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How to Add Filters to Instagram

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Filters can be one of a photographer's best friends. They allow you to quickly increase certain aspects of the photo, giving it a new and unique look. Understanding this, Instagram has included 40+ filters that you can use on their app.

This post will cover how you can use Instagram filters, which ones are most popular, and cover some basic tips (including how to use effects).

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How to Use Instagram Filters

To use Instagram filters, you will need to upload a post to Instagram, then complete the following steps:

  1. Step 1

    Open the Instagram app and go to your profile, then choose the option to create a post.

  2. Step 2

    Select the image (or images) that you wish to upload to Instagram or take an image of what you want to post. Once you have made your selection, tap the “Next” option at the top right-hand side of the screen.

  3. Step 3

    On the following screen, you will have the option to choose a filter for your image. You can scroll through the options beneath your image.

Most Popular Insta Filters

Here are the five most popular filters that are used on Instagram daily:

  1. Clarendon

    If you want to increase the contrast and saturation of an image, you may want to use Clarendon. It typically alters an image enough without making it look unnatural. It will often give your image a cooler look while brightening the lighter areas and darkening the shadows.

  2. Juno

    To increase both the contrast and vibrancy of the photo, you may want to try the Juno filter. It will give your photo a cooler look by softening blues and greens, while simultaneously intensifying the yellows and reds.

  3. Ludwig

    If you want to showcase the reds in your image, Ludwig is the filter for you. It will quiet every other color but will increase the saturation of the red.

  4. Lark

    Lark will allow you to brighten an image while reducing the saturation on the image. This can give your image a slightly washed-out look.

  5. Gingham

    If you like a slightly vintage or “old-fashioned” look, you can use the Gingham filter which decreases the saturation and highlights and adds a little vignette overall.

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How to Manage Instagram Filters

If you know that you will never use the majority of Instagram’s filters, there is a way you can hide or move the ones you don’t need. Here is how you can manage your Instagram filters:

  1. Step 1

    Pretend you are posting an image and go to the filters section.

  2. Step 2

    Swipe to the end of the filters, then tap the “Manage” option.

  3. Step 3

    Hide the filters you will never use by tapping the checkmark button to the right of the name.

  4. Step 4

    Reorder the filters you do use in a more efficient way by dragging them up or down the list, allowing you to save time in the future.

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How to Get More Insta Filters

You are not limited to the pre-build Instagram filters when it comes to uploading your own images. Here are a couple of things you can try:

Pre-Edit Images in Another App

If you don’t like any of the filters or effects available on Instagram, you can always use a different photo editing app for Instagram photos. Many of them will even allow you to directly post to Insta through their app when you are done creating the perfect image.

Try Out Effects Other Influencers Have Uploaded

Another way you can get more filters or effects is by looking through the profiles of other Instagram users. If they have created or uploaded an effect, you will be able to view it above their feed on their Insta profile. Here’s how it works:

  1. Step 1

    Visit the influencer’s profile and look for the smiley face icon above their feed.

  2. Step 2

    Look through the different effects and tap the ones that appeal to you.

  3. Step 3

    Once you tap an effect, you will have the option to “Try it.”

  4. Step 4

    If you like the effect, you can save it and it will be added to the available effects next time you create an Instagram story.

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Tips for Insta Filters

To increase the value of your images, try out the following tips:

  1. How to Adjust Filter Intensity

    You don’t have to use the full intensity of any of Instagram’s filters. This will allow you to subtly add the benefit of the filter without completely altering your original photo. To do this, all you need to do is add the filter of your choice, then adjust it using the bar underneath the image.

  2. Use Filters Before Editing

    If you know that you are also going to need to both add a filter and edit your image, use the filter first. This way, you can adjust the brightness and contrast toward the end of the process and won’t have to revisit those tools after the filter has tweaked things a bit.

  3. Apply Filters to Multiple Images

    If you are uploading multiple images, you can select as many of them as you like to apply the filter over. If the photos are from a single photo shoot (and you want them to all be edited similarly), this may save you time through your full editing process.

Once you have learned how to use Instagram filters, you will need to learn to master them. Over time, you will learn which ones look the best with your images and will be able to quickly make the adjustments to increase your image value.