Using One Photo Editing App: Why You Should Use VSCO

Using One Photo Editing App: Why You Should Use VSCO Cam

I’ve already shared my preference for shooting minimally, the gear I use 95% of the time, and why. But a part of this minimal toolkit are my iPhone and VSCO Cam. As much as I wish I could have my Canon 5D Mark III magically whip out of my pocket every time I wish I had it to shoot with, it’s not always possible to have the best equipment with you at all times. But what I do have with me most of the time and you probably do too is my iPhone.

Master one tool

When you learn how to use it best, how to push the boundaries of any creative tool, you can accomplish great things. Over the past few years as I’ve upgraded from an iPhone 4 to iPhone 5, and most recently the iPhone 6, my mobile photography skills have improved with better equipment for sure. But aside from the exhausting upgrades of technology, the one tool I couldn’t live without is VSCO Cam.

iPhone + VSCO Cam: The only photography tools you'll ever need

Discovering #VSCOcam

I honestly can’t remember when I first discovered VSCO Cam but I do know how. It was the repetition of seeing the #VSCOcam hashtag on Instagram photos of people I followed. Curiosity lead to research (Google) and I discovered the company VSCO and the amazing digital tools they offer.

I downloaded the app immediately (it is free after all, what do you have to lose?). VSCO Cam was the first photo editing app I found that allowed me to truly have control over my photos, something I didn’t realize how much I wanted or needed until I used it.

Raising the bar in mobile photography

Before VSCO Cam existed, I honestly didn’t care much for capturing photos on my phone. I rolled my eyes at the early Instagram photos because I could see “poor quality” written all over them so I wanted nothing to do with it. But at some point the bar raised. Now more than ever mobile photography is appreciated and constantly perfected as a skill. I have seen many photographers publish the most creative photo books including photography created solely from their iPhone.

Make the most of what you have

I am a firm believer in making the most of what you have. You do not need to have the best to makes something great and in fact having less usually makes it better. I thrive off of creative restrictions when it comes to a new project or skill I’m learning because it means I have to be resourceful and find my own solution. Nothing is more paralyzing than having the world to choose from in tools. But pick up one Sharpie, one paintbrush, or your iPhone’s camera and suddenly you have a means to create.

Your photography style is the essence of who you are

Every photographer will have their opinion and style when it comes to post-processing or editing their photography. Some might adopt a “minimal” approach, a genre that’s a recurring trend in today’s design aesthetic). A photographer's style is the essence of who they are. But what you do with a photo after you capture it whether that be a DSLR, a basic point-and-shoot camera, or an iPhone, is up to you as the artist.

Are you more dramatic with your blacks and whites? Do you accentuate the bright lighting? Do you always search for the brightest colors or pull back with neutrals? There are so many creative decisions that you are now the art director of.

Over time you’ll notice you gravitate toward the same editing process. Maybe you choose to adjust exposure or contrast first because it feels more natural to you. We are creatures of habits and this tends to resurface when we discover our “style”, our visual language.

With VSCO Cam I’m able to share a piece of myself and my vision with you and the rest of the world. I’m no longer confined because I’m not using a computer or Photoshop. Instead I have the tools I need to create minimally at all time.

Why you should use VSCO Cam

You may be wondering why I recommend this one photo editing tool over any other and it’s a great question. Here are a few reasons why you must get started today with VSCO Cam for your photography.

1. Simplify your mobile editing process

Once you develop a system of how you develop your photos you can then become more efficient. One of VSCO Cam’s newer features is the copy and paste function. Now of course I don’t recommend you copy and paste one editing workflow to every photo you take. There’s an art to it and each individual photo needs your attention to detail.This feature works best when editing several similar photos like different compositions within the same shooting location and time of day. However, if you’d like to get a quick idea of what a photo might look with a similar edit you’ve already spent time creating you can use this tip for quick results.

2. Consistency

Consistency in developing your own specific style of photography and your visual voice is important. You may spend years experimenting before you find what you really love to shoot and how to shape it to your vision. Once you do, consistency is key. You don’t want to stray from your visual voice and using one editing tool over and over until you perfect the process is the best way to reach mastery and consistency in your style.

3. Makes life easier

I don’t know about you but I don’t consciously look out for ways to complicate my life. If I can use one app or one editing tool for all my needs then I’m set. Why export and open another app just for one minor edit only to export and import back into another? That process gets messy fast and I'd rather spend time creating.

4. Professionalism

Last and most important is professionalism. If you’re serious about developing your mobile photography skills then you want the best. There is no other creative app out there today that gives you this level of features and control over your photos. No more Instagram filters, start mastering the VSCO Cam app today.I can’t promise this photo editing app will solve all your mobile photography needs but it can open your eyes to more possibilities. Over the next few weeks I’ll be diving into more specific ways of how to use VSCO Cam to discover your visual voice.

Need help learning how to edit with VSCO Cam?

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Sometimes the simplest tools are the best solution. If you haven’t had a chance to push your mobile photography to the next level with VSCO Cam then I suggest you get started today. Head to the app store, search VSCO, and download. When you have the proper tools to develop your photos the way you see them in your mind, that gap between you and your vision becomes that much smaller.