The best Instagram filters for different kinds of photos

Instagram has millions of users, and all of them are posting their favorite photos in hopes of likes and comments. To help you stand out from the growing crowd, Instagram has a great selection of filters that you can apply to your photos before posting. Whether you’re an Instagram pro or are just beginning your Insta-journey, we’ve got some tried-and-true tips to help you find the best Instagram filter for all your favorite shots.


Instagram filters and effects for selfies

The iconic selfie is still the most popular type of photo across Instagram, and it’s a great way to show the world where you are or what you’ve been up to. You have to be careful when using filters for selfies, though — using the wrong one can ruin your skin tone. Here are some great filters for Instagram selfies.

Mayfair is best in natural sunlight

Mayfair gives your photo a soft pink cast and places focused highlights in the center of your photo. With the selfies shot in natural sunlight, it gives you a sun-kissed glow that’s both natural and flattering. On the other hand, if you’re shooting under harsh indoor lighting conditions, the Mayfair filter may add too many highlights, making for an overexposed selfie.

Whenever you post a new photo to Instagram, the app automatically saves a copy of it to your phone, essentially creating duplicates of the same photo. An app like Gemini Photos will clean up the Instagram clutter by identifying and deleting these duplicate shots.

Download on the App Store



Lark for reducing flaws

The Lark filter on Instagram adds even highlights, reduces pink and red tones, and brightens up the background. It’s an all-around great filter for various shooting conditions, even for low and indoor light.

In selfies, the Lark filter’s subtle highlights will minimize wrinkles and blemishes, making you appear younger. It also does a great job brightening teeth. If you’re using Lark and find the highlights too much for your Insta selfie, simply tap the filter a second time and move the slider a bit to the left for a more natural look.

Lark, the best Insta filter for selfies

How do you get face filters on Instagram?

Have you tried the super awesome and time-sucking treasure that is Instagram face filters? You can only use them within the native Instagram camera, and they are a fun way to add a bit of personality to your Instagram Stories or even your Insta Feed.

The face filters and effects for selfies in Instagram Stories

There are currently dozens of filters to choose from, making it easy for you to add things like cupid hearts, gemstones, make-up, and sunglasses to your selfie. If the app gives you instructions like “raise your eyebrows” or “open your mouth,” just follow along and be prepared to laugh out loud.

To get Instagram face filters, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the camera icon in the upper-left corner of your Instagram app or swipe right across your screen while using the app. This will open the Instagram camera.
  2. If you’re taking a selfie, tap on the double circular arrow icon to reverse the camera.
  3. Tap on the face icon to choose your face filter, which will automatically add the first filter to your face.
  4. Once you find the perfect face filter, tap the shutter button to snap a photo or hold the button down to take a short video.
  5. Tap Send To > Your Story to add your creation to your Insta Stories.

Post a photo or video with a face filter to your Instagram Feed

Adding a face filter to a photos or video and then posting it to your Instagram Story is pretty straightforward, but if you want to add that same post to your Instagram Feed, you’ll have to take a few extra steps. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take the photo or video with a face filter as instructed above.
  2. Tap on the download icon, which looks like a downward pointing arrow with a horizontal line underneath it. This will save the photo or video to your Camera Roll.
  3. Navigate back to your Instagram Feed and tap the plus sign at the bottom of your screen to edit and post your photo or video. You can even add additional filters to create a perfectly unique post.

The best Instagram Story filters

Instagram has another selection of filters that they’ve created just for Stories, and all of them are named after famous cities of the world. Use them to make your Insta Stories stand out, whether you’re adding photos or videos.  Need a little help decided which ones to use on your next post? Here are some of our favorites.

For selfie photos or videos, try the Paris filter

Paris does an exceptional job smoothing out wrinkles, erasing small blemishes, and giving you a nice even skin tone, so it’s a great filter for photos or videos where you’re zoomed in on a single person. It’s a very subtle filter — perfect for people who don’t like filters!

Instagram Stories will get autosaved to your iPhone, giving you multiple copies of the same photos. If you don’t want to waste storage on those, install Gemini Photos. It will find and delete similar photos from your iPhone.

Download on the App Store



Brighten up scenery and food with the Oslo filter

Oslo is the perfect filter for brightening up your Stories without making them look unnatural. Oslo ups the exposure, saturation, and highlights with a single swipe, and it’s awesome for shooting interior food shots or dreamy landscapes, especially on a cloudy day. Use Oslo on your next road trip for all the vacation pics.

Instagram Story filters Paris and Oslo

How do you get filters on your Instagram Stories?

Using filters on your Insta Stories couldn’t be easier. To access them, simply take or open a photo or video in Stories, and swipe left repeatedly until you find a filter you’re happy with.


The best Insta filters for travel photos and nature

Travel and nature photos are almost as popular as selfies on Instagram. I mean, who doesn’t want to share photos of some dreamy beach in the Caribbean or the view from a mountain summit? Whether you’re posting flower shots from your backyard or photos from your recent vacation, the right Instagram filter will add a little pizzazz to your posts. Here are our favorite filters for nature, travel, and landscape shots.

Use the Clarendon filter for beaches and mountains

For brighter greens and blues, you can’t beat the Clarendon filter, and if your friends are already jealous that you’ve been relaxing by the sea, they may never speak to you again after seeing your beach photos. Clarendon will brighten up cloudy days, up the saturation, and give every landscape photo a nice glow.

Clarendon, the best Instagram filters for beaches and nature

Amaro is great for cities and historic sites

Want a subtle vintage look without losing the details of your photo? Amaro pairs nicely with historic buildings and architecture shots. It brightens up the center of your photo, adds a bit of shadow, and gives the background a subtle purple cast. Amaro, like all Instagram filters, can be easily adjusted by double-tapping on the filter and adjusting the slider until you’re happy with the result.


Instagram filters are a fun way to create unique photos and videos for your Insta Feed and your Stories, whether you’re looking for a subtle or a drastic change. Hopefully, experimenting with different Instagram filters will inspire you to explore the world with your camera and get creative with your Instagram posts.

Gemini Photos
Too many photos on iPhone?

Gemini Photos. Keep only the Insta-worthy.