How to take Instagram-worthy photos

November 13th, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

It’s easy to believe that there’s a ‘secret formula’ when it comes to posting photos on Instagram. how-to-take-a-good-instagram-photo-social-media

The social media platform is filled with accounts that make it seem as though everything from a user’s breakfast to their work desk is effortlessly Instagram-able. In reality, that’s not the case. Here’s how to make it seem like it is.

The other day, our copywriter sent our social media assistant (that’s me, Leigh!) this text: “I’m trying so hard with Instagram. WHY DOES IT STILL LOOK SO BAD?

This got me thinking, and I came up with these easy-to-follow tips for enhancing your Instagram feed.

  1. Not all photos need to be taken from above, but a lot of the time ‘over-the-table’ shots looks a lot better. They also give your audience a better look at what you’re actually trying to take a photo of.
  2. Focus your camera! No one is going to double-tap your blurry, out-of-focus shot of last night’s dinner. Taking an extra second or two to make sure that your photo is clear will reap the results.
  3. When you’re taking an over-the-table shot, don’t be afraid to arrange the table. Spending a minute setting out any plates, glasses, and accessories in a way that looks good on camera contributes significantly to taking a good photo. (The world of Instagram doesn’t need to know that your ‘haphazardly scattered’ pens took three minutes to arrange!)
  4. Filter properly – and consistently. Instagram is based entirely on visuals – users follow an account because they like the style, and they know what to expect from it. If your filters are ranging from highly-saturated to black and white to faded, your feed will look incohesive. Take advantage of good editing apps such as VSCO Cam to filter your images – don’t rely solely on Instagram’s filters.
  5. Don’t go overboard on your hashtags. Three to four relevant tags for each post should be enough to categorise your image in a way that lets others find it.
  6. Take advantage of Instagram’s people tagging and geotagging features. When you tag in an account, they receive a notification. This means if you tag your favourite café in a post, they could see it, like it, comment on it, and potentially re-gram it – boosting the exposure of your account. Similarly, when you geotag your image with your location, other users scrolling through the geotag will have access to your image, and your account.
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Here’s one we took – and filtered – earlier…

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… compared with the one that we didn’t.

Ultimately, Instagram isn’t about just posting your image and then watching the likes tumble in. You have to be just as engaged with other accounts as you want them to be with yours.

Once your photo is taken, filtered, uploaded, tagged, and posted, the real work kicks in. Spend some time finding accounts that are relevant to you – like their photos and leave a comment letting them know you love that place they went to brunch, too! Grow relationships with other users, and other users will engage with you in return.

And if you’re worried that the people on the table next to you might judge you for standing up in a restaurant to take a photo of your table, remember that people have built successful careers from their Instagram accounts – not to mention that Instagram is one of the fastest growing, most popular social networks of 2015.

So, get snapping!

Outside the Together studio, Leigh spends a bunch of time eating snacks and taking snaps for her blog The Nottingham Bucket List. She’s also in charge of the new Together Instagram – take a look

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