10 Easy Tips For Taking Beautiful Instagram Photos

01/Sep/2016 · 3 MINS READ

Are you wondering why your pictures aren’t getting more engagement on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media networks today, and more and more people are using the channel. But gone are the days when brands could get away with uploading mediocre visuals and hope that they would still drive customers to their website. To be successful on Instagram, you need to ensure that your images are of excellent quality. And this doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend hours a day on it, or waste huge amounts of time and money.

Here are some easy-to-implement tips that will help you take better pictures for Instagram.

1. Make the most out of your camera app.

If you don’t own a DSLR, don’t panic! You can take amazing pictures with a smartphone. You just need to make sure you’re using the right settings on your camera app. Always turn on the HDR mode and set the right focus/exposure by tapping on the screen. If you’re photographing a moving subject, ensure you are taking advantage of the burst mode function.

Top tip for DSLR users: by all means, if you own a DSLR, do use it for your Instagram photos. To avoid the hassle of saving them onto your computer first, get an EYEFI MOBI card and app on your smartphone. That way, every photo that you take gets automatically transferred to your smartphone for editing and uploading.

2. Go bright or go home

When possible, try to resist the urge to create dark and mysterious visuals. In the world of Instagram, brighter is better. The visual marketing platform Curalate analysed image features across 8,000,000 Instagram visuals and found that images with high lightness generated 24% more likes than dark images.

For best results, shoot next to a window, but never in direct sunlight. Always make the most out of natural light. If you’re going to photograph an object outside, try to do so in the first or last hours of the day when the light is softer. This will help you achieve sharper images.

3. Don’t go crazy with filters

Clever editing can transform a picture from mediocre to stunning, so don’t overlook this step, however, stay clear of Instagram’s filters. They are too strong and if you are trying to sell a product, they won’t give potential customers an ideal representation of what the product looks like in real life.

Plus, a study carried out by Hubspot found that photos with the ‘Normal’ filter had the highest likes-per-follower on Instagram.

Bypassing Instagram’s filters doesn’t mean you shouldn’t touch up your picture. Use apps like VSCO Cam, Snapseed or Afterlight to increase the brightness of your pic or make colours pop.

4. Be smart about which colours you feature

Be strategic about the colours you choose to display on your feed. According to research by KissMetrics, colour accounts for 92% of our decision to buy a product.

The research also showed that women tend to prefer blue, purple and green shades (while disliking orange, brown and grey). Of course this doesn’t mean you should avoid promoting a gorgeous orange clutch or trendy grey tech gadgets. But be picky about which colour(s) you’re going to give more prominence to in your feed, and generally try to stick to one colour scheme per visual. Images with a single dominant colour were found to generate more likes than those with multiple colours.

5. Choose your background carefully

As a rule of thumb, keep your background simple and clean. You don’t want to take attention away from your product(s). If you’re photographing smaller items like accessories, jewellery or makeup, use a textured background, such as wood, brick or grass. This will make your photo much more memorable.

6. Be consistent with your image style

You should always aim to tell your brand’s story with your Instagram feed. This means you must adopt a consistent visual tone. Constantly switching your visual style will confuse your followers and stop you from building a consistent brand online.

Stick to the same filters, backgrounds and editing techniques to make your brand look instantly recognisable on Instagram. Potential customers will decide to follow you based on the look and feel of your Instagram feed.

Instagram account “Harper and harley” maintains a consistent look and feel for all her photos.

7. When in doubt, use symmetry

Humans love symmetry. We’re attracted to symmetry just as much on Instagram as in real life. One guy on Instagram grew his 360,000 Instagram followers just by posting pictures of his symmetrical breakfasts every day. Follow his examples (which look delicious) and start styling your products symmetrically.

8. Show your followers something unexpected

To be irresistible on Instagram, you need to stand out from the crowd. Show your followers something unexpected. Ask yourself this question: how can I showcase my products in a way that no one has ever done before?

9. Experiment with unusual angles

Let’s face it. Everyone and their mother has taken that typical #OOTD picture of their shoes and latte from above. I’ll say it again: following what everyone else is doing won’t get you noticed. Lead the way and experiment with new and interesting angles.

10. Embrace the small details

Showcase the uniqueness of an accessory, intricate pattern or jewellery piece by focusing on the detail. You could use an app like Snapseed to blur the outer background to get an even more dramatic effect. Another thing to try is to create a collage, allowing you to showcase the product next to a separate image of an interesting detail or logo.

Final thoughts

A beautiful Instagram feed isn’t just reserved for big brands with big budgets. With a little practice, you can learn to take gorgeous photos that your followers will love.