Travel Tips

HOW TO TAKE BETTER INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

Coming home from travelling abroad or even during your travels, there is always this sudden urge to share with the world what you have been up to and Instagram is a great platform to do so.

However, there’s nothing worse than finally uploading your photograph and getting that feeling of regret as you notice it doesn’t look as great as some of the other shots of Thailand or Paris you have seen. Well we are going to fix that with some tips on how to spruce up your Instagram account.

1. Don’t Take Your Photographs With the Instagram App

For one – your photograph will forever be in a square shape – what if you want to print it out in a large landscape? Second reason is the Instagram app lacks several camera features including important ones such as zoom. You will get much more flexibility out of your phones camera app.

2. Composition & Subject Matter

This is important as you are technically working within a square box. Is your subject in an interesting position? Is there something worth looking at in the foreground and background of your picture? Try placing yourself in the lower thirds of the image and the landmark in the top right hand side.

Also why not tell a story in your image by including locals or architecture to make for a great shot.

Instagram - Queenstown, New Zealand Lake Wakatipu

3. Lighting

Is there glaring sunlight in your eyes? or is your face hidden by a shadow? Ensure that the your subject is lit correctly or deliberately not lit (i.e. silhouettes).

If you shoot during what is known as the golden hour, which is about 20-30 minutes after sunrise and 20-30 minutes before sunset, you are guaranteed to get the perfect lighting.

3. Post Production – Edit Those Photos #nofilter #yesfilter

Don’t worry every photographer edits their work, so don’t feel bad about opening up your editing apps to bring out your photo. We primarily use VSCO cam for filters and brightness adjustment and Squareready to frame our images before uploading it to Instagram.

Note: We also use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to adjust lighting but it is not a necessity here.

waffles and coffee instagram shot

4. Tell A Story On Your Account

Take a step back, tap out your profile and get a feeling for how your account looks overall. Are there too many selfies? Or too many shots of your morning coffee? We aren’t saying to stop taking those shots but possibly apply some moderation and even add some rules like 5 scenic shots per 1 shot of your flawless self.

5. Get A Style – Stick with It

Use a certain filter? Have a colour theme? Or post primarily about travel? It’s always great to have a style or theme throughout your Instagram account as it allows your followers to know what to expect when hitting that lucrative follow button.

Stephen Parry InstagramJess Valentine Instagram 

6. Take More and Share More

What’s a better way than getting out there and taking more photographs and learning from your triumphs and mistakes? Why not try the 365 day challenge of taking an interesting photograph and sharing it every day of the year?

Finally – Get Inspired

Go out there and follow some Instagram accounts that share similar interests to you. You may get inspired by angles or locations that you could use in your own feed. While you’re looking for inspiration why not give us a follow on Instagram #cheekyplug [Stephen] and [Jess].

What are your tips for taking Instagram photos?

Stephen and Jess signoff

READ NEXT: TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHS

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  • Great tips. I just have a personal account, but I feel like these tips apply across the board from private accounts for friends to accounts created to promote your business. Thanks for sharing!

    • That is true – I suppose our personal accounts could be counted as our business accounts as they are related to Flying the Nest.

  • I’ve really got to build up my instagram game… and learn to plan ahead regarding the square shape. I will definitely put a few of these tips to use. An instagram challenge sounds like a good plan for 2015!

    • I am just trying to get into the habit of uploading at least once a day!

  • These are great tips. I love Instagram and I’ve been meaning to download Squareready.

  • Great trips, thanks man ! Haven’t download Squareready yet, will do it tonight

    • Squareready is great, it mixes up your feed and allows you to show landscape shots that aren’t cut off by Instagrams square limitations.

  • Haha thanks for adding in your cheeky plug 🙂 Will check it out !!

  • Great tips – I feel like I’m really late to the party, but I’ve only just downloaded the VSCO cam app and haven’t a clue how to use it yet!

  • Darn it Stephen I wanted to be you 10,000 follower in Instagram but alas I am #9,999.

    Great tips. I’m following now. I’m @DownshiftingPROTravel and @DownshiftingPRO.