You don’t need an expensive DSLR camera to capture stunning photos that will wow people on Instagram. Everything you need to create Instagram-worthy content is available on your smartphone. All you need is a good subject, some creativity, and a few helpful tips. We’ve listed down ways for how to take good Instagram pictures. Keep reading.
How to Take Good Instagram Pictures
1. Create a Plan
Before you start taking photos, think about your goal for building your Instagram account. Do you want to help your followers find great places for food? Do you want to provide fashion inspiration? Do you want your audience to know more about your brand? What do you want to express through your feed?
Your plan will help keep you in line and allow you to focus on achieving your goal for your Instagram account.
2. Set Your Phone Depending on Your Subject of Choice
After you’ve determined your goal, it’s time to identify your subject of choice. Will you be taking pictures of food? Places? Clothing? Knowing what subject you want to (or should) capture can give you an idea of what type of setting you should use for your phone.
Adjust your phone’s camera settings to best capture your subject of choice. For instance, if you’re taking photos of food, increasing exposure, contrast, and sharpness might make your photos look better.
Fortunately, most phones nowadays will allow you to tweak several settings to help bring life to your photos. Don’t hesitate to experiment in order to find the best option for your subject of choice.
3. Use Natural Lighting
Isn’t it frustrating when you take a picture and the result looks a little dim or a little flat because your lighting isn’t good?
If you want to learn how to take good Instagram pictures, lighting is one of the keys. However, while there are plenty of photo lighting kits available on the market today, nothing beats natural lighting. So, when you’re taking pictures, try to do it near a window with ample light when you’re indoors, or opt to take things outdoors.
This brings us to our next tip.
4. Know When to Shoot
The perfect lighting can help make excellent photos. And when we’re talking about natural lighting, you need to consider the right timing. You have to know when to shoot your photo.
The Golden Hour
The golden hour is the time of the day when the daylight offers soft tints of red. It’s the period just after the sun rises or right before the sun sets. There is a reason why photographers love taking pictures during the golden hour. Shadows are less dark during these times, and the natural lighting is softer, making it simply perfect for taking gorgeous pictures.
The Blue Hour
The blue color spectrum is prominent during twilight when the sun is just under the horizon and shades of blue are predominantly present in the sky. This theme is especially great if you want to express tranquility in your images.
Cloudy Over Sunny
The sun, while excellent for spending a day outdoors, can make your photo lighting look harsh. When you’re trying to capture photos outdoors, it’s better to do it on cloudy days. The gray weather might make some people feel a tad bit gloomy, but it’s perfect for photoshoots. This is because, during these times, the light looks a bit softer and spreads out beautifully, making it perfect for various types of outdoor shoots.
5. Follow the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is the golden rule for photography. It’s when you divide an image into three imaginary grids – horizontally and vertically – and then place the focal point of your photo either along one of the lines, at the intersection of any of the dividing lines, or at the center of the image. This helps creates balance as well as leads your audience’s eyes to the focus of your photo.
This feature is available on most smartphones. You can turn the feature on to make the process so much easier.
6. Consider Different Vantage Points
The vantage point, in photography, is the angle from which the person viewing the photo is looking from – like a point of view.
Now, the vast majority of people taking photos position their phones (or cameras) at their eye level. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, but it does produce close to generic images that don’t catch much attention.
If you want something different, you can try shooting your photo from another angle. This can give you a fresh take on typical scenarios and may make your content more fascinating to look at.
7. Leave Space
If you want to take a picture of a particular subject, it can be tempting to simply zoom in and capture nothing else except for that subject. This can produce great shots, but sometimes, it’s also good to leave some space around your focal point. Often, this can help add an interesting touch to your image.
An example is including a large portion of the sky instead of cropping it entirely. Or including a vast part of the sea instead of just the sun and the sky when capturing the sunset.
8. Underexpose Instead of Overexposing
Bright photos often look beautiful. This leads a lot of people to utilize (sometimes to the point of overusing) a camera’s brightness feature.
Before you replicate what a lot of people are doing, read this. There are many different tools to help brighten photos that were taken under dim lighting. However, it’ll be difficult to adjust a photo that’s been overexposed.
9. Have a Consistent Color Scheme
If you check out the profile pages of some influencers on Instagram, you’ll find that many of them have one thing in common: They emphasize certain colors on their images.
Having a consistent color scheme for your Instagram photos can help enhance the look of your page. Aside from helping your followers identify you easier, they’re also pretty to look at and great for drawing attention.
For an aesthetically appealing Instagram account, try to stick to a color scheme or color palette, and make these colors pop on your images. Anna Maria does a good job of this.
10. Use Consistent Filters
Filters make photo editing easy. They can help you enhance your images. When you’re on Instagram, however, try to use consistent filters to create uniformity. Like your color scheme, using a consistent filter can also help make it easy for your followers to recognize you. Furthermore, they make your profile page look beautiful.
11. Create Your Own Unique Style
Finally, don’t limit yourself to just following the trends. Doing what other people are doing will not make you stand out. Don’t be afraid to add your own unique style to your images. Get creative! Your photos should allow you to express yourself. Yes, visuals play an important role, and it’s good to get the basics right, but if you’re only replicating what most people are doing, you will not be able to fully express how you truly feel. Moreover, if you only stick to the basic rules, you might not enjoy the process.
So, have some fun! Get your creative juices flowing and develop your own unique style – something that you can be proud of. Something that’s entirely you.
Don’t Obsess Over Likes
We’d like to leave you with one final note.
Receiving tons of likes on your photo can certainly boost your ego, but this can also spell disaster. If you only think of getting more likes per photo, it might sway you away from your original goal. You might end up creating content designed to get you more likes, which often results in replicas of what other popular people on Instagram are doing. If this happens, you’ll eventually lose track of what’s important.
Don’t obsess over the number of likes. Instead, engage with your followers through comments, and create high-quality content that provides value.
Understanding how to take good Instagram pictures doesn’t require expensive gadgets, but you’ll have to equip yourself with the basic knowledge. Learn what you can and use what you learn to develop your own style. Don’t be afraid to explore your own creativity. Be passionate and never forget to enjoy the process.