How to Create Instagram Photo Filters in Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create three amazing portrait effects by creating photo filters. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create them, even those who have just opened for the first time.

The effects shown above are the ones I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the Instagram-inspired photo effect shown below, then check out Instagram Filter – Photoshop Action.

What You’ll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. Let’s Get Started

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
Checking image size and mode

2. How to a Nashville-Inspired Instagram Filter

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a Nashville-inspired Instagram photo filter. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new levels adjustment layer and name it F_1_Levels.

Creating new levels adjustment layer

Step 2

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, enter the settings below:

Adjusting levels

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it F_1_Color_Fill, and choose the color #edd593 as shown below:

Creating new solid color fill layer

Step 4

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply.

Changing blending mode

Step 5

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast to create a new brightness/contrast adjustment layer and name it F_1_Brightness/Contrast.

Creating new brightness and contrast adjustment layer

Step 6

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Brightness to 19 and Contrast to 29.

Adjusting brightness and contrast

Step 7

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer and name it F_1_Curves.

Creating new curves adjustment layer

Step 8

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, enter the settings below:

Adjusting curves

Step 9

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance to create a new vibrance adjustment layer and name it F_1_Vibrance.

Creating new vibrance adjustment layer

Step 10

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Vibrance to +26.

Adjusting vibrance

Step 11

Shift-click on the F_1_Levels layer to select all layers between at the same time. Then, go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers, and name it Filter_1.

Creating new group from layers

Step 12

Here is the final result for our first filter:

Filter_1 final result
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