Published on 28th of March, 2017

14 Tips for Beginners: How to take nice photos for Instagram

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In our highly digitalized era, social media is a huge part of our day to day lives. From individuals to start ups and even huge corporate businesses, we have all caught up to the age of social media that we can't even remember what life was like before Instagram. There are more than 600 million Instagrammers sharing their lives on this digital platform but what proportion of these people consistently take high quality photos? Now that is a question for the researchers to consider but to help you build your Instagram feed, here are 14 tips you need to know on how to take nice photos for Instagram.
  1. A picture is worth a thousand words

    The best kind of photos are the ones that tell a story, even without words. Viewers of your photos should be able to feel the emotion and acknowledge the creativity and uniqueness of your shot. When you are out and about, put effort into your photos and think about different ways to convey your emotions and the moment at that point in a single photograph.
  2. Take advantage of natural light

    Having good lighting is crucial for a high quality shot. If your photo is poorly lit, no photo editing app is going to transform it into a great shot. Try to take photos during the early morning, late afternoon and cloudy days as these are the best times for achieving natural lighting.
  3. Turn on grid feature

    The grid feature on your smartphone is extremely useful for aligning your shot, and creating that perfect composition.

    Ever heard of the Rule of Thirds? It involves dividing your image using two horizonal and two vertical lines, where you position significant elements of your shot at the points where the lines meet. Who knew good photography had rules, right? Technically, this isn't a rule of photography but simply guidance to create photos that are pleasing to the eye, and encourages the use of negative space. No idea what negative space is? Read onto tip 6.
  4. It is all about the angles

    Experiment with taking shots from different angles to create a completely different perspective. From down below, from high up above, diagonally, be creative as beauty lies within the unexpected.
  5. Take multiple shots

    Not every shot is going to turn out great. Instead of taking one shot, take multiple shots. We are talking 10 to 20 shots of the same subject. That way you can be selective about which shots you would be proud to showcase to the world.
  6. Play around with negative space

    Negative space are the areas around and between the subject of an image. Think of empty grasslands or a large wall. Negative space entices the viewer to focus on the subject, making your photo even more eye-catching.
  7. Capture small details

    Take into consideration textures and patterns. These tiny details will make your photos more interesting. Remember to sharpen the photo on the Instagram app to create crispness to your shot.
  8. Avoid zooming in

    Remember that your smartphone is not a macro lens. Opt for getting close and personal to your subject to get the best photo. Zooming in will lead to blurry photos.
  9. Photo editing apps are an Instagrammer's best friend

    Over Instagram filters? Not to worry, there are lots of amazing photo editing apps. One of those is VSCO Cam. This app is incredibly popular among Instagram users and is available free on iOS and Android so you don't need to break the bank to create nice photos. Within the app, you can adjust focus and lighting, and best of all, use its subtle filters to transform your shot from good to great.
  10. Aim for quality over quantity

    It is one thing to take a nice photo for Instagram. It is another thing to continually produce high quality photos. Curate your feed carefully and be selective about which photos you decide to post. Remember to take into consideration the quality of your photo and your Instagram theme.
  11. Wait, so what is an Instagram theme?

    An Instagram theme is the overall composition of your Instagram feed. Some Instagrammers choose to have a theme with bright and bold colours while others decide on a white neutral theme. It is entirely up to you but whatever theme you decide, it should be reflected in your posts.
  12. Attach an external lens

    There are many photography accessories in the market that will help you take unique and attractive photos on your smartphone. You can create effects such as fish eye or wide lens simply from a little device that attaches to your smartphone. Check out your local tech store or head over to Olloclip, a nifty little device that offers three lens in one!
  13. Take photos outside of the Instagram app

    Taking photos with your regular camera app on iPhone and Android will help you get that perfect shot since you have more control over the camera features such as setting focus and exposure. If you take photos on the Instagram app, you are stuck with a single shot, and it doesn't have the features that your regular camera app has to perfect the initial shot.
  14. Hashtags: Be relevant!

    Last but not least, let's talk about hashtags. Although not directly related to taking nice photos, it is a great discovery tool for gaining free Instagram likes. Hashtags are a community builder and you can connect with like-minded individuals. With over 600 million users, how is anyone going to find your amazing posts? This is why hashtags are a necessity to gain exposure. However, only use relevant hashtags that are unique to your post, and most importantly, try not to use too many! You don't want to take away rich substance of your photo by swarming it with a sea of hashtags.

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