Some of you might have seen the end result picture of this post on Instagram already appearing today. But how do I get from the taken picture to the actual end result? No I don’t shake a hamster out of my sleeve and wave a little hocus pocus. And no, I don’t take a hundred shots to get that one perfect shot.

Because I get lots of positive reactions on my pictures (thx for that by the way – you guys rock!), I decided to share some of my tips and secrets on how to get them so pretty. Curious?

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1. THE GOOD STUFF

I know Instagram is called Instagram with the idea to publish pictures instantly. But I prefer my actual camera over my iPhone camera any day. So I admit, I sometimes take my pictures with my Canon lens if I have both in my reach and send them to my phone right away. So more like instantly + 3 extra minutes. Cheating? I don’t think so. You can’t blame me for loving the quality of my camera more than the one of my phone. It’s all about using the best tools you have, you know.

That’s doesn’t mean I never use my iPhone lens though. When the lightning is okay, I don’t make it harder on myself than needed, and just use my phone to take the shot. Like in this case.

2. ADJUSTMENTS

Filters are awesome. Sure. And easy! Definitely. But often too much. At least that’s what I think. So what I always do is start by using the brightness, warmth and sometimes contrast tools within Instagram (in that order). Using these tools can already make a big difference. So check it out cus I noticed that not everyone realizes these tools are available.

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3. FILTERS

Now, I do use the default filters. In 98% of the cases I go for ‘Rise’, sometimes I prefer ‘Valencia’. But I always soften this by sliding it to somewhere around 30% (depending on the picture). That way, all my pictures still have that same feeling when going through my feed.

To get this slider, just tap a second time on the filter of your choice. Obviously, everyone will have their own preferred filter.

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4. PUBLISH AND SHARE

Throw it on there: The big world wild wide web. Your Instagram feed for starters (well duuh), but also on Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels you use. I always prefer to add a little comment and some hashtags to make it more personal and for others to find my picture more easily. But sometimes, no words are needed. The choice is up to you.

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I hope these small adjustments will help you get nicer pics. Even though each adjustment only changes the pictures a little bit, you see that all these little changes and up giving a big difference. This was delicious! #FYI

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By the way, let me take the opportunity to tell that all my Instagram pictures are my own. No used internet pictures in this feed, folks! So check it out if you haven’t seen it yet and feel free to follow me if you like what you see.