How To Take Better Instagram Photos Step By Step
Why, you ask, should you be taking great Instagram photos? The answer is simple: better photos will attract more followers. This is important, especially if you’re using Instagram as a key marketing tool for your business.
You have the absolute best tool right at your fingertips – your smartphone. The cameras on smartphones these days are exceptional. It couldn’t be easier – you have it with you at all times, making it super simple to snap pictures whenever the mood strikes. Let’s say you’re strolling through your neighborhood on your evening walk, and you see something beautiful you’d like to share with your audience.
Whip out your handy tool, and take the shot. Practice the tips below until they become second nature. Over time, you’ll see your photos improve exponentially. And why not take better photos? It isn’t that hard, and doesn’t take any more time than taking a photo that’s mediocre. All it takes is a little know-how to take your photos from average to awesome!
Here we go…
1. Use Natural Light: Using window light or open shade will give your photos a soft, natural look. Flash tends to make photos look harsh and can also mess with exposure. If you’re inside, use a north-facing window, as opposed to one that faces south or west, where the light will be too glaring and direct. You’ll be glad you did – your photos will be much more flattering.
2. Use Portrait Mode When Possible: This mode makes use of your phone’s dual cameras to make your photos look like they were shot with a DSLR. The subject is kept in focus but the background is blurred. The technical word for this is “bokeh.”
This places the emphasis on the subject, where it should be, instead of distracting objects in the background that don’t add to the photo. You’ll have to step back to take the shot, but your photos will be more appealing. Of course, portrait mode won’t work all the time, as many shots will require a wide angle lens.
3. Use A Reflector: I carry a white styrofoam board in my car, which acts as a reflector to bounce the light and fill in shadows. This tip, alone, can turn a good photo into a great one and it’s so simple. Anything that is white will do so use your imagination. A reflector is also great, but there’s no need to spend money if you don’t already have one.
4. Shoot In Square Mode: Instagram only supports square photos so shoot in square mode on your iPhone or Android. You’ll avoid having to crop essential elements out of your picture when editing. Pretty simple, right?
5. Play Around With Angles: Not every photo has to be taken from eye level. Shoot down on your subject for added interest and appeal. Or crouch down low, and shoot up at your subject. Don’t use this angle for people with double chins, though, they’ll hate you! You can also counteract bad lighting by playing around with angles.
6. Zoom In And Out: You can get a variety of shots, of the same subject, by moving closer or further away to capture closeups and full-length shots. Don’t limit yourself by staying in one position.
7. Take Lifestyle Photos: Let’s say your selling purses. What should you do? Take a photograph of your bag with a person carrying it, or a shot of it alone on a white background? Photograph it on a person. People can then visualize how it will look on them. This is a good marketing strategy.
8. Capture Details: Get up close and personal to a child’s smile or the texture of a beautiful flower. Learn to see the details of what you’re photographing. Your pictures will be more interesting.
9. Look For Appealing Colors And Shapes: These elements make a photograph pop, drawing in your viewers. Our eyes are naturally drawn to different hues, shapes, and angles.
10. Get Good at Composing: Great shots are everywhere. Pretend your eyes are the lens of a camera, and get good at composing shots before you take them. You’ll have an endless stream of material to photograph, and sometimes in the least expected places.
Instagram Picture Ideas
Now that you know how to take better pictures, what should you photograph? The answer is – anything and everything that sparks your interest. Make your pictures stand out by following the tips above.
Be observant, and always on the hunt for great photos. They can be found everywhere. Practice looking at things in a new way. You can train your eyes to see things you wouldn’t normally see. Cultivate awareness.
Look for photos that convey a mood – emotion always sells. See something surreal? Snap it! Cute candid photos are always winners. Document your day in all its shapes and forms. What are you eating or wearing? How do you feel today?
If you’re remodeling your house or apartment, visually document your experience. Photograph your pets! There’s really no end to what you can photograph. And lastly, photograph the ordinary, which may not be so ordinary after all, depending on how you choose to capture it.
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It doesn’t take a lot of extra time to take stunning photos versus ones that are just okay. It’s certainly worth the added effort and your Instagram profile will be much more captivating and engaging because of it.
What tips do you use to get fabulous photos? Did I leave something out? Let me know in the comments:)
4 thoughts on “How To Take Better Instagram Photos [10 Tips You Can Start Using Today]”
I really enjoyed your article. It has given me great ideas that I need to be taking more pictures and better pictures. You never know when you might need them. I do have a question, since I am by no means a photographer. How do you use a reflector? Where do you place it when taking a picture?
All of your pictures are great. You do a very good job of taking pictures. This is going to make me start working at being more creative.
Thank you for reading my post. When I use a reflector or white board, I typically place it to one side of the subject. This will bounce the light from the sun or window into the person’s face. If the person is seated, I’ll sometime place the reflector on the ground so the light is reflected up into the person’s face. I play around with it until I get the effect I want. It’s actually pretty fun!
Really great post! I don’t use Instagram anywhere near enough for my business. I do ad lots of photos and this post will certainly help with that.
A little tip I picked up for photos is if they are a bit dark head over to Canva.com and put them in one of the frames there for an edit and you can use a filter to brighten them. really brings a picture out especially if using on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks again for those tips. really helpful,
That is a great photo tip. I use Canva a lot but have never used their filters. Thanks for that suggestion!