Everyone seems to be on Instagram these days, documenting their lives through a series of square photos.
If you want to up your game from taking grainy photos of your food and boring shots of your cat to rivalling the bloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers (tempting, we know), here are some tips you might want to try:
Instagram is flooded by photos so heavily filtered they look fake. Keeping it real is the new trend as more social media users finally begin to see the beauty in authenticity. Filters can be fun but don’t obsess over them. Instead, try simply altering the brightness or contrast to bring out the best in your shot, then release it, sit back and enjoy racking up those likes.
Develop an eye for colour
Pops of colour give your photos a focus and can liven up the whole image. Think a serene seascape, punctuated by a bright yellow buoy, or a red poppy popping up in a field of green.
Don’t expect your first shot to be ‘the one’
The best photographers take hundreds of photos before selecting just one image to share. It’s quick and easy to delete any that don’t quite work and best of all, you’ll be continually learning what does and doesn’t make a great picture through good old-fashioned trial and error.
Texture is key
Images without varying textures can look flat, so try and find scenery that has natural depth to it such as crashing waves and rocky mountains.
Use the grid feature
Turn on the grid feature for help framing your shot. Try to place the focus of your photo off centre rather than in the middle to draw the eye in and lift the image as a whole.
Include people for scale
That mountain might be awesome but your followers won’t know quite how huge it is unless you include an object or person in the photo for scale. Have fun with this, trying out different poses that emphasise the main subject of your image.
Don’t fear white space
White space in an Instagram feed can look both hip and elegant. Look for white walls to use as backdrops for fashion shots.
Make the most of natural light
No filter can rectify the most common error among newbie Instagrammers – shooting in the wrong light. You’re best off avoiding artificial lighting and making the most of what nature has to offer in the early morning, late afternoons or on cloudy days.
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Find a unique angle
Photos stand out on Instagram if they offer something unique that the community hasn’t seen a thousand times before. If you find yourself visiting a popular Instagram spot, experiment with snapping it from different angles to catch people off guard and show them something new.
Tell a story
Think about what you want to say with your image. Shooting a subject matter that evokes emotion such as a lonely abandoned building or a joy-filled festival? Make sure the feelings you experience in the moment are reflected in your final photo.