Iphone photo editing 101

iphone photo editing tutorial // sarah sherman samuelOne of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what filter and/or photo apps do you use” for instagram. I don’t have one specific recipe as every photo is different but I thought I’d put together a little tutorial with examples and give you my go to filters and apps. And who knows, maybe you can pick up a little nugget of a trick to apply to your own photos. Here we go…

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelFirst I should say… all of my instagrams are iPhone photos and edited on the iPhone. The only exception is when I pull an image from a blog post to announce that there is new content on the blog, which I label with either the photographer (if it isn’t by me) or a “link in profile”.

Secondly, some photos just take a little bit of editing and some I end up spending way too much time on. Here is what I did for this first photo. On the left is straight out of the camera, and on the right is the photo I posted. I usually start with pulling the photo into VSCOcam. In there I choose a filter, for this one I used M5 (other favorites are C3, F1, and G3) and usually I dial it back a bit from the full +12. If you are scratching your head right now I can explain. When in VSCO, select a filter and that automatically puts it on full power, now tap the same filter again and there is the scale from +1 to +12, now you can play with how much of the filter you want to be on the photo.

Once I am happy with the filter choice I save it and then open it in Afterlight. I like the control that Afterlight has on brightness, contrast, and sharpening so I do all that there. I also use afterlight to create the white border around mine to keep them landscape or portrait. You can do this by hitting the bottom right button  that is a black circle inside of a white square. Once in that menu hit the icon that looks like two vertical bars and voila.

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelFor this photo, I skipped Afterlight and went right from VSCO to instagram (I posted this one as a square originally so didn’t use the white bars). I picked a filter, and then brightened and sharpened it right in Instagram. Done!

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuel Then there are some photos that need a little extra help. For this one I did my thing in VSCO, followed by Afterlight, then I wanted to get rid of a few of those brown pine needles so I pulled it into touchRetouch. This app is great for getting rid of little unwanted things in a photo. I used the lasso tool, circled the pine needles that I wanted out of there, hit the “play” triangle button and like magic, they disappeared.

iphone photo editing // sarah sherman samuelHere is one more example where I used all three apps. Of course not all photos go through this entire process, many I use a little bit of a vsco filter and then bring it right into Instagram but I wanted to give you my full arsenal. So once again… here I used VSCO for the color (their filters are my fave), then brought it into Afterlight for brightness, contrast, sharpening, and the borders. Then I touchRetouched that little boat right out of there and THEN I posted it in instagram, for a semi-insta instagram. PHEW!

Happy iPhonography x sarah


weekend scenes memorial day

monday-archer-rugSomehow, even days that you do nothing at all seem to fly by in a flash. We spent the weekend not doing a whole lot and I have to say it was our best one yet, with little A. We stared at, sang to, and giggled with Archer…had a few friends over, started working on the laundry room, and had a picnic in the park.

exterior house, patio // sarah sherman samuelpark-evening-picnicI also realized I never did share our finished deck. We still have to figure out the furniture situation but there’s a glimpse of it… looking forward to spending a lot more time out there this summer.

Hope you guys had a beautiful long weekend. xo

Images by me via iPhone & Instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)


Palm Springs Weekend Scenes

ace-hotel-sarahshermansamuelOur first getaway with the little man was a success! We stayed at the Ace and despite the bumping party music, Archer slept like a champ. Rupert and I, however, barely slept at all and couldn’t stop obsessing over his temperature in the night. Was he too hot? was he too cold? is he cooing in his sleep or is he awake? etc. etc. Meanwhile he was clueless and slept through the night with no problems. Rupe and I are still working on the whole relaxing into parenting thing.

palm-springs-sarahshermansamuelparker-palmsprings-sarahshermansamuelWe spent an afternoon at The Parker having brunch at Norma’s and walking around the beautiful grounds (Archie had nap time in the lounge area)…

palmsprings-pool-partythe ace hotel palm springsand we ended the weekend with a pool party, at our friends house, complete with ping pong, tacos, and popsicles.

Photos by me via iPhone and instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

Top photo sources: My dress from Lulu’s // Shoes from J.Crew // Hat (unknown) find similar here

from the weekend: waiting for baby

02.22.15 instagram weekendSo turns out we did have one more weekend as a family of just two. We are still waiting on baby Samuel, and trying to distract ourselves with pretty heels, delicious meals, and the Oscar’s :) Also, a lot of walking, yoga, acupuncture, spicy foods, etc. etc. I’m trying my best to be patient and putting my trust in the fact that he will come when he’s supposed to. Same story, different mother right? Hope you have a great week. xo

Images by me via iPhone & instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

Pumps by J.crew // Dress by Asos // Bag by Chiyome // Flats by Madewell (old) but similar here // Rug from esalerugs.com

from the weekend: appreciating the small things

flowers // simple pleasures // sarah sherman samuelWith our new addition coming right around the corner (like due this week!), I was thankful for the holiday weekend and an extra day with Rupe at home. We spent our days doing a few of our favorite simple weekend activities that we know we won’t be able to get a chance to for a while with a new little one.

We had a lingering brunch at our favorite local (Gjelina), we meandered around Abbot Kinney doing some shopping (I can’t even remember the last time we went clothes shopping just for fun), we made and hung some shelves in the nursery (which probably isn’t an appealing activity to everyone, but I LOVE it and working on a project together is one of my absolute most cherished things) and finally we took long walks around the neighborhood noticing all the gorgeous new flowers popping up and of course binge watched some Bachelor. ;)

As possibly our last weekend as just the two of us, it may not sound like the most thrilling days, but with such a huge adventure to be thankful for on the horizon it felt important to stop and recognize all life’s simple pleasures too. Hope you had a weekend full of tiny victories and lots of love. xo

Image by me (follow on instagram @sarahshermansamuel)

from the weekend: the waiting game

venice beach pierOur hospital bag is packed, car seat is in the car, and we’ve made most of the necessary preparations for baby samuel’s arrival… and now we wait. At 38+ weeks I could still be waiting for a few weeks and maybe that will give me some time to finish the nursery, (will be sharing the plans in there this week!) and maybe it won’t, but I am totally ok with that. I hope you guys haven’t given up on me sharing the nursery design. ha! The bathroom project kind of took over but I promise it will be something good. For now, you will find me taking long walks (like this refueling one by the sea), eating spicy food, and sipping raspberry leaf tea, because nursery ready or not, I’m ready to have this little guy on the outside. :)

Hope you had a great weekend. Did any of you veg out and watch the Grammys? I only made it halfway through, so I can’t say it was all that exciting, apart from Pharrell maybe, but have the rest DVR’d.

x sarah

Image by me via iPhone/instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)