A good camera is only half of the story. Your skills speak as loud as your camera quality when taking pictures, especially for Instagram. So, you want to post the perfect Instagram picture but aren’t sure how to do it well? Here are some of the best tips on posting the perfect photo on your Instagram that your followers like.
Set Up Your Phone
Before you even start clicking pics, you first need to set up your phone for the shots. No, don’t worry, we are not going to ask you to get really technical. Modern phone cameras are quite easy to work with. First, you need to under-expose your shot. Mobile phone cameras tend to overexpose your photos, which may result in the whitewashing of the image. It is better to have your pics slightly under-exposed, so you can brighten them during the editing process, which is not possible if the photo is overexposed. Second, turn off the high dynamic range (HDR). But wait, doesn’t HDR take good photos? Not really! HDR can make your pics look unnatural and overdone, which is not always a good thing.
Capture the Shot
Now, it’s time to click the photo. There are two parts to this puzzle, composition, and lighting. Each can make the photo look great or unpleasant, depending on how well you utilize them. Let’s look at both of them in detail here.
The composition is essentially how you frame the photo. Your composition goal should be to direct your viewer to the subject. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry; keep the Rule of Thirds in mind. The Rule of Thirds is a golden rule where you need to divide the frame into nine equal parts with literal guidelines. You need to align your subject with the intersection points made by the guidelines. Your phone probably has a setting to turn on the Grid function, which shows you the screen lines to help you align your subject better.
Pics that are over-exposed by harsh light or under-exposed in dark hours turn out to be quite dissatisfactory. Here are some solutions to work around such issues. First, use natural light for photographs as it works best. If you are outdoors, avoid direct sunlight as it can be harsh, and if you are indoors, sit near a window. Most mobile phone cameras are perfectly capable of clicking excellent photos with enough light. Second, shoot at the right time. The best time to click your pics is during the Golden Hours, that is, during dawn or dusk when the natural sunlight is soft, and so are the shadows. If you are using artificial light, try to use indirect light as direct light can be hard and make your photos look ungainly sharp. Also, avoid using the flash at all costs. Flashes use sharp light, which often ruins the photos. Your best bet is to use a wall or styrofoam to bounce off artificial light before it falls on the subject.
Edit the Photo
Taking the perfect photo does not end with the shutter sound. The main magic usually happens during the editing process, where you can tweak and perfect your photo. You don’t need to learn Photoshop for it, either. You can use free apps like Snapseed or VSCO, or use Instagram’s inbuilt photo editor. Remember that when it comes to editing photos, being subtle is the name of the game. Avoid using heavy filters or stark settings. The idea of editing the photo is to tweak it to make it appear better, not completely change it. Whether you are doing car photo editing or jewelry photo editing, here are some things that you should stick to initially:
- Crop the images to keep your subject in focus, straighten the horizon, or remove unwanted photo areas.
- Adjust the white balance to set the right mood and tone for your photo. For example, bloggers tend to stick to warmer tones, while automobile photographers tend to stick to cooler tones.
- Adjust the photo’s exposure to make it as bright or dark as you want it to be.
- Next, adjust the contrast of the photo the way you want it, but avoid extreme contrasts as they may either look too sharp or too blurry.
Adjusting these should be enough to turn your photo into an Instagram worthy shot. So, what are you waiting for? Start clicking some pics, edit them, and share them with the world. Don’t forget to use a catchy title and the right hashtags to garner more likes!