If you haven’t experienced the joys of uploading your photos to the little white app with the black ring in the center, you are truly missing out. There is nothing like watching a passable photo turn postable with the application of a filter, a little bit of grain and the perfect amount of color tint that makes you look tan year-round. VSCO is a lifesaver to all. The numerous tools and filters that are not only incredibly useful but also ~free~ genuinely make my life complete. So yes, I suppose you could call me a VSCO girl. I don’t own a Hydro Flask, I don’t exclusively wear oversized t-shirts and Birkenstocks and while I do own an exorbitant amount of scrunchies, I never wear them stacked on my wrist together. Now of course, if you happen to do these things, I’m not trying to hate on you. It’s a different lifestyle, and I respect it.
I used to think VSCO was purely an editing app. Throw on some C1 or M5 (my personal favorites), a bit of grain, shift the white balance to yellow and you’re good to go. Then I discovered, VSCO is among my favorite social media platforms at the moment. Sure, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook will always be there as our reliable forms of social interaction but I really believe there’s a new contender—VSCO.
Now, you can post photos and videos (only editable after upgrading, unfortunately) without the pressure of needing likes or comments. People will see your photos, favorite them if they want and repost them if they match their vibe. In my eyes, VSCO takes away the pressures that social media interactions can sometimes have. There isn’t a contest for followers (the number of followers a person has isn’t even displayed!). There’s no optimal time to post and no limit to the number of photos you can post. There’s no need to come up with a silly caption or worry about people unfollowing you if they don’t like your content. I am not active on VSCO for other people. I post my photos so I can look back on my memories as a collective whole and I love seeing other people’s photos as well. The ways in which people edit their photos constantly gives me ideas for how I want to edit mine. What’s nice about VSCO is that it provides users with the filters used on a photo, which means they can replicate it if they want to.
I wouldn’t call myself a photographer by any means. My iPhone camera serves me well but certainly doesn’t make my photos look professional or stunning. I also wouldn’t exactly say that I have an eye for what makes a good photo a good photo. VSCO makes me feel like I can successfully edit a photo and change it in order to fit a certain theme. It’s actually fun to play around with filters, hide any blemishes with grain and give your face a nice, warm glow. VSCO also doesn’t limit you to only posting photos of yourself or you with your friends. My VSCO is filled with pictures of Emory’s beautiful campus, people marching at Pride and any yummy food I can find.
VSCO, which actually stands for Visual Supply Co., used to build filters for Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Those platforms are seemingly hard to navigate, but VSCO is fairly easy for most who can traverse through a phone. Not only does this app allow you to get rid of the stale iPhone camera look, but it also serves as a platform through which you can share photos for the purpose of looking at the photos and seeing how other people capture the world.
If you haven’t used VSCO before, I highly recommend it. And if you have, maybe consider changing the way you use it. It doesn’t have to be limited to an editing app that can make your photos “Instagram ready.” It can serve as a social media platform that will allow you to edit and create for you!