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Tips for Better Instagram Photos in 2021

By @ijyoyo | Febuary 3 2020 | Envision

Are you looking to step up your instagram grame? Create better photos? Create a cohesive feed?

It’s going to take some practice but you can do it with a few tips to help you out! This article will go through tips for better instagram photos whether you are a pro or just starting out (are the pro just starting out)! Tese will help you learn some fundamentals from light, photo editing tips for better instagram feeds!

Who am I? I’m a commercial photographer, who has shared my images on social media for around 4-5 years. I’ve certainly learned what has worked for me and what has not. These are general ideas on tips for better instagram photos! how to take better instagram photos.

1.Creating a plan

Every large account has an aesthetic, something that resonates and makes them, them. This is a theme and may include nature, fashion, blogging, style, photography, automotive, beauty, and influencer pages among many others.

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A post shared by 𝕿𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖐 𝖞𝖔𝖚 𝖑𝖔𝖘𝖙 𝖞𝖔𝖚𝖗 𝖒𝖔𝖗𝖆𝖑𝖘 (@leave_little_lie)

When you are creating a plan you want to think of what your subject matter would be for your theme. This can be as simple as thinking of a few items and then thinking of other subjects related. Example: Nature, Forest, Cabin, Mountains, Tents, Camping gear, Boats, Animals.

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Think of a few words when you think of the theme and write similar words to start brainstorming subject matter.

Another thing to plan is the colors involved in the photos. Will there be colorful photos or muted photos? What will the color theme be? Do you need to stick to something monochromatic, complementary or triad?


Monochromatic- Two colors that make up an image. Example: Black and White
Complementary- Color that are on the opposite side of the color wheel.
Triad- Three colors equally apart on a color wheel.

Now that you have these down, aim to make at least 9 different photos with a similar theme to these. This will give your feed cohesiveness throughout time and make it pleasurable to scroll through. However 9 is a general guideline and you can go below or above this number.

2.Knowing light

Did you know photography means “The study of light” ?. In every photo light is important and there are different types of lighting.

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Model:Name, Photographer: Name

Great light is important so people can identify the photo on any screen they look at it on.

Lighting may depend on the time of day or where you are located indoors. A generally rule for great light is to use natural light.

Natural lighting comes in different forms. Golden hour and early morning will give you the softest light and noon will give you the harshest light.

Tony taking a photograph infront of LED lights Indoor lighting comes in different forms as well. You may have light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs (they skew blue), or tungsten bulbs (they skew orange/yellow). Using indoor artificial lights can be more difficult but don’t let that discourage you from using them!

Other indoor lighting might include spot light sources such as Ring Lights , Camera Flashs, or LED Lights

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3. Ruling the rule of thirds.

What is the rule of thirds? Essential it is a simple guide for composing your photos. Composing is the way your photos are set up such as where you put the subject, and how much of the background you show.

You often see the rule of thirds guideline on editing apps when you go to crop a photo. Generally each vertical area represents a third of the image. The four points in the middle are usually where you want your subject to align.

Rule of thirds image Using this technique you can set up your photos in similar ways throughout your feed. You can try different compositions as well!

4. Changing Perspective

Following the rule of thirds, changing perspective can have big changes. When you change your perspective people will tend to look at your image longer.

This can be done in two different ways, Zooming in or moving above or below your subject.

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Zooming in will allow you to capture details of your subject such as fabric or texture, or big something small into view. Zooming out can show scale relative to another object. Each can be used differently in the creative process so try it out!

Moving above your subject can have an interesting effect if the subject is usually seen at eye level or below that. Think of it as a top view. Moving below your subject can show empowerment! Try this as well when you are taking your photos

5. Trying Editing Apps

Oftentimes some of the images you create will need to be edited. Finding the right editing app or program can make or break your desire to edit. Although editing is generally the same across apps, the interface can really affect how you edit.

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Some great apps include VSCO, Snapseed, Lightroom or even the stock apple photo’s app.

All you need to get started is to learn a bit of editing. You can also dive straight in and see what each setting does.

Here are a quick few hacks (TLDR):

Exposure-Basically if it’s bright or dark image
White Balance- If the color is correct, the color white, if it should appear, should be true white. This is not a color setting. It is called a temperature setting

Highlights- Brightest parts of the image
Shadows- Only darkest parts of the image
Contrast- Difference between dark and light points in image
Saturation - increases color intensity over entine image.
Vibrance- increases lighter (muted) colors, better for skin then saturation
Histogram- Shows the balance of light. The left hand side is the shadows, right hand side is the highlights.

6.Finding the perfect location

Finding a great place to take photos will allow your audience or followers to get an idea of what the account is when they first look at it.

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Questions to ask yourself may include, where can I take photos indoors? Where would be cool places outdoors?

Oftentimes the perfect location can be right around the corner. I highly suggest going on google maps or google.my.maps. Google maps will allow you street views of the cool locations with similar colors to your feed.

Google my maps will allow you to save them and access them easily on your phone with a bunch of other cool locations in your city.

Having trouble finding locations in your town or city?

Here are some tips: Search “Photo places in (Town name”)” or go on instagram/ twitter / tiktok and search the local hashtags #(town), or the location (town). You are surely to find some great places around your city.

search bar for instagram Some suggests may include local coffee shops, local shops, wall art, glass buildings, landscapes. Otherwise you could create your own studio set indoors! And curate your own area to take photos or show off the latest of what you have been up to! The ideas are endless!

7. Capturing the Actions

Snap the photo!! This means getting a bunch of photos during an event or for a photo. This is called a burst shoot. You take many images while you are doing an action. This can surprise your followers.

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This can freeze whatever action you are doing for example jumping or capturing a funny moment. This can also be fun with pets and children that move fast and are oftentimes unpredictable.

8. Avoiding HDR

Although HDR used to be more popular in the 2010’s it is not too common today. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This takes multiple images and stitches them together to create an overly contrasted image. This may create artifacts that are often not desired in your photos.

This can also create color obstructions to your original image. It might be better to leave HDR alone and shoot with your regular camera.

9. Using the back camera

The Back Camera is your friend! You may look different if you are taking selfies with it, but remember you can always flip the image in editing. iphone back camera
Not only that, photos taken with the back camera can be used to take photos of subjects and you can see the screen as well.

Hopefully you have learned some tips for better instagram photos! We went through composing your images, getting the right lighting and more! Your on your journey to creating some amazing photos.

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Email Contact: ij@ijyoyo.com

Milwaukee WI, US 53211

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