Are you a newbie to the photo-sharing app Instagram? Do you want to get better at using this fun and creative platform and engage with your growing follower base in more productive ways? Whether you want to dive into Instagram for personal or business purposes, follow our quick guide of six no-fail tips for getting great photos via Instagram. What you’ll find is that with a little practice, you’ll produce better photos. And better, photos always produce more likes and followers. You are crafting your aesthetic for your Instagram via the photographs you are producing. In time, you’ll have a gallery you and your audience really enjoys. Let’s get started with these Instagram tips:
Tip #1: Use Rule of Thirds
In traditional photography, the rule of thirds is one of the most basic steps to know for great photo composition. Snap a random photo with your phone and then bring it up on your screen. Now, divide that photo screen into three equal sections or thirds by imagining lines dividing the screen. This is a good rule of thumb when bringing a person or object into the frame. You don’t want the subject of your photo to be in the middle section. You want your subject to be in the first or third section. This is visually-appealing to the eye. If you have two objects in your photo – Let’s say a tree and a cow. You could have the tree in the first section and the cow in the middle section. This creates the look of the objects taking up half the third. Basically, just don’t put your subject in the middle of your frame.
Tip #2: Watch Your Light
Light can make or break a photo, and there’s only so much you can do to color-correct and correct exposure in Instagram. So make sure your light is not too stark – such as direct sunlight – or too dim. You can use Instagram’s exposure and filter options to lighten or darken a photograph. But the very best photographs begin with good lighting conditions from the very beginning. Shooting a photo on an overcast day or the hour before the sun sets – called the “golden hour” – are two of the best times to shoot a photo for uploading on Instagram.
Tip #3: Find an Interesting Angle
Open your Instagram app and move your phone around as you look for an interesting angle. Don’t shoot just straight on your subject all the time. As you move your phone, you’ll see new objects come in and out of the frame, and that helps you see and compose differently.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Filters
Instagram has a very cool library of photo filters that are preset and will automatically change the exposure and color palette of your photo. All you have to do is tap on them at the bottom of your app and watch your photo change from a black and white photo to a vintage photo to photo saturated with color. This is the fun and creative part of creating photos on Instagram. Slide through the filters to decide which one feels right for your photo. Instagram also allows you do to some fine-tweaking of exposure and color before you post.
Tip #5: Write a witty caption
Your visual should carry the weight, but there’s also something to be said for a clever caption. The final step in Instagramming is writing your caption. Try to interject a little humor, but always keep your voice as authentic as possible. Did you take a beautiful photo of star-shaped lights? Caption it “Starry, starry night” to play off the famous Vincent van Gogh painting of the same name. That’s just one example, but there are many ways you can write a caption. You want your audience to resonate with your words – and laugh along with you. That’s going to get a “heart” every time.
Tip #6: Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag
After your write your caption,
use as many hashtags as you can think of to describe your photo. This helps Instagram users see your photo via an app that features millions and millions of photos. For that same star photo above, you might use hashtags such as: #star #stars #starry #starrystarry Variations of the same hashtag are a great way to tag your photo so others can identify it. Keep in mind that should try to maintain a short length on hashtags. Long hashtags – like run-on sentences – are difficult to read and make the reader think too hard. You just want the person who sees your photo to appreciate it and “love” it or comment on it. Don’t make Instagrammers second-guess why they are looking at your account. Let hashtags work for you!
Updated Tips #6: Find a few unique hashtags
Ovoid cramming your posts full of spammy hashtags. Finding a few unique hashtags can be more beneficial than spamming your photo with every basic hashtag you can think of. Most big players hardly use any hashtags and let the content do the talking for them. Accounts with a zillion hashtags tend to look desperate.