5 tips to improve your Instagram photos

by Sarah Breugelmans · 13/01/2021

Hi there! Looking for some tips to improve your Instagram photos? Here are 5 things to keep in mind while taking Instagram pictures, or just pictures in general.

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1. Good light is everything

When you're making Instagram photos, keep in mind that your picture stands or falls with lighting. You probably have seen it before: a picture that’s way too overexposed or just way too dark. One of the worst nightmares of a photographer is when you see someone posting a picture with bad lighting. But what does a picture with good lighting have, I hear you thinking. Well, it’s actually quite simple.

A picture with good lighting has:

  • No white spots due to overexposure
  • A clear vision of what’s in the picture
  • Just the right amount of shadows and highlights

So, take in mind to take your photos during the day and not at night. Natural light is the best free light everyone can use. If you want to take pictures at nighttime, make sure you have a good flashlight, ring light or something else that recreates natural light.

2. Quality is key

Did you know that quality and lighting go hand in hand? Good light makes sure your picture will have better quality. Nothing is worse than an unsharp picture on your Instagram feed. Prevent that your picture has visible pixels and try to have as little moving elements as possible, these can influence the quality of your end result.

Some people think that you need to have an expensive camera with an even more expensive camera lens to create the best quality Instagram pictures. But that’s where they are wrong. Most of the influencers you come across Instagram, take their pictures just with their iPhone or smartphone. There are many smartphones on the market that have a great built in camera, so why spend all your money on a separate camera when you can have everything in 1 phone?

3. Mix up your angles

Make sure that your Instagram feed has a cohesive look in general. It’s important that not only every different picture is beautiful on its own, but also that every picture tells a little part of the big story you want to tell. To make your Instagram feed interesting, it’s important to mix up your angles. Imagine: a feed where every picture has the same angle, for example: every picture is taken on eye-height. Don’t get me wrong, a concept like this can have its own charms, but if you ask me: it’s kind of boring. If you want to surprise your audience and keep them interested in your pictures, make sure to switch your angle now and then.

4. Rule of Thirds or Centered Composition?

If you are known in the photography world, you probably have heard from ‘the rule of thirds.’ If not, don’t worry, because I’m going to talk a little bit more about this right now. The rule of thirds is a composition guide. Actually, this rule divided your screen so to say in 3 evenly spaced horizontal and 3 evenly spaced vertical lines. We call it also a “nine-part grid” (see picture 1 below.) When the subject of your photo falls on or around one of the 4 intersections of these lines, your photo often becomes stronger and more dynamic. In this case, your subject will be either on the left or right side of your frame, but not in the middle. Picture 2 shows a photo taken with the rule of thirds.

Afbeelding met tekst, boom, buiten, zoogdier Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Source picture 2: https://images.app.goo.gl/HFSXKe7MLjLNQfV16

Now you know what the rule of thirds means, can you guess what “centered composition” stands for? You guessed it right, it simply means that you put the subject of your picture right in the center. Picture 3 shows a photo taken with a centered composition.

Which one do you like the most?

Afbeelding met lucht, boot, buiten, dokken Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Source picture 3: https://images.app.goo.gl/65qoNeEpt4Kitin99

5. Be creative!

Last but not least, be creative. People like to see unordinary pictures passing by when they are scrolling on Instagram. There is nothing wrong with an average good picture, but these are most likely to be forgotten first. If you post a creative or special picture that has a lot of interesting elements in it, people are going to stop scrolling and take a moment to analyze the picture, read the copy and maybe they will even click on your account to find out if there are more of these interesting pictures. That’s exactly what you want, you want people to see and explore your account so that they will be intrigued enough to follow you afterwards.

No inspiration for your next post? Don’t stress out, just look on Instagram accounts that inspire you, on Pinterest or anywhere to activate the creative part of your brain again! I’m sure that there will pop up a great idea somewhere in your brain, at a moment you don’t expect it. (Ps: these are mostly the best ideas!)

Are you going to try these tips? Let us know!

Lots of love,

Sarah (intern @welikeyou)