A picture is worth a thousand words, but a good Instagram photo is worth likes, followers and money for businesses. And lots of it. According to a current study of the social app, Instagram has 200 million active users. Sixty million photos are posted each day, receiving around 1.6 billion likes. Let your photo get some likes too with these tips on how to take a great Instagram photo:
The fundamental photography rule of thirds doesn’t necessarily apply when taking a great Instagram photo. If a photograph was separated into equal parts, (three lines horizontally and vertically to form a grid of nine), the rule would say the subject should be placed on the outside lines rather than the center. The eye naturally is drawn to the points of intersection. Since Instagram photos are square and smaller, the outside information is already eliminated. Think wide-screen movie format vs. full screen. Think square and eliminate all unnecessary information. Zoom in on your subject to utilize that small canvas space. The subject can be off center, but not cut from the frame.
To Filter or Not Filter
One of the major decisions when posting a photo to Instagram is the filter. There are dozens of choices with drastic results to your original. Most Instagram users know that photos have been edited and filtered, but use filters wisely. Super contrast filters, like X-Pro II, don’t make food look all that appetizing. Washed-out filters, like Valencia, give a vintage feel but can make the people in the photo look wan and sickly.
When selecting a filter, think of the purpose first and foremost. For example, if you are a t-shirt business and are advertising a stock of new shirts, you’ll want to be representative of the colors. Your red t-shirt shouldn’t read hot pink and your Kelly green shirts shouldn’t look lime green. Your customers will come to your store disappointed at the misrepresentation. Go for an enhanced realism, not a filter completely different from the actual item.
If you are merely reflecting in an artistic way, feel free to go filter-happy. Use filters with warm tones to create a mood of intimacy. Amaro is perfect for this one and is great for atmospheric restaurants.
Next time you are struck by an Instagram photo, think about why it makes a good composition. Learn from examples. Go for it and use these tips to take your next amazing Instagram photo.