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Instagram, Photography

8 Photo Editing Trends That Will Be Popular on Instagram in 2020

Photo editing trends come and go quickly, especially on Instagram!

Instagram’s native in-app filters have been out for a while, and 2019 saw an increase in both the everyday user and brands applying Lightroom presets to their feeds.

But there’s new photo, video and editing apps popping up every day, and it can be hard to keep up with what Instagram filters are trendy, and which ones are so last year. 

To help you keep your feed fresh and up-to-date, we’re sharing 8 Instagram photo editing trends that will be popular in 2020  – and showing you how to get the look yourself!

instagram photo editing trends

Photo Editing Trends for Instagram #1: Cool Photo Collages for Posts and Stories

The photo collage trend has been around on Instagram for quite a while, but they’ve seriously stepped up their game.

Now, we’re seeing  Instagrammers get much more creative with their collages this year, using new apps to stitch together images, videos, fun backgrounds and more.

The Unfold app exploded onto the scene in 2018 and kicked off the collage trend with its library of clean and modern templates for Instagram Stories.

While Unfold remains a popular choice, the latest Instagram Stories template app catching users’ eyes this year is the new StoryLuxe app.

The app is packed with a wide variety of dynamic Instagram Stories templates, including the Polaroid & instant film templates, neon, floral, and many more.

To get started, just select a template from one of the packs and add your photos and videos. Next, you can enhance your story with StoryLuxe’s filters, background textures, and colors to fit your Instagram aesthetic.

Last year, Instagram influencer Tezza created an exclusive mobile app, featuring her famous image presets. And now she’s even added collage templates to her popular app too!

Users are even taking advantage of long-standing Instagram features like carousel posts to make the most of their photo collages as well.

Take Joan Palà for example, who created a horizontal collage by creating a connecting carousel post. As you scroll through the post, the next image continues into the next.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by joan (@joanpala) on

This is a great way to entice your followers to keep swiping left to see how your photos connect! By creating a continued photo experience, your followers are much more likely to make it to the end of your post, and hit the like button. 

And remember – time spent on Instagram posts is one of the key factors that lead to your post performing well in the Instagram algorithm. The more time spent on your post (aka scrolling through your photos), the better.

You can create a similar effect using the app SCRL. Just open the app, select the number of slides you’d like to create for your post — remember carousel posts can include up to 10 images — and start adding in your images from your media library.

View this post on Instagram

Iconic style @bandier @filausa #scrlgallery

A post shared by SCRL Gallery (@scrlgallery) on

If you’re a fan of photo collages, this Instagram photo editing trend is set to stick around this year — it’s a great way to grab your audience’s attention and keep them tapping (or scrolling) forward for more.

Instagram Photo Editing Trends #2: Artistic Filters With Paint Strokes, Glitter and More

Instagrammers are showing off their artistic side by adding elements like paint strokes, glitter and other fun effects to their photos.

These multimedia masterpieces are really eye-catching, and a great way to add some fun to your images!

Developed by the creators of A Beautiful Mess and A Color Story, A Design Kit is a great way to add life to your images. The app is packed with stickers, backgrounds, and realistic brushes that let you draw textures or colors directly on your photos:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

A Design Kit is a great app for creating unique Instagram posts and stories with heaps of personality, that will keep your followers coming back for more!

Another way Instagrammers are taking to this trend is by adding a “mosaic” effect to their photos. For example, Artist Baia Gelashvili does this by adding a dreamy, glitter layer to images:

View this post on Instagram

☕️ @zoelaz

A post shared by Art_étoile (@art_etoile) on

You may also recognize this from popular Instagram influencer’s feeds, created by photographer Claire Huntsberger:

If you’re looking to recreate this look, the app Meitu lets you paint over where you want to add texture. The app is filled with a ton of different templates and textures to help you get creative:

If you’re looking to add some quirky creativity to your Instagram posts or stories, you’ll definitely want to try out these fun photo editing apps for Instagram!


Instagram Photo Editing Trends #3: Retro-Vibe Content with Film Scratches and Grainy Textures

The retro photo editing trend is still showing up all over our feeds this year.

In 2018, Instagrammers were all about kickin’ it old school with film filters, disposable camera apps, and vintage templates.

And while the widely popular app HUJI  seems to be “out”, users are finding new ways to recreate the vintage-look this year.

This year, Instagrammers are looking for new ways to give their photos a retro feel that allow them more flexibility to make the photo uniquely their own.

That’s where Prequel steps in: the photo and video editing app is one of the most most popular apps to add grainy, VHS and film filters to your content.

You can also add a grainy look to your photos using the app Mextures. This app has a collection of 18 different “grit and grain” textures to give your photo the perfect vintage look.

Love it or hate it, it looks like the retro Instagram photo editing trend is here to stay!

Instagram Photo Editing Trends #4: The “No-Edit” Edit

“Authenticity” has become  a big Instagram marketing trend in 2019. And that goes for how Instagrammers are editing their photos too!

As Taylor from Later predicted earlier this year, “The days of perfectly posed Instagram posts, overly edited photos, and Instagram bot comments are over, making way for more genuine experiences and authentic relationships”.

Bloggers and influencers are taking to the #nofilter trend and only applying subtle filters or edits to their photos to create an “in-the-moment” and unedited look into their lives:

via @jlbabe

To keep their feed still looking curated, they will typically make small adjustments to their photos, adjusting the temperature, brightness, or contrast to keep things consistent. They may also apply a subtle filter, but dial back the strength of the filter they’re using.

A fashion blogger favorite, VSCO’s A6 is the perfect Instagram filter to help you create a minimalist and modern aesthetic. The A6 filter, part of VSCO’s analog series, includes beautiful natural tones, subtle color shifts, and slight fading.

View this post on Instagram

ready to slide into spring 🌾 @loq

A post shared by Lexie Carbone (@lexiecarbone) on

Inspired by classic analog photography film, using this as an Instagram filter can help you achieve an understated, yet vibrant look.

Instagram Photo Editing Trend #5: 50 Shades of Beige On Your Feed

Beige, cream and neutral tones are taking over Instagram feeds, giving photos an “antique” or vintage vibe. This photo editing trend has an elevated and Parisian-feel, achieving an effortless elegance.

Businesses and influencers alike are taking to the trend, with brands like Mejuri paving the way with their perfectly-muted and minimalist look:  

Influencer Micaela De Lange (@lafemmebeige) has perfected this photo editing trend with her cool and understated feed:

If you want to achieve that natural, vintage-look without losing the natural tones in your image, try using the VSCO M-Series as your Instagram filters for your feed images. The desaturated filters will work wonders on your photos!  

Photo editing tool, A Color Story teamed up with Courtney Halverson (@prettylittlefawn) to create a pack of Instagram filters to help you achieve this look, too. The filters are packed with warm tones and a gentle contrast.

via www.abeautifulmess.com

This new “cool girl” Instagram photo editing trend is effortlessly chic and will give you serious aesthetic envy.

Instagram Photo Editing Trends #6: Bright Pastels Are About to Be Everywhere

Bright pastel colors are also making a serious comeback, in fashion and Instagram alike. These fun colors are about to be everywhere this spring and summer, and that includes your Instagram feed!

via @mariejedig

Instagrammer’s are taking color cues from New York Fashion Week when it comes to the colors they choose for the font, templates, effects and more when they are adding to their photos.

According to Pantone’s recent Fashion Color Trend report, “Vibrant without being overpowering, highlighted shades illustrate our desire for authenticity and our continued need for creativity and relatable, accessible design”.

In fact, Pantone’s Color of the Year, Bright Coral, will probably pop up on your feeds regularly.

via Pantone

The push toward “authenticity” is all over Instagram this year; whether it be in captions, photo edits, and now even color choices!

Pantone describes the color palette as a reflection of “our desire to face the future with empowering colors that provide confidence and spirit; colors that are uplifting.”

An easy way to use these colors is by selecting the “color picker” tool in Instagram Stories. For example, Taylor Anne grabs these trendy colors right from her photo to add an on-trend font for her captions:

You can also use this method to create background images for your text-based stories! Just pick the color that you’d like, and hold the screen to fill with the color of your choosing. Once you’ve created your colored-background, save the image to a folder for later use.

When you think about where Instagram photo editing trends are coming from, it’s much easier to spot them in the future!

As always, it’s important to stay consistent to your brand and only post images  (or colors!) that work for your business. While you don’t need to change the entire color palette of your feed, taking note of trends outside the platform will help your business stay ahead of the game.

Instagram Photo Editing Trend #7: The “Glitch” Effect   is Catching Audiences’ Attention

Another Instagram photo editing trend taking over the platform is the “glitch” effect. You may recognize the “glitches” that were made widely popular by Instagrammers like Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian.

These “glitches” appear over static photos or in videos and can be adjusted to be as strong or subtle as you’d like. If you want to give it a try on your own Instagram feed or stories, there are a few different apps that can help you recreate the look!

The app Glitché has a ton of different options to choose from and can be placed on any photo or video from your photo library. You can even save glitch’d images as GIFs to share on your feed or Instagram Stories:

View this post on Instagram

Blue static

A post shared by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) on

You can also download Glitch Cam, the free version of camera filters from Glitché that allows you to create the looks in real time.

Instagram Stories face filters have also come a really long way since their launch and the “chromatic pulse” filter is a favorite to help you achieve another “glitchy” look.

via @shaymitchell

Whether you’re adding a little movement to your static photos or an element of surprise to your videos, this is a great way to get your  viewers to stop in their tracks and watch!

Instagram Photo Editing Trend #8: Black & White Photos Are Making a Comeback

While some profiles  committed to an Instagram aesthetic in 2019 with a set of signature colors or tones, we’re now seeing black and white photos making their way onto these perfectly curated feeds.

Both bloggers and businesses are taking to the trend, including Jacey Duprie, Christie Tyler (@nycbambi), and even the popular brand Chloé:


This is a great way to post more of what you want, without worrying about how it will disrupt your color scheme. While it’s still important to maintain consistency in your aesthetic, we recommend adding your black and white photos sparingly.

As we’ve said before, creating a cohesive Instagram aesthetic for your feed is super important if you want to attract more followers and engagement. So while your Instagram feed should remain curated and consistent, don’t be afraid to follow suit and try out something new!

If you’re not sure how this will look on your feed, try editing your photos ahead of time (outside of the Instagram app) so you can make sure everything looks great and fits together before hitting ‘post’!

And if you really want to perfect your feed, using a visual Instagram planner like Later can help you plan out the look of your Instagram feed after you’ve edited your photos.

Just drag and drop your photos onto the visual planner, rearrange them to see how they’ll look in your Instagram feed, and then save to schedule them!

Plan your feed before you post with Later’s free Instagram planner + scheduler!

Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is the Marketing Campaigns Lead at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.

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