First things first — Let's talk VSCO

For us – the secret's out: VSCO is a must-have in our tool-kit – making it easy to shoot, edit, and share images with a quality that emulates what we first knew as professional photographers. From its built-in camera with advanced settings to its range of editing tools and platform, the VSCO app will have your dSLR cameras doing a double-take in no time. It's no coincidence that our longtime admiration of the VSCO ecosystem (and the team behind it all) would lead Artifact Uprising to join the VSCO family earlier this year.

Explore the go-to tips and tricks below for using VSCO and taking them to print – we hope you'll feel inspired to create alongside us.

Shoot & Edit With VSCO

We use the built-in camera for advanced control of light conditions, focus and white balance. Combine this with the many built-in presets and a full suite of editing tools and we're able to cover all of our editing needs right from within the app. Check out the before-and-afters below of some of our recent photos we've shot and edited using VSCO®. (wink wink: you never saw the before)

Side-by-side comparison of the G3 / +11 filter by VSCO

The old saying goes "Less is more" – and it's no different for your photographs. When applying presets & other basic editing functions, we always aim for a timeless look. You never want to stray too far from where you started – but a little bit of pop never hurts. Here, we mixed a touch of contrast with the A6 preset to add more depth. (Insider tip: 9 times out of 10, we bump up the exposure of our photographs by at least one notch before editing.)

Side by side filter compariosn of the KK2 / +6 filter by VSCO

When editing your photo, think back to how you felt in the exact moment the photo was taken – Was it cold? Eye-blinding bright? Cloudy? You can add subtle elements of this while in the editing process. Here, we thought back to the desert-like weather and beating sun to create a warm effect. By choosing the KK2 preset, the rich oranges and reds are added back into the photo.

(Insider tip: Not all presets come standard with the app. If you peek in the VSCO store, there are a few you can download for free like the KK preset used above!)

Side-by-side filter comparison of the C1 / +3 preset by VSCO

We've all been there – window seat, camera in hand, and the photo never quite turns out. Bump the exposure up a few notches to make up for those dusty double-thick windows. Recreate the vibrant colors that your eye saw. Here, we focused on bringing out the green with preset C1.

Side-by-side comparison of the B3 / +3 preset by VSCO

Channel your inner Ansel Adams and make way for timelessness with VSCO's black & white presets. Turning up the exposure can completely change the detail in the image. VSCO offers three standard Black & White presets so make sure to try them all before making your final edit.

Side-by-side comparison of the A6 / +6 filter by VSCO

"The tones, the tones!" Those are words you'll hear echoing around our office every now and again. We're suckers for beautiful tones and there's a good bet you'll find them in most images of water if you play (or edit) your cards right.

Ready to step up your photography? Download the VSCO app and check-out this video walkthrough or the step-by-step guide for iPhone.