Instagram is incredibly visual. It is every photographers heaven as a beautiful photo gets much better attention than amateurish one. Instagram has 500 million daily active users. That is a lot of viewers and a lot of people. With phones getting better, this opens up a lot of opportunities for the daily user.
Light is everything in photography. Bad use of light, and you ruin a photo, good use of light, and the same photo transforms into something amazing. Catch the light coming through trees, or partially behind an object such as a building. That way the subject doesn’t get blown out by too harsh light. The best time to take photos is during golden hour. Brighter photos tend to do better than dark ones, unless you know how to edit and have a specific style. Dark photos are great, when used correctly. If you are starting out, go bright.
Even though Instagram allows you to post horizontal photos, the grid is still square. Place your subject in the middle and make sure that the space around it is utilized or interesting. If you plan to put graphics or text over the image, back up and take the photo at a distance with enough space on the side of the subject to fit your graphic in while still keeping your image square.
If not, get in nice and close. Instagram now allows for 1080×1080 resolution. If you know how to crop it yourself, do it. Instagram does a terrible job at compressing photos.
Layflat works amazing for many subjects. A layflat is normally taken directly above the subject that is placed on a flat surface. If you are a foodie, restaurant owner or just like to eat, then place your plate close to a window and take the image directly above. Food is like porn, our brains get triggered by senses, and food stimulates your senses big time. Brushing a little bit of an oil on your food such as greens, helps bring them out and make them more desirable. If you are an arts and crafts person, do the same. Lay your craft down on a nice flat beautiful surface, next to natural light, and take the image directly above your subject.
The way your phone works, is that the closer you get to the subject, the more blur you get in the background, or depth of field. Get in close and be aware of the background. Even though it is out of focus, it plays a part in the photo. In this case you want to bring your camera down to eye level. Too many people take photos without bending their knees.
I know it’s a clique, but it is true. Practice makes perfect, the more you play, the better you become. The more you fail, the more you learn. When I was honing my skill as a photographer, I would go on trips with a special view in mind. I would try and figure out how to achieve the look I wanted. Sometimes not a single photo came out and sometimes I got 1 or 2. The second time I tried, I had it figured out as I learned from my mistakes. Get familiar with photography basics and your equipment. Knowing the technical stuff allows your artistic self to shine.
I hope this helps you learn how to take better Instagram photos. As always, I’m here to help. If you have any questions or want me to cover a specific subject, shoot me an email at email@example.com