How to Edit Photo for Instagram: Warm and Pinkish Tone with VSCO

By addinaf - 6:54:00 AM


It's been a quite long time since I planned to do this post about how to edit the photos. A lot of people asked me about how I edit my photos? What type of camera that I use? And so on and so on. Well, actually, I never really think about it before, I mean, I never make a concept that my photos must look pinkish and warm. I'm pretty sure about it, I just love to take a picture in that kind of vibe, and I put a filter to emphasize the tone.

If you take a look at my Instagram, I've been through a lot of photos to become this kind of style. I did street photos, nature photos, and a lot of types before until I feel comfortable with this style. Moreover, I must admit that in Italy, all the situation, cities, the sun, and the vibe are really supporting me to do so. So, finger cross with this kind of style if I'm going back to Indonesia, I perhaps need to adjust the tone again :)

Anyway, in this post, I will give you some of the tips and before-after of how I edit the photos before I upload them on my Instagram. So this is my Instagram account: @addinaf if you wonder how does it look like.
#1 My favorite presets
So, first thing first, I will introduce you to my favorite tool and preset. I usually only use VSCO as the primary tool to grading and adding preset to my photos, and I use the free VSCO (I will upgrade to VSCO X soon, perhaps), so no worry guys, I assumed that you can have all the presets that I have in my account.

For Instagram feeds, I usually use repetition presets as in to maintain the tone in my feed (yes, after all this time, I just realized that I almost always use the same presets), but other than main feed, I can also play with different presets and apps too.

These are my favorite presets series: Analog (A6), Portraits (G3), Hypebeast (HB1 / HB2), Krochet (KK1 / KK2), Levi's (LV1 / LV3). They make the best warm, pinkish, and orange-ish tone out of all the (free) presets (in my opinion). Of course, how you use it will depend on the photos that you want to edit.

My favorite presets
#2 Prepare your photos
Next part is choosing your pictures. I mean, not every photo are suitable for the warm and pinkish tone. I would say beaches (or ocean in general), gloomy/cloudy weather, too vivid colors (or too white), and night photos are two types of the photo that I rarely use for this kind of tone. Well, again, it depends, but usually, I avoid this type of picture for this kind of mood.

I would prefer the city, the street, and golden hour is my ultimate favorite! The key is finding the right lighting, sun flare, and 'moment' to capture. I personally avoid mid-day photo because the sun will be too harsh (too white), and for the night picture, better with warm light from the lamps (city lamps) or not too late night photo will be perfect.

Choose the right moment 1 hour before sunset/sunrise - sunset/sunrise moment - 1 hour after, perhaps that is the trilogy for the warm tone. The natural lighting from the sun will be diagonal so the mood of the pictures is warm enough already so it will be easier to process.
The 'warm tone trilogy.'
So, for me, the right season to take better pictures are obviously not in the summer because of the sunset too late I'm sleepy and tired already. Hahaha

#3 Make it warm with presets!
As I already mentioned it before about my favorite presets, I would like to give you some examples of how I use the presets to achieve a specific color tone that I wanted with those presets.

Analog (A6):

Portraits (G3):

Thus, by taking a look at the photos that I give as an example, you can see that the presets did change the vibe of your picture. My personal review of those presets are; Analog give you more 'white-ish' tone, Portraits will add blue-green shade to your picture, Hypebeast is more fade tone, for Levi's and Krochet add a lot of orange tone to your picture, so you need to be careful with those two presets.

#4 Add the pinkish/orange-ish tone
The next step after choosing the preset is; add the warm tone with two primary tools: Temperature and Skin Tone. I always use those two tools to adjust the vibe. Other than that, you also need to change the exposure and saturation as well.

In my personal experience, I always adjust the exposure in general because I like my picture to be bright and light (I don't really like the dark vibe in my photos). And add more saturation to it to give attention to the bright colors (but not too vivid, otherwise you need to make it less saturated).

For the temperature, I almost always add it to the right side (more orange/warm), because I'm not a big fan of the cool tone (opposite side). And if you like pinkish tone, you need to slide it to the left side to make it more pinkish (the opposite will make your picture yellow-ish). It is also useful if you edit pictures with a face on the frame so you can give a different mood.

Again, it's a personal opinion. I really like to make the skin tone -4 to -6 (really pinkish), and the temperature depends on the photo, it could be -1 (to balance the skin tone) to the +3 or +4. You can see the color tone changing from these photos below.

Skin tone -4   |   Temperature +2
Skin tone -6   |   Temperature +2.8
Skin tone -4.3   |   Temperature +1
Skin tone -4.2   |   Saturation +1.2

#5 Adjust
Last, but not least, adjust the photos with additional tools such as cropping, straighten, sharpen, add some grain if you like to add analog or edgy effect (kind of). I love to crop and straighten the photos a lot, so it doesn't matter if you are not able to take a perfect frame for your picture, it's better to take photos in the bigger frame so you can crop/skew/straighten it later.

I used to not liking the grain effect in my photos, but people change, no? So now I really like to play with grain and fade effects to give analog vibe to my photos. I called this kind of style is Faux Analog. (I uploaded one blog post full of my photos collection in the spring season with this style, please check it!)

In this part, it will depend on your photos, style, and your own preferences. But I personally like the close-up details, alley (it's Italy, no?), and buildings' facades. I will crop the pictures depending on the geometry and the composition of the pattern. I have no problem with any photo cropping (1:1, 1:2, 2:3, 9:16, landscape, or portrait).
My adjusting style
Perhaps I could share about composition and pattern more in another post.
That's all guys, I hope you can somehow understand how I edit my pictures. Ah, I forget to tell you that I use Canon EOS M10 and iPhone for almost all of my photos. I bet most of you have the same quality of camera/phone, or evenmore.

It's a matter of sense and how you train yourself in this field, and I'm not the best either. I just love to take pictures and edit them in order to make it better photos to represent the places that I have visited. My background as an architect made me pay attention more to the buildings, city, and details too!

Hope you enjoy this post! :)
You can leave a comment and give me suggestion what would be better for the next post. I really really appreciate your comments and critics!

Addina Faizati
Milan, 2018
Middle of the night, awake

Disclaimer: all the photos in this post are taken by me, edited by me, and layout by me. Please give some respect and not to use it for your own/commercial purpose :)

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. I love your instagram tone, din. Hopefully i can enjoy Milan with you someday!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.