12 Tips for Improving Your Instagram Photography

Small pictures can make a big difference in a mobile-driven world.

Quite often other photographers tell “I don’t have time for another social network and I don’t need Instagram.” Yet they spend hours posting on Facebook, 500px and Flickr where almost zero potential clients will see their work.

They’re basically getting followers, likes, and comments coming from other photographers. Instagram can be useful in ways you might not have thought of before, and it shouldn’t take you too much time to build a presence on it.

1. Good Instagram Photos Take Planning

Just like shooting film or digitally — capturing good photographs for Instagram requires planning. Occasionally there are happy accidents, but according to Wheatley these are rare.

2. Keep your bio neat and tidy

Your username and bio are the first thing visitors will see when they land on your profile — they’re important and should be crafted carefully.

Two things are often forgotten: email and location. Include your email to show potential clients and peers where they can contact you (for work or collaborations), and add a location so they know where you’re based.

3. Take a lot of Photos

Getting an amazing picture to share on Instagram doesn’t take just one shot. shoot throughout the day, often taking 10–20 frames of a single subject.

4. Try Shooting Outside of the Instagram App

use the native camera app on iPhone or Android, rather than the Instagram camera when shooting for the social network — it’s easy to access from the home screen, allows you to take multiple shots of the same scene without much fumbling, and offers for more control than the Instagram camera.

5. Golden Hour and Blue Hour Still Count

While Cortex Cam can be useful for image capture in dark spaces it goes without saying that smartphones perform better in well-lit spaces.

You always have to be really cognizant of light because lowlight and backlight are really problematic for the iPhone. Golden hour and blue hour those are going to be your best time for creating photos. I think you need to think about programing your day around them. I know I certainly do.

6. Hold Your Phone Horizontally

Very classical, they instantly say to the viewer “look, I’m a photographer.” They’re a bit smaller than squares and vertical ones but at least you keep that sweet landscape ratio.

7. Try Third Party Editing Apps and Edit in Phases

Flexibility came into play the minute that Instagram allowed importing images from the camera roll. many of the current editing apps are a direct result of Instagram freeing users from the preset filters — and while VSCO is still the gold standard for most mobile shooters, there are plenty of other apps that are great for micro adjustments.

8. Hashtags: Keep them Specific and Creative.

Hashtags can be incredibly effective, but only when they are used correctly. Spraying your photo with 12 broad and random hashtags (#girl, #blessed, #love, #photo, #togs, #bestagram, #instamasters, #hastag, #instagood) is not a smart. It comes off as spammy.

Hastags are part of what makes Instagram such a creative and fun place to be, but if your strategy is to get people to see your photo and like it, then you are doing it wrong. If you are going to use a hashtag use one, and use the right one. Find a cool one or start your own.

9. Stay consistent

Keep in mind when you build an audience that the majority of it will expect you to keep posting the same kind of images. You shouldn’t restrict yourself in posting only one genre, but try to be consistent in your posts. This will ensure that your images always reach the optimum number of people.

10. Timing is a key

Publishing images should be done regularly. In order to be the most effective, find a pattern and stick to it. I’ve tried uploading pictures every day and every three days and I still had the exact same level of engagement. But as soon as you break the pattern, your stats will just drop.

11. Be polite and reply

It is probably the most time-consuming aspect of Instagram, but also one of the most important: when someone who follows (or not) your work leaves a comment, it is good etiquette to answer. It will probably drive that user on your profile for a second time, and they may follow you or simply appreciate the fact that you consider your followers and fans humans and not just like factories.

12. Have fun

This won’t replace your portfolio or traditional networking. Keep cool and share when you want to share, publish the images you want to publish. It shouldn’t take you too much time/effort, and if you act too professional people will eventually get bored of your content.

It’s lively, it’s fun, and I will continue to use it until the next big thing comes along…