The Ultimate Guide to Posting Images on Instagram

January 20, 2019

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels, Instagram is a highly visual platform, and the brands that have achieved success on Instagram are the ones that know how to choose the right images and videos that would effectively attract their target users. It’s not about taking beautiful photos of your products. It’s about telling your brand’s story and building a genuine connection between your brand and followers.

So, instead of posting images that feature your products, share photos and videos that express the feelings, dreams, and ideals of your brand. This way, you can expect greater engagement for your posts. Learn how to compose visually appealing images with these tips:

Upload the Maximum Allowable Resolution

When uploading photos, keep in mind that Instagram reduces the size of the images automatically. For square pictures, the size is reduced to 612 x 612 pixels, which display in users’ feeds as 510 x 510 pixels. Given this, it is best to upload pictures at the maximum allowable resolution which is 2048 x 2048 pixels to ensure the sharpest image. For landscape photos, the recommended dimensions are 1080 x 566 pixels, but these will show as 600 x 400 pixels. The recommended size for portrait images is 1080 x 1350 pixels, but Instagram will show it as a 600 x 749-pixel image. Remember, quality always beats quantity, so never upload smaller photos as these will not look good on the users’ feeds.

Keep Your Color Palette Simple

It is easier to maintain consistency throughout your feed with a simple palette that has only a few basic colors. You can find beautiful color combinations from online resources, such as Design Seeds. Just click on the main color you want to have for your Instagram feed and it will give you various palette suggestions.

Choose Just One Subject

We also want to keep it simple by just choosing one subject. If you take a look at some of the best images on Instagram, these would be those that show a single, captivating subject. Be sure to spend time staging and restaging the shot to make sure that you capture your subject from the most appealing perspective.

Get the Lighting Right

If you want to take the best photos, do it outside but avoid direct sunlight. Bright and natural light are essential, so ideally, snap your photos early in the morning or on overcast days. If it is impossible to shoot outdoors, try to take pictures near the window, for best lighting. A white backdrop will be good to catch the light and bounce it back on your subject.

Negative Space and the Rule of Thirds

Professional photographers generally follow the rule of thirds when shooting their subjects, dedicating only one-third of the frame to the subject and two-thirds to negative space. Negative space, simply put, is the area around and between the subject. By applying the rule of thirds, you draw attention to your subject and capture an excellent photo.

Add Interest with Optical Illusions and Shapes

There are many ways you can take advantage of natural illusions, such as reflections, to add interest to your photos and catch the attention of your Instagram followers. Make use of leading lines to draw the eyes of your followers towards a specific part of your picture. Leading lines can be in many different forms – straight, wavy, or circular. The easiest place to find a leading line is on the road, where both sides of the road form two lines that draw inwards the farther they are. Other examples of leading lines are bridges, shorelines, buildings, and doorways.

Another trick to draw the attention of users to your images is through symmetry. Symmetrical images are very interesting to look at and can instantly attract your target audience. Other visually appealing effects that you can incorporate in your images are geometrical shapes, repetitive patterns, and abstract textures. If you start paying attention to the details of every single thing around you, you will find that there are so many things you can use in your everyday life to add interest and appeal to your pictures.

Make Use of Instagram’s Filters

After you have taken your photos and you are now ready to post them on Instagram, it’s time to browse through the filters and choose one that reflects your brand’s theme. Once you have selected the best filter to use for your brand, make sure to use this same filter throughout all your posts, so everything is consistent on your feed.

Keep a Balanced Feed

After you have chosen your filter and applied this to your photos, take a look at your Instagram feed as a whole and see if it looks balanced and coordinated. Having an impressive Instagram profile is not about posting individual images that stand out on their own, but in curating photos and videos that flow together to show your brand’s personality and keep your followers interested.

To ensure that your feed has a uniform feel, always take into consideration the other images that you have already posted before posting a new one. For balance, try alternating photos and videos. You can also alternate photos with text and those without.

Add Graphic Elements

You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to be able to add graphics to your photos. There are online tools like Canva and Easil, which makes this task so much easier and faster to do. You can add text, symbols, shapes, and images to your photos from their selections. Again, keep in mind your Instagram theme and choose elements that are aligned with this.

Whether you have a professional DLSR camera or just using your smartphone, it is possible for you to create beautiful photos for your Instagram feed, with the right tools and techniques. These tips will be very helpful in this endeavor, so be sure to take notes. With the right images on your Instagram profile, not only will you be able to attract your target users, you can even build a solid bond with your followers.

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