7 Instagram Photo Editing Trends Every Marketer Should Know in 2020


Instagram is a great tool for building your brand. With around 1 billion active users each month, it should not be overlooked as a platform for reaching a significant chunk of online audiences with considerable purchasing power. As a marketer, you have to learn to adapt to the ever-evolving tastes of the audience on the platform, as well as to the changes in the platform itself.

Instagram capitalises on telling visual stories that hook the audience, which is why marketing campaigns on the platform are largely driven by photo and video ads. It’s not just about posting stuff either; you have to ensure that your content, whether paid or organic content, does not grow stale.

Here’s a list of the top 10 Instagram photo editing trends that will help you keep up with the Instagram aesthetic whilst also staying true to your brand’s image.

Film camera aesthetics

The thing about living in the present is it makes you want to go back to the past. The force of nostalgia is not to be underestimated, which is why the use of Polaroid aesthetics is making a comeback. Instagrammers recreate film camera effects by playing with vignettes, blurs, and light leaks that characterised photos in the ’90s. There’s no better way to re-live wistful memories than by making new ones through faux-analogue lenses, achieved by apps such as VSCO and Huji Cam.

Old school vibe

Hand in hand with the Polaroids, the retro look is also gaining traction. With the popularity of TV series such as Stranger Things, people are itching for the old-school gritty vibe, awash with neons.

High-flash pics

The high-flash look tends to be unforgiving on its subject, but done well, it is poignant and powerful. Photos taken this way are sharp and saturated and authentic, in an unpolished sort of way, which makes them even more real and relatable to the audience. For a crisper output, use a tool like Tric instead of relying on your phone’s flash only. Even better, use an actual DSLR and play with the settings for the desired effect.


Glitches are not exclusive to the Matrix anymore. Celebrities like Ariana Grande have popularised the use of the glitch effect on both photos and videos, giving that chromatic feel that gets the audience’s attention. You can create your own glitchy look using apps like Glitch Cam.

Beige world

Recreating film camera aesthetics isn’t the only way to travel back in time. These days, brands and influencers are also playing with neutral beige tones on their Instagram feeds to give off an antique or vintage feel. There’s something infinitely charming about looking at a set of photos draped in warm desaturated filters, showing an effortlessly elegant vibe. You can play around with this effect with this app by A Color Story.

Photo doodles

This trend is all about playfulness and flair by adding fun effects on your photos. Elements such as paint strokes, shapes, glitters—there’s no limit to how creative you can be. The goal is to be as eye-catching as possible, giving your photos that extra verve and inventiveness. There are lots of apps you can use. Meitu, for instance, lets you both paint and add texture to your photo. A Design Kit equips you with brushes, stickers and backgrounds for a whimsical feel.

Black and white

This one’s a classic that never truly goes out of style. The black-and-white aesthetic provides a sleek, clean and modern vibe to your photos. This could work well for portrait shots since the black-and-white filter gives them a more expressive, focused feel. For easy emulation, try using the Camera Noir app.

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More than being aware of the trends, you also have to know which one works best for your brand. Following trends just because they’re in can damage more than help the narrative you’re building with your content. You have to ensure that regardless of which trends you use, your Instagram feed should reflect a cohesive aesthetic in line with your brand’s message.

The LeapFrogger team is here to help you out! Get in touch with us and we’ll discuss how we can make Instagram work for your business.

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