In the interest of truth in Instagram, I thought that today I would do a post about my photo process. It’s not that I’m intentionally removing skin imperfections, but the color corrections I do use tend to make things less obvious. I do all of this on my phone.

My first step is to correct the image depth. Apple’s portrait mode is amazing, but it always sets the depth so low that my chest goes out of focus, so I have to go into any closeups and tweak that to make my whole body visible.

From there I go into Adobe Lightroom Mobile. This app is, miraculously, free. You just have to sign up for a creative suite account if you don’t have one. I now have several different presets that makes this a one tap process, but here’s the things I adjust:

  1. The lighting in my room causes my camera to put a green tint on everything, so I use the whitepoint tool against my wall paint (which is off-white) to adjust for that, neutralizing the green.

  2. Bend the lighting curve to the north. This reduces the contrast in my skin tones and smooths out imperfections.

  3. slightly increase exposure, significantly reduce highlights, and then tweak the contrast, shadows and blacks to make the image pop better.

  4. Reduce Texture slightly (this further smooths the skin) and increase Clarity (in google photos they call this Pop), boosting contrast in colors. From here it looks like the middle in the first image.

I export the photo to my image roll and open it in an app called Airbrush. First I hit the “Magic” feature, which has a whole lot of alteration functionality that I’ve disabled because it just gets too unreal. The main things I let it do are smooth out my eye bags and adjust my skin tone.

After that I run the bokeh tool, which blurs out the background to make me stand out more in the shot. Usually I only need to so this for full body shots, however, since Apple’s portrait mode does a good job of it for headshots and selfies.

That gives me the final product. I’ll do this for the best of the two dozenish that I take of a given outfit, and then use Photoshop Elements Mobile to create a collage preview of the entire set.

And thats it!