How To Edit Your Instagram Pictures To Perfection (Plus, How To Theme Your Page)

Let's face it. We are an image-obsessed generation. We are vain and we do not care, hence Instagram's (still rising) success. We might as well accept that. *shrugs*

Now that that's out of the way, I noticed a lot of people struggle with the Instagram hustle (it is indeed a hustle, especially for bloggers and photographers) and I had been getting questions on how I edit my Instagram photos, what apps I use, what the best editing apps are and how to theme an Instagram feed. I decided to cover everything in one post.


Disclaimer: I'm not a pro of any sort and I have just about 3k followers so I know that doesn't make me an authority. I do have some helpful tips though so keep reading.

Before we go on, can we just take a moment to appreciate how consistent I have been lately? *wipes tears* It's been difficult but you know, September goals. Oh and get prepared. Since we're discussing a visual platform, this is going to be a very "visual" post. Only necessary pictures, I promise.

Ok so, a few things first:

-Editing a picture isn't like waving a magic wand:

You have to have a good picture in the first place whether you're  using a camera or a phone. For more tips on using a phone to get good quality pictures, read this post. 
I didn't cover outfit pictures in that post so here a few pointers:

1. Make sure you take the picture from below or least holding the camera in front of your torso. It balances your height out. Taking pictures from above could make you look weird unless it's intentional of which you'd have to make it work and look artistic.

2. Try taking your pictures in front of a wall. You'd have a clean background and seeing as phone cameras can hardly do a shallow depth of field (the blurry background effect) from a distance, your backdrop might end up looking weird and grainy but in front of a wall, you're in focus.

3. Avoid direct harsh sunlight. Your picture would probably end up being washed out and overexposed. At least my phone does this. Shout out to all the epic phone cameras that make the Instagram hustle easy. 

-Know what style you're going for with your Instagram.
The key to having a cohesive theme is making all your pictures look similar in terms of style.
Here are few Instagram pages for example..


@mark_kotun's page is very... artsy & contemporary a.k.a deep (which is the only term I can seem to find to describe floating hats and floating bodies). This style requires a very creative mind so...


@prettysickly has a lovely "white-wash" theme that features fashion and lifestyle pictures (#ootds, cute dogs pictures, flatlays and food pictures *yum*)



Lastly, @ellerese' page is a mix of fashion and deep "artsyness" (Yea, I can make up my words. Guess whose blog it is? : D ) I like that it sort of looks like a personal page too and yes, I'm sort of a fangirl.

So on to what editing apps to use?

Best editing apps

To be honest, with this editing thing, to each man his own. However, my top 4 editors are:

-Snapseed: The king! 
I can already see vsco users snickering in my mind. Like I said, to each man his own. I like snapseed because it allows to me to tweak a lot of stuff and it's very easy to use. It doesn't just use "icons" to represent stuff assuming I would know what the "icon" represents. 

Okay, maybe that was a bit much. Anyway, another thing I really like snapseed for is it's "selective" feature. You can select any specific part of a picture you want and edit the brightness, contrast and saturation of that area. I particularly use this to remove weird shadows (more on that in a moment) and edit over saturated areas in my pictures.

-Vsco: Lol. I can hate all I want but it's still a pretty good, okay, pretty awesome editor. The filters are pretty cool and in one click (tap? selection? press?), you could achieve an awesome picture as opposed to Snapseed where you'd have to try a lot of stuff before achieving the look you want.

I'm actually thinking of getting the app. I discovered some pretty cool filters on my friend's yesterday so I'm thinking I'll give it another try

-Facetune: A little known app that does wonders especially if you're using a white-wash theme. And whoop! whoop! the android version was released in 2015 (take that you iphone people!). There's a downside though. You have to pay. With the dollar exchange rate right now, it's about 800naira. I think it would be worth it.

-Instagram: A lot of people underestimate the Instagram editing app because it doesn't have "bomb" filters. I use the filters sometimes to tweak my pictures so they look how I want them to look. My best feature on this has to be the "Lux" feature. Helps so much in picture clarity.

Oof. I think this is going to be a long post. My apologies in advance. Now, on to...

How I edit my Instagram Pictures:

I'll be showing three pictures: an outfit picture (taken with a phone), a picture of the sky (taken with a phone) and a picture of my hand (taken with a camera).

 I used snapseed to edit these pictures, although, these days, I've been more open minded in trying and experimenting with new apps. We'll see. There just might be a part 2 or updated version in future.

-To remove odd shadows


After this, I went on to reduce the saturation and overall brightness slightly, reduced the warmth and boom. Ready to post. 

- Edit #ootd post

I mostly use my camera (Sony Dsc-R1) to take my outfit photos but on this day, I was out and about without said camera, so I decided to use my phone.


You could leave yours at the third picture but I decided to tweak it some more with Instagram because the third picture would've stood out from other pictures on my Instagram page.

I love the Juno filter (for phone pictures) because it adds a dramatic contrast and clarity but it's too warm for my taste. I usually just reduce the warmth. I also added the Lux feature for more clarity aaaaand done.

-The Palm tree picture:

I feel like on Instagram, palm trees reign supreme over all forms of nature.


I would've loved the green to show but seeing as it didn't, I decided to focus on making the sky dramatic. I achieved this by using the "drama" filter on snapseed (ha ha).

Over all, I usually just tweak the contrast, brightness, warmth, shadows, highlight and saturation. For tips on how to salvage/fix a (bad) photo, read this post.

And finally! On to the final part...

How to theme your Instagram feed:

The easiest way to do this is to just pick a colour palette that you'd stick to and you'd be fine. Make sure the colours go well together. To understand the concept of colour and understand how to know which colours match and don't, read this post


How beautiful is @kristinadapaah's feed?!! She sticks with white, grey, blue, black, army green and shades of tan. Notice how she makes good use of negative space?  Definitely one of my favourite pages on Instagram!

Another way to theme your feed would be to make sure each picture goes well with previous pictures. Not necessarily in terms of colour. Just make sure there's a "cohesiveness". For example;


Margaret hunay *insert emoji with heart eyes*

Okay, fangirl moment over. Notice how there are a lot of pictures with different concepts and colours but they still make for a smashing page.


And my page. Had to slot this in here somehow : D. You can follow me here

Also, don't post random pictures. Not every picture can go on there. If you're posting a selfie, make sure the selfie matches previous pictures. 

Another way to theme your feed is by your content. 


Notice how almost every picture is "fashion-y". You would assume this is a fashion person, yes? She's a style blogger (love her!). But let there be some variety though. @lynnkimdo does this pretty well. Scrolling through her feed, she has no particular colour scheme (yellows, oranges, purples, blues, pinks, whites, etc). Your  content could be your theme.  

Edit the pictures in a similar way to make a "theme."


I love how @kenenwatu's pictures are all cool (in temperature I mean). Statistically speaking, cool pictures perform better on Instagram.

And it's a wrap!

If you made it to this point, a thousand virtual kisses to you for dealing with excess pictures, terrible puns, unnecessary vsco hate and ridiculously made up words. *blows kisses*

I sincerely hope you found this post helpful/useful. Took a lot of time to compile. Oh and yea, shout out to @tgjonah for requesting this post. 

If you have an tips, questions, suggestions, anything at all, leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!
Lastly, do your home girl a favour and pin this image on Pinterest, pretty please? 

Pin me

 
Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram, let's connect!

Cheers! xx

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What We Wore: Florals at The Blogger Point Brunch With Wumi Tuase of TANG.

I have quickly learnt that the best place and time for bloggers to do style collaborarions are at events. There, we would already be dressed, on location and shoot ready.

On the 20th of August, the Blogger Point hosted their first bloggers brunch in Lagos and Wumi and I attended along with other awesome people like Grace Gigi, Seyi Adenowo, Tonye Igbani, Moji Ajibona, and Praise Abu to name a few.


We were both wearing floral print coincidentally in black and white so... why not?
If you read my blog resolutions for 2016, you'd have an idea how happy I am that I'm actually collaborating and connecting with bloggers. I just re-read the post and I have to say: so far so good. I'll probably do a follow up post this year.  




Wumi's blog and style is very inspiring and I love her fun, laid-back and very real personality. She also has an online thrift shop with epic clothes and accessories, @thethriftstoreng, and y'all know how much I love frugal, quality prices.

So about the brunch, I was mostly outside, trying my hand at street style photography so I didn't really experience the beginning. I got some cool pictures though so if you're sure I took a picture of you and you would like to have it, drop your email in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

I eventually got in and there were a lot of fun conversations going on while  bloggers mingled and chatted. I particularly enjoyed when Noble Igwe told us his success story (with a lot of good jokes slotted in). 

It made me re-evaluate my plans and assured me I was on the right track by taking risks and just generally doing things that make me scared.


Pin this, pretty please?

I'm wearing nude heels( from Nine West), a vintage-y button down dress (thrifted), a choker with my hair pulled up weirdly because my hair got scattered by the wind on the way to the brunch. Oh and is that an anklet I see? *squints* oh well. Was feeling experiment-y that day.


I love how Wumi paired her kimono and jeans combo with a visor hat. I've been thinking about getting one of those. 

This collaboration made me happy and I love how the pictures turned out. A big shout out to Seyi (for taking some of these pictures under pressure) and Grace (for humoring us by taking pictures even though you were feeling down).


I'm slightly excited about the next photography post (coming up on the 18th). It will be on "how to edit your Instagram pictures to perfection" featuring what apps to use, how to theme your Instagram and a step by step tutorial on how I edit my Instagram pictures. You can check out my page here.

Who's excited?

Oh and I'm sorry. There might be no DIYs this month. I promise to do better when school is over. I'm already planning DIYs that I'm sure you guys will love.

Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest and Twitter, let's connect!

Cheers! xx

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6 Pros/Benefits of Having Acne

Hi guys!

Long time no acne jokes/rants/mentions right? If you think this is because it cleared up, you have no idea how far you are from the truth.

Ok so, lots of people hate acne. I have heard many a people have gotten depressed due to acne. Let's shine some light on the matter shall we?

In case you didnt know, ...

Acne
Skin condition, usually of the face, caused by the inflammation of sebaceous glands through bacterial infection. Characterised by red pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, etc.

Yes, I don't have the serious kind that would drive people to try drugs, injections and stuff. But, I feel I can relate because I have had acne for a very long time so I have gotten used to it.


So instead of focusing on the negative, we're going to be looking at the silver lining in those dark grey clouds.

Contrary to popular belief there are some pros of acne far-fetched as they might seem to be.

The Benefits

1. Great conversation starter.
Well, you obviously don't walk up to someone and say "Hi, I like your acne!"

You, the "owner" of the acne could use a self-depreciating remark to break the ice in many situations. Like seriously, it just might work. Or not. You never know, depends on your audience.


2. Perfect excuse for not being interested in slapping on full make up.
I'm one of those people who are just not interested in foundation and concealer and the full works. At least not yet. So many people keep asking me "Why don't you wear makeup?"

Before, I'd try to explain that I'm a lipstick and eyeliner kinda person which would of course lead to the "Why?!!!" which is a really dark road filled with odd looks and lots of follow up questions. You don't wanna go there.

These days, I just point at my face with a resigned expression "It's because of my acne" If they still don't look convinced, I add "You know, I don't wanna clog my pores...". They then nod understandingly.

*Dusts hands* Neatly done.


3. You belong to a wide community of understanding fellows
We acne people have to stick together ya know? Plus, there are so many topics you could discuss with a fellow acne sufferer. For example,

Person with acne: Ugh I'm just so tired of acne, so frustrating!

Me: What products have you used?

Person with acne: Lots! Right now I'm using Aleo Vera, honey sugar scrub and other organic stuff.

Me: Yea! I tried the organic way too! The Aleo Vera stuff worked for a while...

And this leads to other cool things and we eventuially become besties.
Another scenerio...
Random person with perfect skin: So... that's a nice plant.

Me: Yea, it's very... uhm... green.

And we both look away. No happy ending there.


4. You get freckles *coughs* spots *coughs*
Freckles? Yes! Freckles! Cute aren't they?

That's right people! We don't need to do anything to get birthmarks and/or freckles unlike some people who use make up (pencils) to draw freckles.

Seriously, I kid you not. It's a thing.


5. You can blame EVERYTHING on acne
No jokes, this works.

"This top would look so much better on me if I didn't have acne."

*Brows not coming out good this morning* "It's because of this stupid acne!"

*Wakes up in a bad mood* "If only I didn't have acne!"

*Hasn't blogged in a while* *blames it on acne*

*Dog dies* *blames it on acne*

*Friends forget you exist then go out and have a smashing time* *blames it on acne*

Trust me, it's a good outlet.


6. At the end you have an inspiring/entertaining/helpful story to tell
I haven't reached my end yet (sadly) so I don't quite have any story to tell except helping people understand the basics of what causes acne and of course writing stuff like this.

However, it's a thought that could keep you going you know. It sort of annoys me when people who've never had acne try to tell me how to go about it.

This simply means that if you eventually want to make "helping pople cure acne" your life's work, you have a good shot because, experience.

So! What other benefits can you think of?

Leave a link, let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!


Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, let's connect!


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5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Photographer For Yourself/ an Event.

When it comes to capturing life moments, it's immensely tragic that selfies don't make the cut seeing as it's a very handy skill most of us seem to posses (excluding me of course. My selfies are terrible.)


Face it. We need photographers. The world is a better place with them just as much teachers, lawyers and doctors, yes? No, don't just get anyone who seems handy with a camera. This is a moment in life we're talking about. Once it's gone, ain't no getting it back you know?

We'll be discussing how to find the right photographer for you. Before we go any further, I'd like to mention that this post was sponsored by the good people over at  Jiji.ng who actually have a platform where you can get good photographers or offer your photography services. Let's get right to it!

-Style of event 

Before choosing the photographer, decide what style your event will have. Documentary, portraiture, fine art, edgy-bold – all of these photo shooting styles differ one from another and so do the photographers who can be more or less experienced in one particular style.

The way a fashion show event will be covered is definitely different from the way a photographer would cover a birthday party depending on what style you would prefer. So define your preferences  because you want a photographer who will give you want and before that happens, you'll need to figure out what you want. You definitely don't want to spend a tidy sum paying for what you might find disappointing.

-Do your research

A good photographer must have his/her own portfolio where the possible customers could look through the previous works. So it's recommended to see the photographer's portfolio as soon as you contact him/her. Think of it as preview of a clothing article when you're shopping online. Besides, you can check the feedback from the previous clients – whether they are satisfied with the photographer's work or not is a factor to consider.

-Photography Style

The photographer's style depends on his/her composition (the way he/she arranges subjects in the picture frame) and most importantly, his/her editing style.

The photographer you choose should be well acquainted with image processing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Paint.net. If the photographer doesn't particularly know his/her way around these photo editors, he/she might do more harm than good to the initial version of the picture.

Also, take into account the way the pictures in his/her portfolio look. There are so many editing styles out there, each photographer with a unique one. Make sure you're satisfied with said editing style so you don't end up doing this:


The first picture was perfectly OK but because the customer wasn't quite satisfied, she tried to tweak it and it became a not-so-perfectly-OK picture.

-Hire Individual photographers

When making a choice between hiring an individual photographer or referring to a company that provides photo shooting services, I recommend opting for the first option. Some companies may hire employees “right from the street” who have almost no experience, prepare great portfolios for them, and sell their services for pretty high prices. 

Most individual photographers have earned their reputation for their hard work and it's always better to have a one on one relationship with your photographer.

-Finances

This should have been the first point right? It's always good to stay within your budget. However, I didn't want you to think I was saying "hop on the first cheap photographer!", forgetting the other factors.

Nevertheless, the amount of money you are ready to spend for photography services is important to consider. You may find an excellent photographer whose work you adore, but the price might be too high for your budget. 

For this, it's advisable to carry out your search online on platforms like Jiji. I also like Instagram for this because there are so many talented photographers out there who haven't quite made a name for themselves so they'll be willing to cut you some slack with their prices.

And that's it people! The next photography post is going to be on how to edit your Instagram photos to perfection. Or at least your own version of perfection. So stay tuned!

Any tips or stories to share? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Don't forget to follow my blog on Pinterest, GFC (in the sidebar), Instagram, Bloglovin'Twitter and add me on snapchat (@the_unservile), let's connect!

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What I Wore: Free Spirited in Florals | Taking stock x August recap.

Happy new Month guys!

I've been wanting to do the Life Adventures section in the taking stock format for a while now but kept procrastinating. Since I had been staring at a blank page for a while now with no idea what to write, I decided to go for it.


The month of August has been my best so far. Not particularly because anything happened but I hardly felt down or unmotivated this month. I don't know if it was my determination to be happy that kept me going but whatever it was, I hope it continues.

I was also very thankful this month. Somehow, I was reminded of all the things God has blessed me with and all the ways he has been faithful. I was also really thankful for life, friends and family.

I don't even know how to write a "taking stock" post but I'll give ity best shot.



Wearing: Very comfy, laid-back clothes (even more so than usual) and my @lucy.daves slippers which seem to go my style and almost everything I wear.

Sorting: Out plans I have for stuff I'm working on with my best friend which I'll be revealing next year *winks*.



Enjoying: The rainy weather. Oh how I LOVE rainy days. So comforable and relaxing.

Following: Lots of inspiring Instagram accounts. I particularly like @emmadaviesphoto. Her pictures of flowers are just *insert emoji with heart eyes*. Instagram is by far my favourite social platform. You can follow me here by the way.

Feeling: Extremely motivated. Guilt at not eating right recently.

Marvelling: At how keke maruwa drivers will manouvre and manouvre yet you'll look outside and still see the same car beside you. It's truly fascinating. At least okada men get results.


Questioning: What type of blog has Mira La Belle evolved into. Is it really still just a fashion blog? I'm thinking it's more of a "creative lifestyle blog" but I'm not quite sure. Plus, I'm wondering if my content has gotten too monotonous. Do I need to shake things up a bit? Or do you guys like the predictability? Please let me know in the comments, I actually need your help on this one.

Drinking: Lots of coffee. I'm a recently converted fan (because "addict" is too deep). Also, who really loves Big Cola? #hugefan!

Worrying: About not developing my drawing skills and not giving you guys solid DIYs for a while now.

Looking: More like staring into space and getting so lost in my thoughts it's hard to backtrack.

Reading: Wattpad books and more of my Bible.

Wondering: How avocado pear + banana would taste.

Liking: Nude colours and blush tones, thinking about incorporating them into my wardrobe.


Hoping: I stay consistent this month *fingers crossed* How have I been doing for the past three months though?

Bookmarking: Links to skirts I'm currently considering adding to my current collection. It seems I can never have enough skirts. Also, links to panasonic Lumix Gf5 second hand cameras because I can't afford a new one *wipes a teardrop*.

Pretending: To be calm, collected and totally not overwhelmed. *gulps air*

Wishing: I had money to splurge on stuff I like and also afford a brand new camera instead. Also, wishing you guys a great month ahead!

Oh and the floral dress was thrifted and the choker was a gift. For my hair, I did cornrows and losened them then made my hair into a frohawk. You like?

Do you prefer this taking stocking format? Or should I stick to the former? 

Do you have any fun stories to share of your past month?

Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Don' forget to my blog on Bloglovin' and GFC (for desktop users, until sidebar. For mobile users, scroll down) for post updates.

Cheers!! ❤

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DIY: How To Transform Your Blazer To a Vest (plus giveaway winner announcement)

Hi guys!

Guess who still has good vibes this month? I think this one of my happiest months this year.

So today's DIY is very basic.

Too basic to me but... I find it difficult to shoot DIYs while I'm in school but that's about to change though. So how about a compromise? During school session, more style posts, less DIYs and vice versa?

I had actually done this a while back but thought it was way too simple but then a reader said it wasn't (on Instagram) and since I had not shot my planned DIY... Here we are.


When I get tired of my clothes, I just switch them up by doing little things that add a different flair. Oh and just in case you were wondering what to do with all your unworn clothes, read this post.



You will need:

-Scissors
-Needle and thread
-A blazer/jacket

This DIY is basically two steps (over use of the word "basic", I know.)


All you have to do is cut and tack. Just cut the arm hole, leaving enough space for allowance (like the one above) and then tack it in using your needle and thread. The difficulty level depends on the fabric. Do not edit (for lack of a better word) the arm hole in any way- you might ruin the jacket.

Aaaaannnnd c'est fini!

Quick question guys, is it still considered a vest even though it has lapels? Fashion terms are so confusing. Since we're on the matter, I did a guest post on Wumi Tuase's blog, TANG, on fashion terms and how to pronounce some tricky terms. You can read it here.


New clothing article yo! I need to wear this in a style post. Also,I miss my red hair *sniffs*


Check out how I style the transformed vest here

So guys! That's it!

What do you think of basic DIYs? More?  Do you prefer the "before" or "after" look? Leave a comment I'd love to hear from you!

Ha ha. Got you! The lucky winner of the giveaway I did in collaboration with 7th Avenue is...

Congratulations @thesandrauche, we'll be contacting you.

By the way, to get a free September issue plus free shipping of FASHIZBLACK magazine, an Afro fashion and lifestyle magazine, click here.

Lastly, if you subscribed to my blog but still haven't received any updates, I've been having issues with my email service preovider for a while now. I had tried several ways to fix it and considered using my personal mail to send updates but that just wasn't working for me. I'll come up with something soon.

In the meantime, follow me on Pinterest, GFC (in the sidebar), Instagram, Bloglovin'Twitter and add me on snapchat (@the_unservile), to stay up to date.

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