Social media platforms are designed to prefer high-resolution images, but many platforms will have a limit on image size. It might not even be obvious; your image may be discreetly downsized during file transfer or during upload to the platform. I recommend aiming for 1080px x 1080px images, which is Instagram’s current optimal resolution at time of publication. Twitter and Facebook have similar optimizations, as images that are too small will appear grainy and images that are too large will take longer to load the full-sized image.

For image editing, I find that using the right software for the job cuts down on the time you spend editing, even if that means switching programs partway through. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are the industry standards when it comes to desktop editing. I use Lightroom to filter images in batches, and Photoshop to make specific tweaks to each one. Casual users may prefer something like GIMP, which is is a free, online service that works like a slightly clunkier version of Photoshop. I’m sticking with Adobe, though: I don’t like that they switched to a subscription-based model, but their software really is the best.

Great photo apps to take your shot from camera to social media

I tend to edit images in large batches on my computer because I run a blog and schedule multiple posts at a time, but I find that most people prefer editing their images on their phone. (Honestly, so do I!) My favourite filtering app is VSCO, which allows you to control photo basics like temperature, exposure, and contrast alongside adding varying degrees of filters.

After snapping an image on my smartphone or transferring one over from my camera, I’ll open up an image in VSCO, tweak it for a bit (I have three “favourited” filters that I use for all of my work content so that it all looks vaguely the same), and save it to my phone. I’ll then upload it to my Twitter, Instagram, or Instagram Stores, and occasionally brighten it a little bit more in Instagram. Their Lux function is really handy—it adds contrast and clarity at the same time, which really helps make smartphone images look like they were taken on a DSLR.

PicsArt is another photo app that I use on a regular basis. If VSCO is the Adobe Lightroom of smartphone apps, then PicsArt is the Photoshop. (Although Adobe does make Lightroom CC and Photoshop Express for smartphones; I just don’t use either!) PicsArt is pretty ad-heavy without a subscription, but it’ll let you really go to town on your images. Some of its functions include curves, clone stamping, and perspective shifting, as well as more obvious edits, like hair colour shifting and light leak overlays.

If you’re not sure where to begin with image editing, I honestly recommend just starting out in Instagram. Their basic photo editing tools are pretty solid! Begin with exposure and white balance, and then let your creativity take you away.

This last section is for those of us who live on the internet. There is absolutely no need for a social media scheduler if you’re just documenting your life, and I genuinely hope that we never enter a day where they become the norm! But for those who use social media for work, using a scheduler makes the process easier on a day-to-day basis.

Social media has become such a huge industry that the expectation for each post has really shot up. In order to grab someone’s attention, every image you produce has to give value , either by being (for instance) informative or exemplary. So, when you’re looking at the social media feeds of bloggers or brands that you follow, you’re likely seeing something that was scheduled weeks in advance. Using a social media scheduler helps social media managers wrangle multiple platforms and accounts at once, and make a big difference in helping you stick to the “big picture:” the story that you’re following for your feed.

I recommend dipping into a few basic social media schedulers to see if switching to a scheduler would help you spend more time focusing on the moment, if you tweet or ‘gram a lot. Buffer, Hootsuite, and Later are the current big 3 of the social media world right now, and they all offer something unique.

Stay grounded in the moment

Social media has become a huge part of daily life, but it doesn’t have to be. By streamlining your workflow with a great camera/smartphone and the right apps, you can cut down the amount of time you spend on social media while still reaping its rewards. Easy editing programs like Adobe Lightroom and VSCO for mobile will help you get your photos Insta-ready, which you can post when you get home or schedule to go up later in the month.

The better your process gets, the less time you’ll spend doing it—and the more time you’ll actually get to spend feeling as joyful as you look in those photos.

Explore smartphones and cameras online at Best Buy. 

This post contains images from theNotice and @thenotice, courtesy of the author. 


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