How to Take Awesome Instagram Photos

Published on: 19 Sep 2016

Success on Instagram is fundamentally about taking great photos. But fortunately, this is no longer an art mastered only by professionals. Below we have outlined some simple tips that may up your Instagram game to the next level.

This advice is best used as part of an organic Instagram growth strategy. For advice on creating a successful strategy, click hereto see our post which outlines 5 steps you can take to organically boost your Instagram engagement.


Plan, plan, plan

The first step to taking a great photo is to plan. Plan what you want your feed to be about. Plan what colour tones you want to be dominant on your feed. Plan how often you want to post. Plan what hashtags you want to target.

Generally, posting less often but more regularly is better than posting more often but less regularly, as it keeps your fans engaged over time, rather than allowing their interest to fluctuate with random posting periods.

In terms of hashtags, targeting a niche hashtag with fewer posts may mean that you are able to reach the “Top Posts” in that hashtag, which will certainly be beneficial in the long run.

Once you have an idea of what types of photos are needed to fulfil your criteria, taking good photos becomes a lot easier.

Schedule your posts

One of the biggest mistakes people make is attempting to post photos as and when they take them. However, a much better strategy is to build up a backlog of photos that you could post at any time, and write a schedule of when you will post these photos.

This way, you have much more flexibility over how your feed looks. Also, you will be able to maintain regularity as you’ll be covered for periods when you might take fewer photos. And you’ll never be in a rush to get new content, meaning you can take your time to produce much higher quality photos.

Identify the Focus

Now you have an idea of exactly what photos you’re looking for, and how and when you will post them, you need to actually start producing content.

The first step is to identify the focus of your photo. When shooting, consider exactly how you can draw your followers’ eyes towards the focus, and consider how the focus is framed by its surroundings. The best photos will guide the viewer towards the focus with ease, with the surroundings providing contextual support.

Use Natural Light

One of the biggest tips for taking professional photos is to think about light. Natural light, especially on a slightly cloudy day, provides great quality light that often can’t be beaten by studio settings. For all applications ranging from food photography to portraits, this type of diffused light provides an optimal shooting environment. And better light whilst taking the photo means less editing.

Make sure the focus is in a position that it catches the light well, revealing its details and colours to the fullest extent.

Aim for Vibrant Colours

Potential and current followers will be scrolling through your content at  speed. Therefore, capturing vibrant colours, and potentially enhancing these colours in the editing stage, will draw their attention.

However, don’t go overboard – editing the colours too far can lead to a tacky, unprofessional feel.

Look for Layers

For the setting, think in terms of layers. For food photography, consider purchasing a high quality plate, and setting this plate on a wooden surface. For portraits, consider shooting in an environment with a background that has various depths – both urban are natural areas often have abundant locations with these types of scenery.


Layers will make your photos appear fuller and provide a much better setting for the focus.

Don’t Over-Edit!

Finally, if you have achieved a good lighting, an interesting framing of the focus, and a layered background, your photo shouldn’t need much editing. When using filters, play with the strength of the filter. When adjusting brightness, contrast and colours, note that small changes are often much more appealing than large changes. Making the photo appear unnatural often gives a tacky feel, which is to be avoide

Jeremy AkerComment