Take Better Instagram Photos

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to speak at a local mini-con, Philly HomeHer 2014. I went in thinking I would talk about improving your food photography (more on that soon!) but we ended up talking a lot about Instagram. I shared some simple tips that will help anyone take better Instagram photos in a BIG way.

Take Better Instagram Photos

Take Better Instagram Photos

1. Take the picture with your phone’s camera, not with Instagram. Not only does Instagram automatically crop your image to a square, it is just not capable of capturing the same quality of an image like your phone’s built-in camera. Instead, take a photo with the phone’s camera and then import it into Instagram.

2. Use your dSLR images. If you want to use your dSLR images, there are few ways to do it. You can upload your photo to Dropbox (or simply email to yourself) and then share via Instagram. Or you can invest in a WiFi SD card to transfer your images straight to your phone.

3. Use PhotoSquarer when sharing dSLR images. If you are going to share images that you took with your fancy camera, don’t crop it in Instagram. It will mess with the resolution of your photo and make it look, well, crappy. Instead, use an app like PhotoSquarer to add a border to your images to make the full size a square. I always use a white border so it blends into the Instagram feed.

4. Skip the filters. While Instagram does have some fun filters, not everything needs to have a filter on it, like food. Instead, use Snapseed to edit your images. You can play around with the contrast, lighting, and there also some creative filters in there as well. If you don’t want to download another app, use the new features in Instagram to give your photo a boost.

better instagram photos

5. It’s all about the lighting.  Lighting is the number one most important thing when it comes to any photos. Look around you and try and find the best light. Usually, that’s near a window. Remember, overhead lighting is never a good option. Try some side lighting to really get some contrasts.


6. Steady as she goes! It’s really important to keep your phone nice and steady when you are taking cell phone pictures. This is hard because 9 times out of 10 you are holding your phone with one hand while trying to wrangle a kid with the other (or a coffee cup). Try to brace your phone by using both hands if you can. If you can’t use two hands, prop your phone on a ledge or table to give you more stability.  Also, remember that your shutter may lag a few seconds after you push the button. Hold still until you know that the picture has been taken.

Do you have any tips to help take better Instagram photos?

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  1. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome tips…shared on my FB page – I think others would really enjoy this post, too!

  2. I’m going to be nosy and ask if that’s a blog planner in the photo of your laptop….Cause I’m never truly content with what I have. 🙂

    I need to play with Snapseed. I love the new features on Instagram, and I just found an app for reposting Instagram images. I’m not sure about it yet, and the interface is not as easy as Instagram.

  3. Great tips! Also, I just learned that you can take a picture by pressing the volume on your iphone so you don’t have to twist your wrist around when taking selfies! Who knew!?

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