Category Archives: Design

Best Instagram-Worthy Photo Editing Apps

I’ve seen it happen all the time. Well, I haven’t actually seen the process happening before my eyes, but I have witnessed the backlash. I’m talking about the inevitable outcome of using poor editing on an Instagram photo. Photos with amazing potential get squashed under the weight of others that were more creatively or professionally edited. Well, you don’t have to be a “professional” in order to ensure this never happens to your Instagram feed. You just have to do a little research on the appeal of edited photos and then use the right technology to get the job done. To help you out with that, I’m sharing my list of the best apps to use to get amazing Instagram-worthy edited photos.

Camera+
You may have seen this one popping up in the Instagram world, and that’s because it is so great for taking and editing photos. The grid setup on the camera allows for even a beginner to learn perfect posing and framing rules. The camera also has the ability to use wide angle, telephoto, and duo-camera functionality. Once you get into the Lightbox editor on the app, you can use “The Lab” to enhance your photo to its fullest edited potential like I did with the photo on the left when I turned it into the photo all the way to the right.

Lightroom
I would be letting down everyone if I didn’t talk about Lightroom in this post. This is a photo editing app for your phone based on the ever popular software for your computer that you can download through Adobe. A cousin to Photoshop, Lightroom allows the user to flawlessly edit their photos with very minimal knowledge about the “fancy stuff.” There’s even a really helpful Presets function that makes theming your feed as easy as possible. If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a Photoshop screen like “What the hell do I do with this?” then you need to get Lightroom. It is more user friendly, and there are easy to follow how-to videos for Lightroom all across the Web.

Canva
Okay, so, Canva is mostly used for editing graphics. But it has some pretty useful photo editing tools too! And you might need to put a graphic on your Instagram. Let’s say you just started a meeting group (like a book club or something). Canva can help you take a photo of your first meeting and turn it into a beautiful promotion piece with pretty writing and doodles on it to make you stand out!

There are plenty of photo editing apps in all of the app stores. These three are the ones that work for me, but you might be able to find one that you feel functions even better for you. The most important thing to remember is that your style is your style. Apps and other tools are just there to help you bring it out.

Do you have any other apps you use to edit your Instagram photos? Let me know in the comments below!

New Website Layout

Merry Christmas!

I know it’s been a while. With how much stress I’ve had to deal with lately, I’ve been MIA from the blog. I’m hoping that a refreshing new start to the New Year will help with that, but in the mean time – here’s a Christmas present for you (and for me): I’ve refreshed the Gray Graphics website to get a jump-start on things! You’ve probably noticed that already seeing as how you’re most likely reading this blog post on the website itself…

Anyway, go explore the new layout! Let me know what you think in the comments section below 🙂

Decorating My Small-Space Patio

My husband Ben and I love our new apartment! We’ve gotten more furniture for the place, added decor in every room, and gotten ourselves into a semi-solid cleaning routine. But lately, I have been so busy with decorating and maintaining my apartment, that I haven’t even given a thought to my patio! Well that all changed last night.

Even though our apartment is one of the bigger ones I’ve seen in our area, I would classify our patio as a small-space patio. It’s dimensions are 12 feet long by 8 feet high by 5 feet deep. It’s over two times as long as it is deep which made it a little difficult to find furniture that we thought would fit. I’ll set up this post in a kind of list format (almost parallel to the to-do list that I made to actually get all of this done).

  • Go shopping! I went to Home Depot and Walmart to find my fairy lights, furniture, grill, grilling tools, etc. I had my husband and sister with me to help me find furniture that would fit in the space and in a color-scheme that I liked.
  • Put together the furniture. This is my least favorite part of the whole process. I almost write “This is probably my least favorite part,” but I didn’t want to kid myself. My husband and his awesome friend Josh put together our little bistro set themselves – along with the grill that we bought from Walmart.photo
  • Hang the lights!We did this while there was no other furniture set up so that we wouldn’t lose the space to move around and put in the hooks.
  • Lay down the rug and set down the furniture! I loved this part, this is when everything started to look like itwas coming together!IMG_0675IMG_0676
  • Setup the grill where you think you’ll be barbecuing the most often! We have to pull our grill out from under our patio roof as part of the safety precautions laid out by our leasing office. So we decided to put it on the far wall right by the edge of the patio so that it’d be easy for us to move in and out.

All-in-all, I think we did a fantastic job! I’m not done with it yet; I still want to get some more decorative pieces now that I know I’m allowed to put hooks in the brick siding! I’m thinking of some hanging shelves with flowers and things on the wall above the grill (since it’ll never actually get used while it’s on that wall, it’s not a fire-hazard to have things above it). But we’ll see what happens as time progresses!

There’s a full apartment tour video coming up soon, so be on the lookout for that! Until next time!

Wedding: Our Theme!

So, you know how the theme of a wedding plays a really big part in setting the tone for the big night? Well, it does. For example, if you have a “butterfly” theme, people might start talking about you and your partner flying away together. If you have a “Star Wars” theme…people might start talking about you and your partner flying away together.

Okay, so maybe the theme doesn’t play into the wedding that much. But it definitely isn’t a small decision. So when Ben and I were trying to come up with the idea for our wedding theme, we sought out the help of our friends and family. The Star Wars theme came up…a few times…but we (and by “we” I mean “I”) didn’t whole-heartedly enjoy it – except on a joking level. One of my friends suggested no theme – just sticking with a color palette and that’s it. And I was fine with that except for the fact that in my head, a color palette translates to a theme and then I’m gonna wanna call the shindig by that theme name.

But then one of my friends – Jessie, who is also a bridesmaid – came up with the idea for a “Starry Night”-themed wedding. I told her all about the kinds of decorations I wanted (romantic lighting, mason jars with candles, maybe some light glitter here and there). I also told her about the three colors Ben and I came up with – navy blue, misty blue, and gray. We were talking about it while she was studying for her art history class, and lo and behold – the theme just popped into her head!

It’s definitely a good fit. We’re not going to have the “Starry Night” painting plastered onto our cake or anything. It’ll be very tastefully done – and not tacky at all. I’m so excited! Check out the grid above if you want to see some of the pictures (that I didn’t take) that I’m using as inspiration for the wedding decor!