The quality of the images you post on Instagram can affect the number of likes you get for your posts and your following. If you have not been getting as much likes as you want, take a look at the photos you have been posting. Ask yourself, if you were not the one who posted them, would you tap on that heart icon? If you did not answer with a resounding yes, then you might need to improve on your photography skills. Here is your ultimate guide to shooting amazing photos for your Instagram account:
Learn the Basics of Photography
While you do not have to be an expert photographer to produce quality photos, you will definitely need to know the basics in photography and learn those camera hacks. One of the basic photography skills you need to know is composition, the arrangement of your subject within your photo. Apply the rule of thirds and you can never go wrong. Simply put, the rule of thirds is when one-third of the space is allotted for the subject and the remaining two-thirds is for the negative space, which is the area that surrounds the subject of your image. By having enough negative space, the viewer’s eyes are drawn towards the subject.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Equipment
Before you start buying advanced cameras and other equipment, spend some time learning more about what you have right now. If you are currently just using your smartphone camera, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn all that it can do. In fact, a lot of the awesome photos you see on Instagram were taken using a mobile phone. Check out the photos with the hashtag #ShotoniPhone on Instagram, and you will see that you do not need a high-tech equipment in order to capture stunning images.
Get Your Lighting Right
When it comes to photography, lighting is everything. If you want to take amazing photos, do it outside but avoid direct sunlight. Bright and natural light are key to producing clear, crisp photos. The ideal time to take shots is early in the morning or on overcast days. If you need to take photos indoors, try to do so near the window, for best lighting. Adding a white backdrop will also be helpful in catching the light and bouncing it back on your subject.
Take Your Time to Assess Your Photos
One of the secrets to capturing great images is taking your time. As you are taking photos, make it a point to pause for a while and look at the pictures you’ve taken. Examine each photo and take note of what you like and do not like. Ask yourself what you would like to change to make them better. You might need to try a different angle or pose. Doing this might take more time, but you will surely end up with a photo that you would really be proud of.
Explore Your Editing Options
Instead of posting the raw images to Instagram, explore the built-in filters and editing tools. You can use these to create a consistent feel among all the photos that you post on your feed. One trick is to use the same filter for all of your photos. Doing this creates a solid look and feel all throughout your Instagram grid. There are also a lot of photo editing apps which you can download for free, such as VSCO, Snapseed, Pixlr Express, and Repix. While the editing tools are similar to Instagram, allowing you to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, tint, crop, rotate, sharpness, highlights, and shadows of your photos, you might find more filter options from these apps that would best reflect your brand’s personality.
Make Use of Optical Illusions and Shapes
There are a lot of ways you can incorporate natural illusions to your photos to add interest and catch the attention of your target audience. You can use leading lines to draw the eyes of Instagram users towards a particular part of your photo. Leading lines can come in different forms – straight, wavy, or circular. The most commonly used leading line is a road, having two lines for each side of the road which can draw the eyes inwards the farther the subject is. Other examples of leading lines are buildings, hallways, bridges, and shorelines.
Plan How Your Instagram Feed Should Look Like
Although the photos that you post are usually seen individually on your followers’ feeds, clicking through to your profile tab would show them all of your photos in a grid and you would want them to see a cohesive set of images that accurately show who you are as a brand. Given this, it would be best for you to plan the way your images would look like when placed side by side with each other. There are free online tools that can help you create an impressive grid by allowing you to drag and drop your photos so you know how they would eventually look like once they are shown on your profile feed. Make use of these tools so you can have a solid, appealing grid that could persuade your audience to follow your Instagram account. There is no hard and fast rule as to how to lay out your Instagram grid. You can choose to have a consistent theme or to post alternating themes. It’s all up to you, as long as your layout shows off your brand’s personality.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Like any other skill, mastering the art of photography can only be possible if you practice. Don’t be too hard on yourself and take it one step at a time. Eventually, you will be shooting amazing photos which you never thought you’d be able to do. And always remember that it is not always about having the perfect pictures, but about effectively expressing your brand through photos that appeal to your target Instagram users.
If you want to start taking awesome Instagram photos, these tips should help you get there. Make sure to take notes and apply these on your next photoshoot!