7 tips for taking better Instagram photos

Although I was a little slow joining in on the Instagram craze, I am now officially addicted. While drinking my morning coffee, multiple times throughout the day and always before I put my phone down at night, I scroll through my feed looking at images. I know I am not alone in my obsession as almost everyone tells me Instagram is their preferred choice for social media.

We all want to post great eye catching photos so I have seven tips to share for taking better Instagram Photos.

1.Don’t use the Instagram app to take your photos. It is best to take your photo with the native cell phone camera or your DSLR and then import it to Instagram. You will have more control and can edit the image as needed before posting.

2.Keep it simple: Most people are scrolling through Instagram on their phone so keep your photos simple, clean and well edited. A nanosecond is about the amount of time you have to grab someones attention. If you are looking to engage the viewer in order to get those little red hearts, then keep this rule in mind. Instagram is not the venue for cluttered photos with lots of intricate details.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

3. Look for strong shapes and saturated color: Your image does not have to be anything extraordinary. Look for bright colors, interesting shapes or shadows and the simplest of things can have a strong visual impact.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

4. Use symmetry. The human eye loves symmetryIn the past Instagram only allowed square format but now you can post both portrait and landscape format. I advise sticking to either square or portrait since the landscape format gets compressed and becomes even more difficult to see. If you use the square format (which is my favorite) then skip the “rule of thirds”. Try centering your subject to create a pleasing symmetry.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

5. Use natural light and be thoughtful of the time of day. Lighting is by far the most important element of any good photo. If the lighting is bad, no amount of editing will turn it into a great photo. Early morning and just before sunset is the ideal time of the day to shoot outdoors because the light has a soft warm glowing quality. Overcast days are also good because the overcast sky acts as a giant soft box. On bright sunny days beware of shooting between 10am-2pm as the light can be very harsh and unfaltering.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

6. Look for interesting angles. Try photographing an object from above or below. Experiment with different angles and camera heights. I love shooting down from tall buildings. It’s an always changing landscape and often times a great opportunity for something unique. Besides shooting up and down also be on the lookout for interesting angles and unusual juxtapositions.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

7.Use editing apps but not the Instagram filters. I confess, I fell prey to using the IG filters when I first joined. There are some very odd colored ones and although I quickly tired of the filters I then learned how to use editing apps to tweak my photos. Again, I went a little too far with those as well. My early posts had some very unnatural looking skies and neon green grass. Luckily, that phase also was short lived. Basic edits such as cropping, straightening architectural lines, boosting the contrast (if needed) and slightly upping the saturation can take a good photo and turn it into a great photo. Just don’t over do it. My favorite basic editing app  is Snapseed. It’s free, easy to learn, and can accomplish most of what you need. For more advanced retouching apps I use VSCO, Adobe PhotoShop Express, and TouchRetouch.

If you are serious about improving your photography all the above tips will help but nothing beats getting out there and practicing. You need to train your eye just like any other muscle and the more you shoot the better you will get.

If it’s “LIKES” you are after be sure to check back next week because I have seven tips for getting more “likes” on Instagram.

If you want to follow me on Instagram just click here.

Happy Shooting!


12 Responses to 7 tips for taking better Instagram photos
  1. Kelly Reply

    Awesome tips and photographs!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Kelly!

  2. Sheila Reply

    Great tips! I like using the instasize app to resize my photo while editing. Thanks for the tips on symmetry and different angles/perspectives! 📸 @luvmyschnauzer

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you Sheila. I learned something from you because I am not familiar with the instasize app. I’ll check it out!

  3. Nancy Powell Reply

    Great post again Linda! You definitely are maximizing your talents and giv g your viewers great tips! Thanks for your dedication and gorgeous photographs!! Xo Nancy

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Nancy!

  4. Veronica Domurat Reply

    Thanks for sharing these great tips, I am not on instagram yet, I’m a little too busy to get into another thing but your tips are good for any other day.
    Glad you are doing good. I redecorate my girls room, as soon as I post something I will let you know, you are a good inspiration to me.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Veronica and yes, please do let me know when you post about your daughter’s room. Have a great Summer and let me know when you join Instagram so I can follow you.

  5. Carla Aston Reply

    Well, you can tell we’re all interested in this topic! Thanks for the great tips! I fall prey to those filters sometimes and I’m always sorry once the image goes up! 🙂

  6. […] If you missed last weeks post about taking better photos for Instagram you can read it here. […... lindaholtinteriors.com/2016/07/7-tips-getting-likes-instagram
  7. Pamela Copeman Reply

    Linda, Injust read your blog about taking better photos and Instagram, great insight thank you

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Pamela! Hope my tips help and inspire.

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