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Instagram Photography: How To Take The Best Photos For Your Feed

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On Instagram, photography is one of the basic ways you interact with other users. Of course, over the years, the social media giant has introduced an extensive range of content tools and super cool features. Stickers, GIFS, short and long-form videos, even music – IG is full of different media forms. 

But, whittle away all the extras to get to its core and Instagram is all about images. So, it’s important to master your Instagram photography skills and this quick and handy guide will help you out!

Let’s take a look at a few changes you can make before, during, and after you capture the moment. 

Before The Snap

Check Your Settings

Modern-day smartphone cameras are amazing. They have the power to take images in a way people may not have been able to imagine just 20 years ago. Today, you don’t really need a big, fancy camera to take quality pics. You can just whip out your phone! 

But, as with a traditional camera, you need to know how to get your device performing at its best. 

First, take a look at your High Dynamic Range setting. You’ll find it on your iPhone or Android camera as an ‘HDR’ icon at the top of the screen or in your camera settings. 

The purpose of HDR is to help smartphone users take better images. It compiles the same photo taken at different exposures into one detailed image. 

Sounds awesome, right? 

Yes, HDR can be extremely useful in your capturing efforts but it can also prove difficult to navigate. If you’re not used to it, rather switch it off and go without it.

The second camera setting you should deal with is the functionality of your camera. In other words, the camera mode

Usually, the options you have include portrait, square, pano or panorama, and others. On most phones, you can scroll through these at the bottom of the camera or in the camera menu. Choose the right mode for your picture subject and you’re ready to go. 

Person taking a picture of a dog with mobile phone

Getting The Money Shot

Layout

Once you’ve dealt with your settings, consider what you want to include in your image. 

Popular influencers know how to create the perfect layout. Yes, you may be focusing your shot on the latest cover from a Vogue magazine you just purchased, but that doesn’t mean that needs to be the only thing in the picture! You can add a nice pair of shades, a steaming cup of coffee, a stick or two of lavender from your garden…

You want to make your Instagram photography engaging and rich. 

When thinking about layers, consider contrasting textures, and colors. You can also use features like blurring things you don’t want in focus, making intentional background choices, or sharpening focus to emphasize the picture’s subject. 

Rule Of Thirds Composition

Layering is one example of how you can think about composition to enhance your Instagram photography. The Rule of Thirds is another. It is a composition tool that helps you with the positioning of elements in your picture. 

With the Rule of Thirds, your screen is segmented into a 3×3 square grid. Try and place your subject of focus where the lines meet one another in the grid. 

Most smartphones will superimpose the grid onto your camera right before you take your shot so that you can easily position your items just the way you want them! On others, you can turn the grid on and off in your camera settings. 

Using grid on smartphone for great photo composition

The Right Light

If you have too much, or too bright a light source, then you will just capture a washed-out, overexposed picture. On the other hand, not enough light can also result in grainy shots, drab, and too dark to capture the viewer’s attention. 

You need to understand the light in the space you’re shooting in or choose a location that gives you the best light. 

Try to use natural light as much as you can. Morning or sunrise and sunset or twilight are wonderful times with gentle and flattering natural sunlight. 

Know Your Angles

A terrible angle can turn a well-set-up, well-lit shot into a disaster! Try varying angles of the same shot until you find the one that works best. You must also make sure the angle, and other composition techniques mentioned above, speak to each other creatively. 

As an Instagram photography beginner, it’s also worthwhile to read up on the different auras and messages an angle can create. For example, shooting a subject from the bottom can make it seem bigger and powerful, while an overhead shot can diminish the subject. 

Fixing It Up In Post

Filters & Presets

Instagram has a wonderful range of filters that you can use right on the app. Use filters before you post to take your Instagram photography to the next level. 

Another tip to keep in mind is the power of the Lux editing filter. Right before you share your post, Instagram allows you to add filters to your image. You will see a sun icon at the top of your screen. Tap on it to adjust and apply different Lux options to enhance your Instagram photography. 

Use An Editing App

If you want to do more to your image, or you want different filters, you can use a third-party editing app. There are tons of really great Instagram photography editing apps that can help you edit your picture

Try VSCO, Canva, Adobe Lightroom, and more. In your editing, play with qualities like contrast, brightness, saturation, exposure, and more. Just have some fun with it!

Taking photo of plants with smartphone

Instagram Photography: “Did You Get It?”

Instagram photography doesn’t have to be a difficult task. And good quality images don’t need expensive equipment or a pricey camera. You can take fantastic images on your smartphone camera. 

With this Instagram photography guide in your back pocket, you can plan amazing shoots and get that perfect shot every time!

Then, all you need to do is schedule them to post with your handy Instagram Scheduler and you’re good to go!

Adie Marais

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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