Instagram photo edits have come a long way since the Nashville and Mayfair filters entered our lives.
Now, it's all about subtle tweaks, consistent color tones, and ethereal effects.
Ready to tap into the latest trends and give your posts some pizazz?
Here are the top 6 photo editing trends on Instagram right now:
Raw and Unedited
Text Overlays (Especially on Reels)
Light Flares and Reflections
Pink-toned Hues and Filters
#1: Desaturated Tones
Long gone are the days of harsh edits and pumped up saturation — desaturated tones is what everyone is lusting after now.
We’re talking brightness down, a hint of sharpness, and saying goodbye to bright colors.
Check out how creator @theindiaedit has adopted the style on her feed:
To achieve this effect, shift the brightness and highlights way down. You can easily achieve this look by editing right in your phones ’ camera settings but, you can also use photo and video editing apps like Tezza or VSCO.
On Tezza, try the filter “Cocoa” and on VSCO, try bringing your brightness down and applying India’s favorite filters, “M5” and “A4.”
If a dark feed isn’t your vibe, you can still play around with desaturated tones. Try bringing the saturation down and upping your brightness like influencer @shawnacischroeder:
One of the easiest ways to start incorporating desaturated tones into your feed is by using a free visual planning tool to experiment with different feed compositions before you hit publish.
Later’s Visual Instagram Planner shows you exactly what your Instagram feed will look like with your future posts in it, so you can achieve the perfect grid.
You can easily rearrange or swap out photos from your media library until you’ve found the best composition for your feed. Plus, you can now use Later’s Visual Instagram Planner straight from your mobile!
#2: Raw and Unedited
The raw and unedited photo trend has been gradually building momentum over the last 12 months, and we’re tipping it to be a huge trend in the upcoming year.
An influx of brands and creators are now peppering their feeds with “no edit edit” photos.
Check out how TikTok star @remibader has adopted the unedited style on her feed:
Even the most natural-looking Instagram photos probably have some edits happening behind the scenes, but the trick is to keep them subtle — make minor edits to your contrast, brightness, and color corrections.
This minimal edit trend goes hand-in-hand with the rise of authentic content over recent years, which has seen a shift in the way brands and creators interact and engage with their communities.
Once upon a time, brands strived for a picture-perfect perception. But brands are now embracing being more open, honest, and vulnerable with their communities.
#3: Text Overlays (Especially on Reels!)
If you're looking to tap into the coolest visual trends on Instagram Reels, this editing trend is one for you.
Adding timed text overlays to Instagram Reels is a great way to tell a stronger story – and it looks really aesthetically pleasing too.
To achieve this trend, use an external editing app like InShot. You can download and import fonts and add them on screen for a set duration.
Check out this in-depth tutorial by @reelstips for more inspiration:
#4: Light Flares and Reflections
Light flares and reflections are another hot trend making waves on Instagram.
We’re seeing these edits appear on the feeds of Gen Z and millennial-focused creators, influencers, and brands alike.
And you don’t need fancy lighting or photo studios to achieve this look, it can all be achieved in the edit.
The result is eye-catching and ethereal.
Plan and schedule your aesthetic feed in advance with Later — it's free!
#5: Pink-toned Hues and Filters
On Instagram, we wear pink.
Pink-toned hues and filters can make your Instagram grid look whimsical and nostalgic.
Think: 90s Barbie meets Clueless — an aesthetic that's perfect for a millennial-skewed audience.
#6: Warm Tones
Every year, there’s one effect that seems to take over Instagram — and this year, it’s warm tones.
These toasty tones bring a sense of cozy richness to any feed. They’re ideal for interior design, portraits, and product shots.
For example, travel blogger Kelsey of @kelseyinlondon uses warm tones to highlight her beautiful travel shots:
To recreate this trend, lookout for presets that have reddy-brown undertones. Check out Tezza’s "Toasty" and the "Warm" Series in VSCO for a great starting point.
Remember, creating a cohesive Instagram aesthetic for your feed isn’t as important as it used to be. Which means there’s never been a better time to play around and experiment with different vibes.
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
If you’re not sure how new photos will look on your feed, try editing them ahead of time and using Later’s Visual Instagram Planner.
Ready to create the perfect Instagram aesthetic for your brand? Design, curate, and plan your feed with Later!