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May 18, 2017

Dos & Don’ts of Instagram Photography

May 18th, 2017


So I took a lot of photos during my trip to Kyoto last week, and a post on iPhone photography seemed apt. (I’ll leave blogging about my trip till another time, so look forward to that!) So with that said, here are some of my personal tips on what to do, and what not to.


#1. Use a camera and transfer the pictures to your smartphone


I understand that this is kind of a troublesome step for most people, but if you’ve seen professional photographers’ Instagrams (one of my favourites is yamashitaphoto who shoots for Natgeo), you’ll see the difference. It is easier to tweak things such as aperture, ISO and shutter speed on a camera, which are things that will ultimately affect how much you’ll need to edit your photos later on in photo editing apps. Saves time and effort, and your photos turn out looking a lot more natural and vibrant.

#2. Use editing apps.

On that note, I personally believe editing apps are a must for anyone on Instagram. Some of my favourite apps to use are Afterlight, VSCO Cam, and Snapseed. These aren’t necessarily the best, but they’re the ones I’ve learned to use. So don’t be afraid to experiment around with different apps, find ones that work for you. See which ones contain the functions you like, try different filters, maybe even develop your own trademark style while you’re at it!

#3. Frame your pictures.


I strongly believe that framing and planning your photos makes a world of difference. Stepping back, maneuvering around to find the best shot, these are all things I do (yeah I know, you probably look ridiculous to other people, but with time you learn to ignore what people think of you) when taking pictures. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to capture the perfect shot immediately – you have an arsenal of editing apps at your disposal, so take pictures that you know you can work with and improve.

#4. Lighting is everything.

This ties in a little with the previous tip. Good lighting means less editing. Good lighting is the best filter one can have, so play around with not just good lighting, but also the lack of lighting – sometimes shadows give an otherwise plain picture an interesting depth.

#5. Be trigger happy!


What I mean by this is, don’t be afraid to take a lot of pictures. Take multiples of the same shot with tiny adjustments. Maybe a lower angle, maybe a little tilt to the right. The more pictures you have, the more choice you have when it comes to picking one to edit and work with. Variety is the spice of (Instagram) life.


Of course, with all things, there are some things you probably don’t want to do.

#1. Don’t upload everything.

Remember what I said about taking loads of pictures? By all means, do that. But don’t post every single one of them. Pick your best to put forth on Instagram, and be careful not to overshare!

#2. Don’t over-edit your pictures.


I’m an advocate of editing apps, but I believe that there is an invisible line that good photographers do not cross when it comes to photo editing. Whatever you’re taking a photo of, try to hold back from adding 10 different filters. Let the original photo shine through by tweaking the lighting and contrast, by adjusting the tilt of the photo. Simplicity is sometimes the best.

I hope these tips help you have fun with your Instagram! It’s a great community, whether you’re just sharing your pictures with close friends or whether you’re looking to reach a wider audience. Be sure to draw inspiration from other people, as your audience grows, always be sure to have fun!

What are some of your tips? Share them below with us!


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