Having the ability to capture great photos for Instagram is a topic that needs some understanding in terms of basic lighting and composition principles. If this sounds too technical for you, we’ve got you covered! Our simple tips will have you refining your unearthed talent as a photographer in no time so that your pics are the best they can be.
How to Take Great Pictures for Instagram
Utilise Natural Light
We’ll start with lighting because it is the very foundation that a great picture is built on. Having an understanding of how to use it to your advantage will pay dividends in the long run.
Smartphones are incredibly powerful and loaded with features to help you capture the perfect image, but there are things you need to do too, such as avoiding turning on the flash and instead use the natural light you have at your disposal. Flash photography can often flatten out your photo, while using natural light creates deeper, richer images.
Can’t take your pictures outside? Get close to the windows instead. In the evenings, ambient lighting can do wonders for your photos and will help to create warmth and depth in your image.
Having space around your focal point is a handy way to bring more visual curiosity without the need for viewers to zoom in. Sometimes, doing this can throw in some unexpected detail that makes your snap even more impressive.
Cameras on smartphones zoom in on your subject, which effectively reduces your field of view. This means the image will become pre-cropping, whether intentional or not. What’s more, your editing options are then restricted and you run the risk of missing attention-grabbing details, so avoid zooming in where possible. Instead, make sure you use the focal point option on your phone by tapping on your image’s subject.
In short, there’s not really anything you can do with a photo that has been overexposed (this is what the editing tools on your phone are for!).
To thwart unwanted overexposure, simply adjust the lighting on your screen by tapping and sliding up/down on the exposure adjusting feature.
You can also avoid overexposure by tapping the screen on the brightest part of the image and this will help you to modify the lighting before capturing any shots.
Three (Thirds) Is the Magic Number
This is a reference to the composition of your images, including textures, shapes and colours as well as other elements that make up the image you’re capturing.
Working in thirds is probably the number one principle to live by when it comes to composition. Quite simply, it refers to a simple way of giving your image the right balance. This is achieved by dividing an image into a grid (3x3), and then using this to align whatever it is you are photographing along the grid lines to form balance.
You can also attempt off-centre symmetry by having an object or person in one area of the grid – bottom right, for example – and a different subject in another. This can give the perfect balance to your image.
The most natural thing to do when you take a photo on your phone is to bring your device to eye level and start snapping. Break the trend and get some surprising, exciting and interesting photos instead.
Taking advantage of various vantage points will offer new perspectives. Consider taking pictures by crouching low, lying down, from above or below, or from a bird’s eye view.
Experiment and see what you come up with; it could be the next image that goes viral on Instagram!
Add and Create Depth
Most subjects, whether it be food, flowers, sunsets or people are best captured when they include layers, with additional objects or patterns in the foreground and the background. This depth gives you some more organic interest and appeal.
Every layer you can bring to your image offers something extra to look at for the viewer.
We hope that this guide will help inspire you to take some stunning images for your Instagram profile! Remember, if your blog or business needs some high-quality images to help it stand out, discover the free-to-use images available right here at PikWizard!
If you want a platform to showcase your shots, why not check out our guide on how to start a photography blog?