Since the pandemic boosted its user rate Instagram has had over one billion monthly users. As such, it’s never been a better time to join the app. Who knows? With a little luck and a lot of talent, you could gain enough followers to become an influencer and make some extra cash. Whether you want to monetize your Instagram account, or just want a few more likes on your post, the secret weapon is a great photo. Sadly, this skill doesn’t come easily to everyone. So, how do you go about making fun, engaging Instagram photos? Simple: by reading this article! In it., we’ll break down everything you need to know about taking a good photo for the social media app — from composition to posting. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Learn the Basic Photo Tools On Your Phone
If you aren’t familiar with everything that your phone can do in terms of its camera settings, then it’s time to learn. The good news is that most iPhone cameras these days are just as good (if not better) than many types of digital cameras.
First things first, learn about some of the different modes that are included in your camera settings. Most of the time these include:
- Color filters
- Editing options
- Traditional vs square frames
- Pano mode
- HDR mode
- Portrait mode
- Live mode
- Stability mode
Once you experiment with these features and modes you can begin to utilize more complicated aspects of your phone. For example, you should try messing around with the manual focus.
The autofocus feature on the iPhone is incredibly helpful for novice photographers. However, if you master the manual focus option, then you can take multiple pictures faster.
Not only that, but you can also get creative by using focus. One example is when you blur the foreground of the picture while keeping the background in focus. This adds a level of professionalism that’s hard to accomplish with autofocus. You should also avoid overexposed photos at all costs.
These types of photos occur when too much light enters the camera. The brightness blurs out sections of the photo and ruins any detail. If you’re using an iPhone, then you can control exposure by tapping the screen.
A yellow box will appear on the screen. When you swipe up the camera will give more exposure and when you swipe down it will give less. Keep in mind that it’s always better to go with underexposed photos. You can usually fix this problem in editing. The same isn’t true for overexposed photos.
Study Some Basic Composition Techniques
Once you learn some of the basic tools you can begin taking advantage of some composition tricks. The first trick (and perhaps the most important) is the rule of thirds. This is a principle of design that has been around for centuries.
Essentially you can think about it splitting your photo into nine equal squares or rectangles. When you do this there will be four intersecting points in the middle of your photo.
The rule of thirds states that these intersection points are the areas of the photo where the eye is naturally drawn to. As such, you should try placing the subject of your photo at one of these points. However, keep in mind that this rule isn’t set and dry. For example, you can take pictures with your subject center on.
While it might not be focused on the intersecting point it will still look good with its symmetry. You also shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different angles. You were born with knees, so use them?
Get down on the ground and see how the perspective changes the photo composition. Get up somewhere high and do the same thing. When you shoot lower it will make your subject look bigger. When you shoot higher it will make the subject look smaller.
Don’t Forget About Lighting
The secret to great photos? Lighting! After all, at the end of the day photography is all about exposing our cameras to light. The specific light that you use doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you use it as strategically as possible?
There are three sources of lighting that you can utilize: natural light, artificial light, and light patches. Natural lights outdoor lighting that comes from the sun. The secret to harnessing this light source is shooting during certain times of the day.
There’s a reason why the time right before sunset is called golden. As the sun sets it casts a golden aura over everything. This is a great time to start shooting some photos. If you don’t have patience with the sun, then it’s no problem. You can utilize artificial light.
This type of light comes from things like lamps, ring lights, and other non-natural light sources. The biggest pro that comes with using this type of light is that you can control it well. You determine how close the subject is to the light and how bright it is. Mess around with different artificial light angles to get some great shots.
For example, set up a bright light behind your subject. This will create a backlight that gives the subject an almost angelic look. Finally, there are light patches.
This type of light occurs when sunbeams shine through a window. The resulting patch of light is incredibly aesthetic. Many influencers on Instagram use this type of natural light when it enters their room.
Choose Subject Matter That Will Connect With Your Followers
You should curate your Instagram with whatever content that you want. However, you should also pay attention to what pictures and videos are getting more engagement than others. For example, if you notice that dancing videos are getting hundreds of more likes than your selfies, then try posting more of them.
Or maybe you see that your nature photos are getting tons of comments. Get out in nature and post more photos. Are the types of photos you want to post not getting engagement?
Try adding some hashtags to connect you with an audience that will appreciate the type of content you want to post.
Get Inspiration From Accounts That You Like
Don’t be afraid to use some of your favorite accounts as inspiration. After all, even influencers likely borrowed elements of their style from someone they admired. Instead of imitating just one style, we recommend downloading posts and videos you like.
Then you can make a mood board-style collage to get the vibe you want. Not sure how to download Instagram posts? Just use this download InstaSave feature from sites like Blastup.
Then borrow elements that you like. If you combine enough styles, then the result will be truly your own. Alternatively, you can also use features like this to download popular memes and re-share them on your account.
While the content might not be yours, the widely shareable nature of memes makes it a legitimate way to gain followers.
When You Post Your Picture Tag Its Location and Use Hashtags
Now that your picture is ready it’s time to post it on your account. However, just because you have the perfect picture or video doesn’t guarantee that it’ll do well. So, to give it the best chance possible it’s important to optimize some things before you hit the post.
First, add a location for the post. You should do this, even if it’s just a joke location. Why? Because one study found that posts with a location added to them received roughly 79% more engagement.
And don’t forget about the hashtags added at the bottom of the post. Hashtags are a form of metadata that allows you to attach your photos to certain subjects or themes.
Then, when people search the hashtag they can get connected with your post. It’s a great way to get likes and followers that share common interests with you.
Post During the Right Time of Day
Pay close attention to the time of day you post. When you post early in the morning, you aren’t likely to reach many people. However, there are spikes through the day when more people are online.
Lunchtime is usually a busy time of day. The same goes for after 4:00 PM when people get off work.
Want More Content? Keep Exploring
We hope this article helped you learn more about how to take Instagram photos that your followers will love. If you still feel like you don’t have the hang of things, then don’t panic. This is perfectly natural. Like anything else, Instagram photography is a skill. And, the only way to get better at a skill is to practice, practice, practice.
Once you grasp the fundamentals, you can begin exploring the more complex side of the art. Then, before you know it, you’ll have a good amount of steady followers engaged with your photos.
Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more content that you’re sure to love.