Instagram @hoggerandco


10 Tips On How to Make Your Instagrams Better

I don't know anyone who's not addicted to Instagram, do you?

With more Instagrams taking up our Twitter feeds, I thought I'd share a few tips on how to make your Instagrams better with some examples from my own feed (@hoggerandco) to illustrate some things I've noticed since I started using the app. And if you're on Instagram, give me your handle so I can follow you!

1. Minimalism. Less is more. This is a common theme of many Instagrammers I follow. The negative space around a subject often times proves more interesting. This is common in landscape shots. More sky, less building.

2. Self-portraits. Adding one or two self-portraits in your feed gives your followers a glimpse of YOU. I enjoy getting a glimpse of what the people I follow look like. Of course, that's to say, not dedicating your entire feed to a self-portrait party. And if you prefer to remain annonymous, more power to you.

3. Good lighting. Good light is important in getting the attention on what it is you're taking a photo of. If you're in a dark restaurant, you're not likely to get a good shot of what you're eating. But with more light, the easier it is to showcase your subject.

4. Good shadow. Shadow is equally as important as good light. The two work well together in creating interesting compositions.

5. Speaking of which. Composition. Composing a shot into an interesting array of subject matter can elevate the mundane. Remember the rule of thirds, that not everything has to be in the center of the frame. Having a focal point and having everything else in the shot direct your eye to the focal point is a good place to start.

6. Shoot from above. Many of the people I follow have some of the best Instagram photos because they shoot from above the object. Give it a'll look silly doing it at the time, but you'll love the result.

7. Crop. Don't be afraid to crop your shot down. Getting rid of distracting objects on the outskirts of the shot make it more interesting (here I cropped out the cabanas).

8. Don't zoom in. Don't zoom into the subject before taking the photo. You'll end up with a pixelated shot. Instead take the photo and then crop it. If you're too far away from your subject, you're better of forgetting about the subject altogether rather than using an overly pixelated shot just for the sake of it. (Here I got up close instead of zooming into the fish, I decided to keep the cooler in the shot).

9. Blur is your friend. If used properly, the blur tool can really highlight your subject. The "spot" blur is great for really focusing on something, whereas I like using the "bar" blur for creating semi tilt-shift scenarios.

10. Silhouettes. Sometimes a silhouette is all you need to tell a story.

Was this helpful? Would you like to see more photo tips on the blog?


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Reader Comments (17)

Just followed thru from Facebook because I, too, am Insta-obsessed. Unfortunately, the camera on my Android device isn't so great, but there are ways to still take relatively decent shots that can look great in the end after filtering (and, only 103 days until I can FINALLY upgrade to an iPhone--but who's counting?). These were great tips! I will definitely keep them in mind with Instagram (@alliebeau ...!)

Also, as someone who just purchased a DSLR camera and finds your work totally stunning, I would love more tips and tricks for the amateur photog-- things like this (and simple composition stuff, like the rule of thirds which I shamefully did not know until I bought said camera) are infinitely helpful, especially when you have a stunning photo to accompany as an example. Love your stuff. Keep up the great work (on both iPhone and your "real" camera!)

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllieBeau

Such a fun post Smita! I love your Instagram photos... obviously!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Wow Allie, thank you for the feedback! Good to know; I'd love to provide more photo tips that I've picked up, on here. Hahaha, who's counting on the upgrade to the iPhone eh? - you're gonna love it. Best thing, ever! I'm following you on Instagram, now - you have the cutest dog! (And a great feed btw)

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

Hey Amy, thanks so much; you're so sweet! I already follow you ;)

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

So helpful and enjoyable to read! Thanks for this post...would love to read more like these in the future! :)

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRicha Tiwari

Hi RIcha, thank you for your comment and feedback!

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

I loved this post. Would love to see more photography posts.. even DSLR tutorials maybe? And you know I love that self-portrait. Stunning!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVidhya

Thanks Vids, of course I only post the the good self ports - let's get real! Thanks for the feedback, will definitely start posting some DSLR tips!

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

These tips are great! I don't have Instagram yet, but I can't wait to get it when I move back to the states! I will definitely use these tips in my daily digi cam photos. Thanks for sharing these with us!!!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClare

Thanks Clare! You're moving back in a few weeks - so exciting!

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

I love these tips Smita- they are so great! When I capture a really great shot on Instagram, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, and these tips will definitely help in the future. I also second the request for DSLR tips- I've had mine for about a year and I'm still not very good with it! Need to start practicing before NYFW starts!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNnenna

Hey Nnenna, so great to hear from you. I feel the same way, sometimes you just KNOW you have a good shot and other times, you post it anyway even though you're not sure haha! I can't wait to meet you and Alex in NYC!

August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

I'd also love more photography tips - DSLR, iPhone, - you name it!

great instagram tips and I thoroughly enjoy your feed

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth

I think this was a great idea for a post, Smita! I love creeping on your (and others') Instagram, but, alas, I don't have it myself. I'm such a loser, right?

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Hey Elizabeth, thanks for the feedback! We really have to meet up soon!
Hannah, you're so funny, but Twitter pics are just as awesome!

August 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

My gosh, you never fail to amaze me. This really shows how much photography is about what you capture...not what you capture it with. Really wish I had instagram!!

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClair

Clair, that's SO sweet! Thank you! That's what I always say, it doesn't have to be about the equipment or the settings you use on your camera, it's composition and timing.

August 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

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