The Paper Kind

Creative living.

My Instagram Tips: White Balance

Today I thought I would share one really simple trick which has made my Instagram photos look better. That is adjusting the white balance. For those of you who don’t know, white balance is the process of removing unrealistic colour casts so that objects that appear white in real life also appear white in photographs.


The type of light that bounces off an object changes its appearance, this is something our eyes can adjust to but when taking a photograph the camera will record exactly what is there. This is easy to adjust nowadays using a digital SLR but phone cameras don’t have the ability change white balance. But the easiest way of fixing white balance on your phone is to use an app like VSCO.

Tip: when taking photos use a sheet of white foam board to bounce natural light onto the subject. This means it will be easier to edit you photos as the image shouldn’t have an unnatural colour cast.

instagram photo book shelf bookstagram instagram photo book shelf with white balance

White balance is really important when it comes to Instagram. Especially if you want that perfect grid with your photos looking like they belong together. Having the same tint of white across all your images will make them look more cohesive. For example, look at the two images from my Instagram feed. Both were edited in VSCO using the same filter and brightness/contrast settings. You may notice that the image on the left has a slightly yellow tone, this is because the image was taken indoors. The temperature and tint settings were changed on the right image to give it a more blue tone. It’s a very slight change but it does make a difference.

Remember: if you take photos for Instagram using a regular camera you can still adjust the white balance using Photoshop or another photo editing program.


VSCO screenshot temperature VSCO screenshot tint

You can change the white balance in VSCO using the temperature and tint settings. Temperature controls the blue to yellow tone, while Tint controls green to magenta. To get a true white you need to use both. You can see an example below where the photo on the left is the original and the photo on the right has been white balanced.

bookshelf no white balance bookshelf with white balance

Altering the white balance will make your images look better however you don’t need to make the whites a true white. Your images can still look cohesive if the white has a blue or a purple tone. The temperature and tint settings can be used to achieve this in combination with other VSCO settings.

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11 responses to “My Instagram Tips: White Balance”

  1. This was so helpful! I’ve played around with so many photo editing apps and always wondered how some instagram accounts have such lovely looking feeds – this answers my question!


  2. Also remember that the images are not large enough for 11×14, 16×20 and up. I had worked in a copy and print center and many clients would want an enlargement of an image. Due to the nature of cell phone cameras the images were not of the highest quality. The price of such prints can be a little pricey for such a low resolution image.
    One has little control of having a good image via the cell phone, although what you mentioned does make enough of a difference, if a cell phone has digital editing capabilities.


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I’m Emma. I am a designer, calligrapher, and content creator, sharing my love for paper goods. Expect pens, pencils, and some really fancy paper!


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