to use this app, but having a preset (or saving a set of actions) can help edit faster and nicer.

I see Lightroom mostly for:

  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Mountains
Lightroom before + after: Do you travel presets | how to edit instagram travel photos
Lightroom before + after: Do you travel presets

Let me know if you try out any of these. If you have any questions or want to say hi, follow me on Instagram (@amapoland). Talk to you later.

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how to take and edit travel instagram photos | tips and free apps

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