How To: Create a “Theme” on Instagram & How I Edit My Photos!

Hey, Donnas!

Creating an Instagram theme is something that I have worked toward accomplishing over the past few months. Though I still haven’t perfected it, but I have learned some tips along the way. I want to share those tips with you so you can work toward perfecting your Instagram theme too!

Subject Matter and Palette

The first part of creating an Instagram theme is deciding what your subject matter is going to be and/or what color palette you’re going to focus on. A color palette isn’t necessary, but I do recommend you try to focus on one. Even if you narrow it down to 4-5 colors that you try to include in your photos.

My current theme has a color palette of grey, tan, black, white and red and include both silver and gold accents. As you probably noticed, these colors are all neutrals besides red, and that is because that is my accent color. I also include dark pinks and blush to accent as well because they are supplements of red. I find that since I decided on a color scheme, my theme looks much more cohesive.

My subject matter varies but since I am trying to focus more on fashion content, I try to make sure there are no more than three photos in a row of something other than a Fashion related post and try to include photos of myself very often. I was looking through successful blogger’s Instagram accounts and noticed that their faces are in almost every photo. I have tried to strive toward this and have slowly become better at achieving this goal!

Editing Your Photos

VSCO editing is no longer a secret but finding the right editing formula can take some time. You can find a lot of VSCO theme formulas on Pinterest! I usually go there for inspiration then modify them as desired from there. It can be hard to decide which theme is perfect for you from looking at the samples in the Pinterest posts but you can usually narrow it down to your top three theme candidates from there.

Next, you’ll want to see which theme is right for your photos! What I like to do is gather at least 6 photos (or 3 if you only have that many) that are very good IG photo candidates. Then, import all of them into the VSCO app at least 3 times (so you’ll have 18 photos). Next, edit all three sets of photos in your top 3 favorite themes and compare the results to see which one best reflects the look you’re going for!

Each of the 3 groups of 6 photos above are edited with different VSCO filters.

The top is my current set of edits, the second is the formula I used for Fall and the 3rd is a formula that I was once using for my summer bright photos. As you can tell, the top edits are bright but still accentuate the brownish colors. Since I want to include tan in my palette, I don’t want a theme that washes these colors out. The red accent colors still pop as well. Here’s the formula:

The Fall formula in the middle is a little dark for my taste now and I notice that when there isn’t great lighting, the photos come out very dark with this formula. This formula was perfect for fall because it highlights oranges and browns nicely! If that is your aesthetic, this one is good for you! Here’s the formula:

The last group of photos is way to bright for the aesthetic that I am going for. This set of edits makes my face look orange and brights out the background too much for my taste. The white colors still the show, although this theme does highlight the reds nicely. If you don’t want any brown/tan colors in your palette, this set of edits with a brighter theme could be the one for you! Here’s the formula:

More Than Just A Formula

It’s important to know that you can’t expect all of your photos to mesh just by applying the same formula to all of them. Sometimes you’ll want to adjust the exposure if the edit is really dark or add saturation if the photos colors look dull. I also downloaded Snapseed the app by Google and I will use some of those tools to further edit the photo if needed. The more editing “tools” you have in your toolbox, the more options there are for perfecting your theme.

My favorite tool is the Dodge & Burn brush in the Snapseed app to brighten only backgrounds in a photo, especially if I take a photo with a white wall in the background. This tool allows me to maintain bright backgrounds in a photo without brightening myself or the subject matter. This is an important tool for me because I have pale skin and when I add too much exposure or brightness to a photo of myself, it washes me out. Moral of the story, you have to know what edit formula works for you and the aesthetic you are going for!


VSCO is a free editing app but there are in app purchases available for more filter options. I never clicked on the filter store because I have never found that I needed to pay for additional ones. One day out of curiosity, I clicked on the store and found that they had a few filters in the store that were free for additional download. To find the store, hit the shop button next to all of your current filter options.

Among these are the aesthetic series that I use for a lot of my themes now. This was definitely a game changer because with these filters, there are so many opportunities.

I hope these tips have helped you learn more about how you can start creating your own Instagram theme! If you have any specific questions that I didn’t cover in this post, leave them down below and I can answer them for you! It’s hard to think of all you would want to know so don’t hesitate to ask!

QOTD: “You don’t have to see the first staircase, just take the first step.” – MLK

Until next time,



3 thoughts on “How To: Create a “Theme” on Instagram & How I Edit My Photos!

  1. I love, love, love this post! I have yet to attempt an Instagram theme…mainly because I don’t upload to my actual feed that often (confession: I don’t love taking photos) but I have started to play around with VSCO and really love it! Thanks for sharing all of your tips and tricks with us! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post!! It definitely takes a lot of thought to plan it out and I can totally relate with not loving to take photos but it is really fulfilling when you see your feed starting to look cohesive! No problem! Thank you for reading!! XOXO


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