17 In Quick Tips/ Social Media

A Simple Hack for Lighter Brighter & Whiter Instagram Photos

A simple hack for lighter, brighter and whiter Instagram photos! You'll edit your photos this way every time from now on...

Over the last few months I have been practicing taking better photos for Instagram.

I have always been a self proclaimed non-creative. I mean, I am creative, but I’m a strategic marketer. I come up with digital marketing strategies that get results, not ideas that are going to win the next Cannes Lion award.

In my experience there are people in the world that have a natural keen eye for detail and design. They know how to style, they can visualise their end product as they are creating them in their mind, and their attention to detail is second to none!

While I am learning more and more every day, it just doesn’t come naturally to me.

So, I have been practicing! I just purchased myself the beautiful Olympus Pen EL7 Camera. Dubbed as the “ultimate blogger camera” I’ve only had it for around a week and I can’t believe how long I have gone without it in my life! Surprisingly it hasn’t been so difficult to work out. I can certainly improve, and it takes me around 20 test shots before I adjust all the settings to the “sweet spot” and get the money pic, but it’s all in good fun (and hopefully it will come more instinctively a I continue to improve).

I’ve also been working on my styling, trying my hand at flatlays, and attempting to get a little closer to having more of an Instagram “theme” (i.e. colour palette).

I was never very good at sticking to a theme previously (that being said, I didn’t really make a huge effort to stick to it either).

Practice makes perfect my friends (or at least that is what I’m banking on because I would really like to improve).

Along my journey I decided I would watch a few videos from beauty guru’s on YouTube who were posting about “How they edit their Instagram photos”.

I saw quite a few beauty gurus using an app called Facetune to whiten up their teeth and make their eyes sparkle.

I thought “I bet I could lighten up my backgrounds using this app!”

I took a bit of a gamble because the app cost me $3.99 (not that it broke the bank, but that’s a decent price for an app if it was going to sit on my 3rd page never getting used).

I tested out a few images and I was so thrilled with the results! Simply click on the “Whiten” feature, zoom into your photo and run your finger along the screen to whiten up that area.

I use it to brighten up the backgrounds on my photos. See below for some examples:


All of the yellow throw from the harsh lighting can be removed. The image on the right is so much lighter, brighter and whiter! Exactly what I was looking for.

1 (2)

There aren’t a lot of yellow tones on the left, but even still, the image on the right is even lighter and brighter.


Do you see how the background has just lifted? The brassiness in the lighting on the left is completely removed.

Same again with this image. The yellow lighting is removed and the shadows have been softened.


Of course, you can’t take a photo in the dark or with prominent shadows and hope to completely “white them out”. This app can’t replace the power of great natural lighting.I would also recommend doing a final polish & play around with the brightness, colouring and saturation levels too as a little adjusting to this end can make a big difference.

I find early morning light is be best when you’re trying to get lighter and brighter photos, but Facetune can certainly help to even out some of the brassy tones that pop up when the lighting is a bit harsh.

That’s my quick tip for this week. You can follow me on Instagram at @smallpaperthings :) Do you have any tips for taking beautiful Instagram photos?

I would love to hear about them in the comments below!If you liked this post I would just love it if you would “pin” it to your Pinterest page or Tweet it from the rooftops!

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  • Jessica
    April 25, 2016 at 7:46 am

    This is so creative, I love your idea!!

    • Kate
      April 25, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Thank you Jessica! I’m so glad you like it :) x

  • Shannon
    April 25, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Wow! This is awesome. I am working on creating a theme for my instagram too, and always wondered how people got that beautiful bright white look!

    • Kate
      April 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

      I’m so glad you like this tip Shannon! I will say that nothing can compare to shooting your images in gorgeous natural light (I live in Brisbane, Australia so I’m lucky that lighting here is almost never a problem)! That being said, I was getting so frustrated with the yellow tones that can be thrown into an image when you’re using natural lighting – so I love that this app can add a “whiter” touch up :) I hope it helps you when you start your Instagram theme x

  • Sammy
    April 25, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I will be looking into this :)

    Congrats on the new camera as well, I recently bought a Canon1200D and love it!

    Sammy | Bargainbaglady.com {xx}

    • Kate
      April 25, 2016 at 8:19 am

      You’re so welcome Sammy. How exciting re: the camera! I have been trying to find a “beginner photography” group on Facebook but haven’t had much luck. Would love to know if you had any tips xx

      • Sammy
        April 26, 2016 at 6:57 am

        Unfortunately not, I’ve mainly been playing and watching youtube videos! My main quest atm is to learn how to video edit (on windows!) If I do find anything i’ll let you know X

        • Kate
          April 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

          Oh if you find out I would love to know! I actually just posted my first blog and had to borrow (and try to work out) the Mac at work.. I think it turned out “OK” for my first attempt.. but I have a long way to go! Do let me know when you get your videos live – I would love to see them! xx

          • Sammy
            April 27, 2016 at 11:09 am

            Will do lovely XX

  • Kelly
    April 25, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Very smart! I don’t use my phone/instagram, but when I’ve needed to lighten things like this on my computer, I’ve used Picmonkey and the “Eye Brighten” function the same way. It’s awesome!

    • Kate
      April 26, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Interesting! I haven’t tried using Picmonkey in this way – I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks Kelly! x

  • Rania
    April 25, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I didn’t hear of facetune before but I had recently downloaded Vesco which was free and somewhat does the job. However I find that sometimes I still have to play up a lot to get it bright. You can check my instagram and let me know, I just followed you but in case you can’t find me it’s instagram.com/raniastylist. Would also love if you can link up to http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2016/04/24/mothers-day-rings/

    • Kate
      April 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Love your Instagram feed Rania! This little Facetune hack definitely doesn’t “brighten” images in a filter like sense but more helps to “whiten up” anywhere where white already exists. Hope that helps x

  • Cedric Markwatson
    April 26, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Instagram is my one of the best social media platform and your idea is really awesome. I enjoyed your stuff. Thanks for your hard work and sharing it with all of us.

    • Kate
      April 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

      You’re so welcome. Thank you for your comment :)

  • Caitlin
    April 27, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Yay this is such a simple but great hack! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kate
      April 27, 2016 at 7:25 am

      You’re so welcome! Thank you for your comment Caitlin :) x