How to take good pictures for Instagram

Instagram is primarily a visual platform, so understanding how to take the best photos for Instagram is a useful skill. Not only are aesthetically pleasing posts more likely to get comments and likes, but they could also attract more followers and grow your audience. 

Whether you want to take a good selfie, stage photos, or just make your Instagram more attractive, this guide will cover everything you need to know about capturing pictures like a pro. 


How to take great Instagram photos when you travel

One of the best times to focus on shooting quality photos for Instagram is when you’re on vacation. There’s nothing like a gorgeous new city or a tropical beach to spark a creative new photo idea. 

Unfortunately, there are already tons of accounts dedicated to exploring the world. So try these tips below to ensure you stand out within the #TravelGram. 

Get your iPhone vacation-ready

If you’re going on a trip, you want to have plenty of iPhone storage to document your travels on Instagram. Gemini Photos can help you delete useless photos like duplicates and blurry shots, so you have room for new memories.

Download on the App Store

Tip #1: Stay horizontal 

How to take better travel photos for Instagram: Keep them horizontal

If you want to capture a particular piece of beautiful scenery, take the photo horizontally. Doing this will ensure that you include as much of the landscape as possible, while a vertical image might cut some areas out. 


Tip #2: Keep it focused 

If you’re photographing a subject — be it a person or a piece of art — you don’t want it to be blurry. Typically, iPhone cameras will automatically adjust the focus based on the current lighting, which could inadvertently cause the star of your image to fade into the fuzzy background. 

Here’s how to make sure your camera is focused on the right subject: 

  1. Open your Camera. 
  2. Tap on the subject you want to focus on. 
  3. Take the photo. 

You’ll want to make sure to keep your hands as still as possible while taking the photo because moving the camera will cause the lighting to automatically readjust.  


Tip #3: Follow the light

How to take good Instagram photos: Shoot in the right light

No matter what time of day it is, natural lighting is always the best lighting. However, there are times of the day when the lighting is better than others. 

The best time to take photographs is often referred to as the “golden hour.” It occurs an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. The warm tones of the sun’s rise and fall provide gorgeous lighting that can take any photo to the next level. So, for the best natural lighting, be sure to be outside with your camera ready during the golden hours. 


How to take a good selfie for Instagram

If you don’t have any vacations coming up, it’s still nice to grace your followers with a nice photo of yourself every now and then. 

More commonly known as “selfies,” social media self-portraits have transformed simple mirror pictures into works of art capable of being bound into a book — if you’re Kim Kardashian, that is.

That being said, you don’t have to be a celebrity to take a good selfie. The following tips will teach you how to take a great photo of yourself. 


Tip #1: Eyes up

How to take better selfies for Instagram: Look up

If you’re having trouble finding an angle you like, try this trick used by many social media influencers.

Instead of looking directly at the camera, look slightly above it. Keeping your eyes up makes them appear larger and brighter. Elevate this pose by thinking of something that makes you happy enough to smile a little. Doing that will prevent your smile from looking forced. 


Tip #2: Neck out 

Posing is everything when it comes to the selfie. 

One way to make your neck look longer and your jawline sharper is to extend your head just slightly away from your body. Pushing your shoulders down will help you appear more relaxed while in this very poised pose. 


Tip #3: Try a side angle 

How to take good Instagram selfies: Try a side angle

The first instinct when taking a selfie is to hold the camera head-on, directly in front of your face. This can work, but if you’re not happy with the results, try a different angle. 

Move the camera to the side of your face and then turn slightly toward it. This side-angle can be very flattering and helps to switch things up from the typical selfie pose.


How to take Instagram photos of food

Another popular niche of social media is food photography. Documenting your most delicious dishes is a great way to either show off your cooking skills or a new hot spot in town. 

While taking pictures of food seems simple, it’s harder than it looks. Dim restaurant lighting and a poorly timed flash can make your meals look less than appetizing. Read on to learn some easy ways to stay at the top of your foodie game. 


Tip #1: Sit next to a window

Again, the best photos are always shot in natural light. So when you’re picking a place to enjoy your food — and photograph it — try sitting next to a window. This will give you a much better photo than if you sat in the dark corner in the back. 

Be sure to avoid shooting in direct sunlight, however, as this can cause some unsightly shadows to appear over your food. And if you can plan your next Insta-worthy meal around the golden hour, do it. 


Tip #2: Use a napkin as a DIY reflector

Even natural lighting isn’t perfect, and sometimes the juicy details of your burger can get lost in the shadows. If that’s happening, reach to your most common dining utensil: the white napkin. 

Hold up a white napkin against the side of the plate that isn’t facing a window. Doing this will bounce some of the sunlight coming through the window onto the parts of your food covered in a shadow. 


Tip #3: Never flash

How to take better photos of food: Don't use flash

Using your iPhone camera’s flash is a big no-no when it comes to food photography. But what do you do if the restaurant is too dark to capture a photo without it? 

An iPhone’s flashlight feature can make a great alternative to using flash. Simply turn your flashlight on, adjust the intensity of the light to your preference (and that of the people dining around you) and start snapping. 


It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to grow your small food photography blog or you just want to take advantage of the gorgeous scenery on your upcoming trip to Hawaii. Introducing a couple of these tips into your photo-taking process will make your Instagram look better, guaranteed. 

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