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How to Edit Your Instagram Photos For Summer!

July 10, 2020

It’s no secret that Instagram is all the rage nowadays, and people are always aiming to get that perfect aesthetic for their feed. It can be hard to know what sort of theme to choose, and what the best way to make that ideal look is. I’ve been there, playing around with the Instagram filters, stuck between Valencia and Juno, only to choose one and regret it straight after posting! Well, this post will tell you everything you need to know on how to edit your photos to create the perfect summer Instagram aesthetic for your profile!

The trick to having a feed that you want, is to shoot only the colors you want. For example, if you want an orange and teal look, then only shoot those colors, only wear those colors, and avoid things that are out of that palette. It’s best to pick a theme that suits your usual look, and the colors you normally wear, rather than spending lots of money and effort trying to get the right outfit to suit your Instagram aesthetic. Although I guess it’s always nice to have an excuse to buy new clothes!

 Here is a list of some of the best themes you can choose for the perfect summer feed:

  • Tropical Blues

  • Minimalist

  • Vintage

  • Vibrant/Colorful

  • Rose Gold

Below I’ll show you how to edit your photos for each theme using the app VSCO. Edit 1 can be done on the completely free version of VSCO for those of you looking to save a bit of coin, and edits 2 and 3 are for if you’re lucky enough to have the premium version of the app.

Blue focus 

This theme is all about creating beautiful, beachy vibes that make you think of sunny holidays in Greece. Think Mamma Mia vibes! The key to creating a great base for this theme is to choose photos that already have a blue undertone.

Edit 1

vsco edit summer blues.png
  • Starting filter: C1, and increase it to +8

  • Shadows: +2

  • White Balance: temp = -1, tint = +1

  • Exposure: -1

  • Saturation: +1

Other suggestions for if you have premium:

  • HSL orange: hue = +2.2, lightness = -2.1

  • HSL yellow: hue = -6, lightness = -2

vsco edit filter blue and orange.png

Premium version edits 

 Edit 2

  • Starting filter: G6, and increase it to +12

  • Temperature: 1.1

  • HSL orange: lightness = -2

  • HSL blue: hue = -6, saturation = 1, lightness = 1.9

  • HSL purple: hue = -6, saturation = -6

vsco edit filter blues.png

Edit 3

  • Starting filter: C7, and increase it to +9

  • Exposure: +0.9

Optional edit:

  • HSL blue: saturation = +2.5


A minimalist theme is all about using neutral colors to create a nice natural and simple aesthetic for your Instagram feed.

Choose photos that have slightly muted and neutral colors, rather than ones with bright and striking colors. The best way to create a minimalist theme is to play around with yellow and green tones.

minimalist vsco editing.png

 Edit 1

  • Starting filter: F2, and increase it to +7.5

  • Exposure: +0.5

  • Contrast: +0.5

  • White Balance: temp = -0.6, tint = +1.3

You can also play around with saturation for more muted colors.

Premium version edits 

vsco edit filter minimalist

Edit 2

  • Starting filter: E5, and increase it to +8

  • Exposure: +0.2

  • Saturation: +1

  • Skin Tone: -1.5

  • HSL yellow: saturation = -3, lightness = 3

  • HSL green: hue = +6, saturation = -6

vsco editing filter minimalist

Edit 3

  • Starting filter: M6, and increase it to +12

  • Temperature: -1.1

  • Tint: +0.3

  • Clarity: +2

  • HSL yellow: saturation = -1.7, lightness = +1.2

  • HSL green: hue = -6, saturation = -6


Vintage themes are very popular at the moment. It’s all about using warm tones and grain to create an old-fashioned aesthetic to your photos. The aim is to make your photo look like it’s been taken through a polaroid or disposable camera, something which is currently very fashionable (thank you David Dobrik!).

Pictures that have lots of orange and brown undertones are the best type to use when editing to create a vintage style theme.

vsco filter vintage

Edit 1

  • Starting filter: M5, and leave on maximum +12

  • Exposure: -2

  • Grain: +2

  • Contrast: -1.4

  • Temp: -0.8

  • Shadows: +0.8

  • Skin Tone: -1.2

vintage summer vsco edit

Premium version edits 

Edit 2

  • Starting filter: V2, and increase it to +9

  • Highlights: +1.4

  • Temperature: +1.3

  • Grain: +3

vintage summer edit vsco teal

Edit 3

  • Starting filter: Dog1, and increase it to +8

  • Exposure: -1.1

  • Highlights: +6

  • Tint: -0.8

  • Skin tone: -0.7

  • Grain: +3.4


A vibrant theme is a lovely way to go for your Instagram feed. It creates an upbeat and happy feeling to your photos and can instantly make you smile. This is something that is always needed and lovely to have, especially in the current situation the world is in.

The key to making a vibrant theme is to use lots of bright and primary colors, such as blue and red, which stand out and connote positivity.

vibrant vsco filters

Edit 1

  • Starting filter: C1, and leave at maximum +12

  • Contrast: -1

  • Saturation: +1.4

  • Temperature: +1

vsco filter vibrant edit

Premium Version Edits 

Edit 2

  • Starting filter: AL3, and leave at maximum +12

  • Saturation: +3

summer vibrant vsco filter

Edit 3

  • Starting filter: L4 and leave at maximum 12

  • Exposure: +0.5

  • Contrast: +1.1

  • Saturation: +1.5

  • Clarity: +1.1

  • HSL purple: saturation = +5.6, lightness = -1.9

  • HSL yellow: saturation = +2, lightness = +2

Rose gold

A rose gold theme is a beautiful, and very pretty, theme to choose for your Instagram, and the best photos to use are ones that have a lot of pinks and golden undertones.

rose gold vsco filter

Edit 1

  • Starting filter: M5, and increase it to +8.5

  • Shadows: +2.6

  • Highlights: +2.5

  • White Balance: temp = +1.8, tint = +1.4

  • Skin tone: -6

  • Grain: +3

rose gold instagram theme.png

Premium Version Edits 

 Edit 2

  • Starting filter: Dog3, and increase it to +9.5

  • Contrast: -1.1

  • White Balance: temperature = +1.5, tint = +3.5

  • Skin tone: -3.3

  • Grain: +2

  • Split Tone: highlight tint orange = +2.5LH, shadow tint purple = +1.8

vsco rose gold.png

Edit 3

  • Starting filter: G9, and leave at +12

  • Skin tone: -2.5

  • Saturation: -0.8

  • Grain: +2


So, there you go! Now you should know everything you need to create the perfect summer Instagram feed! So, get out there, get snapping and editing those pics and you’ll be insta-famous in no time!

Follow your joy!

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