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How I Edit In My Photos For Instagram In Lightroom

Recently I asked my Instagram Tribe what videos they would like to see from me. An overwhelming amount responded that they would love an editing video from me. To be precise, how I edit my instagram photos in lightroom. I do sell presets of a lot of my edits but showing people my techniques means that it is easier for them to learn how to edit in their own style on lightroom. If you don’t really care for that I am giving away this specific preset FOR FREE ( click here to download ) and you can also buy my new preset pack called DOHA here.

To tell you the honest truth I absolutely love editing and I don’t mind at all sharing the process with all of you. When we come back after a trip or a photoshoot I always get a bit of a thrill thinking about the endless editing options of the photos we took. Call me weird but I guess you could have worse hobbies right 😛

Every place I visit inspires me to edit differently and that is why I usually create packs for specific places. Some countries like Doha or Seychelles makes me want to use warm light and turquoise tones. Switzerland had the opposite effect with lots of cold colours and pink skies.

I used to edit in photoshop with jpgs only till Mike convinced me to try out lightroom. Since then I have been 100% hooked. Its so much easier to edit in bulk, to choose photos you want and to make presets. I now mostly use photoshop only when I want to “beautify things” which is bascially just a nice way of saying taking out that garbage can or dude in a plum smuggler in the background. I know a lot of people complain that its not real then but damn if you need to see that then I suggest doing it somewhere else 😛 Jokes aside though, lightroom has really opened up a world of editing possibilities to me. I even sometimes grade my videos using my presets in lightroom.

Anyway lets get to the part you guys are actually here for… My lightroom editing process…

Import Raw Files

I loved editing in Raw because it just gives you so much more freedom to be creative. Once I import my raw files I will quickly have a scroll and pick my faves by flagging them. Then I click on the flagged photos filter and get ride of all the other photo clutter. Now we are ready to edit!

Basic Editing

First I will go down to lens corrections and in the basic I will click on enable profile corrections. If this does not work just go to profile and put in which camera make you have ( it also works for gopro photos ) and which lens you are using. The wider the lens the more distortion it will have.

Then I go back to the top again and start fiddling with my basic settings. This is really the easiest way to get a photo to pop and something I always do. For this photo I would push up the shadows as its a bit dark and push down the highlights so you can see more colour in the sunset behind me. I also play around with the white and black.

Graduated And Radial Filter

I absolutely love these two tools! If you haven’t used them before go check it out and play around. They are a bit tricky to get into at first but now I use them on almost all of my photos.

For this photo I used a radial filter to make the water pop a bit more. Then I can always change the colour again slightly on the HSL panel.

I used the radial filter once again to brighten and intensify the sunset behind me.

Lastly I used the graduated filter to make the sky slightly darker and a bit more orange so its easier to edit it with split toning.

HSL Panel

Now its time to start altering your colours on the HSL panel. It stands for Hue, Saturation and Luminance and its a great tool for colour correcting or just for having some fun with colours. I will lighten the blue as well as changing the hue a bit more. I also like playing around with the red, orange and yellow hues, especially when doing sunset photos.

Split Toning

A lot of you ask me how I get the pink or orange tone in my photos. This is usually done with split toning. I more the highlights hue to orange and up the saturation to get a coloured sky. Then I can also use the shadows to create a warmer all over tone.

Last Edits

Lastly I will do things like sharpen, up the luminance if I want a smooth look or add some grain if I want more of a film look. These are totally up to you if you want to add it or not. Just don’t overdo them!

Save as a preset

If I feel like I can use the edit for multiple photos I will then save it as a preset. Remember you can apply the preset and then change the gradual and radial filter or delete them if they aren’t necessary with specific photos!


If you want to see the in detail edit, watch the video down below!



  • January 16, 2018

    I love this! I’ve been relying on he brush a lot, and it often feels sloppy. Excited to try your workflow.

  • January 21, 2018

    I definitely need to play around more in Lightroom. I haven’t quite tackled using the filters, but everyone keeps talking about how much they love it.

  • Thetravellingpenguin_

    January 21, 2018

    Thank you so much for this, it is so informative. Your edits are amazing- I will definitely be using this as a guide when I next edit my pictures.

  • Whitney

    June 29, 2018

    Hi! Do you recommend Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC? I’m just getting started and not sure which one I should go with or really what the differences are between the two. Thanks!


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