How to Take Perfect Instagram Photos

Many people are familiar with the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and as evidenced by the wealth of photo-sharing apps for smartphones, that saying still holds very true today. Instagram, one of the most popular photo-sharing app, has more than 400 million users across the world, and more than 80 million Instagram photos are posted each day, showcasing the creativity and personality of the each unique Instagram user.

However, for people without professional photo training, or for those who are new to Instagram, the app may be daunting. How do you snap, filter, and share striking Instagram photos you’re proud of? Here are the top five tips about how to take perfect Instagram photos:

  1. Start with a good photo.
    It’s easy to make a good photo better, but it’s hard to make a bad photo good on Instagram. When you’re taking the photo, make some quick changes to ensure you start with a solid foundation. First, look for good, natural lighting by a window or outdoors. Next, using the photo app on iPhones or Androids, tap the subject of the photo — this will set the focus on that subject and adjust the lighting to best highlight it. Also, look for a neutral background that won’t distract from your subject, such as a wall or line of shrubbery.
  2. What’s your mood?
    Are you going for artsy? Retro? High-fashion? Natural? Think about the mood you’d like your photo to have, and the feelings that you’d like to convey before you even click the electronic shutter. This will help you find lighting, such as high contract for artistic shadows or soft glow to highlight your favorite feature in a selfie, and help you concentrate on the important elements. Finally, Instagram’s infamous filters will help you put the final touch and feel on your photo.
  3. Pay attention to the crop.
    Instagram automatically crops photos to its signature square, which can be great for singular items like a bouquet of flowers or an ornate meal. But what about for the sunset on the beach, or the group shot with just a few too many people? Experts say that in many cases, a horizontal photo is the most appealing because when the human eye scans left to right, it takes in data five times faster than when it scans up and down. In its latest update, Instagram added a feature that allows users to publish photos in the original aspect ratio. When you upload photos, the app will detect if the photo is not a square photo, and an icon with two white arrows will appear in the lower left corner of your image. Click this to toggle back and forth between a square crop and no crop, choosing the crop that is best for your image.
  4. Craft a witty caption or flip to your emoji keyboard.
    You may think that once you’ve added those filters and cropped to the right size that you’re good to post a photo, but think again! The caption is one of the most important parts of your photo. Some people like to go for a quick word-play pun, while others like to highlight the subject of their post. Whatever your style, keep it clean, cohesive and too the point — don’t ramble! And if you can’t think of something fun to say, flip to your emoji keyboard for some quick, adorable icons or some inspiration! After all, it is a photo sharing app.
  5. Keep it simple!
    To draw the eye in and attract your viewers, keep both your image and your caption simple. People spend just a few seconds looking at an image as they scroll through the app, so make it easy for them to understand, comprehend and appreciate. Go for bold shapes, bright colors and interesting lines to keep people scrolling through your posts.

What’s your secret tip for getting Instagram likes and followers, or for just taking a great photo in general? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Courtesy of Flickr



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