Do you want to up your Instagram game? It’s no secret one of the most important keys to gaining followers on Instagram is having consistently great photos on your feed.
In this post, I’ve invited Melissa from @girleatworld to share with you some of her tips on how she has maintained her account, which has gained over 390,000 followers over the past four years. As the name suggests, she loves eating and travelling the world – you can see the result of it over at her Instagram.
- How to have a Good Instagram feed
- Best Camera for Instagram Photos
- Hone your basic photo-taking skills
- How to edit your photos for Instagram
- Find your niche and know your audience
- Get more travel tips & hacks for your favourite destinations!
How to have a Good Instagram feed
I’ll be going into the details on how to take good Instagram photos and how to make your Instagram feed look good. Let’s get started! Hopefully, this will give you some Instagram post ideas for your own ideas.
Best Camera for Instagram Photos
A lot of people have asked me what camera I use, and the answer has always surprised them – I have no fancy camera trick – I’ve always used my smartphone! In my case, I am an iPhone user, but I’m sure you can produce the same quality image with other smartphones too.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying that goes “It’s not the camera that matters, it’s the person behind the camera”.
This rings true even in the age of Instagram, so if you ask me, I believe that there is no such thing as the “best” camera for Instagram. No camera is made specifically for Instagram and you don’t need a new one, at least not when you’re just beginning to up your Instagram game.
So before you drop some money on that expensive camera, consider the right camera for you. Meanwhile, let’s improve your photo-taking skills and editing skills!
Hone your basic photo-taking skills
I’m sorry everyone, there is really no shortcut to becoming a better photographer and producing good instagram photos other than putting in a lot of time and practice.
Here are some basic photo-taking skills that have carried me well so far:
1. Practice Photo Composition
All photography skills can be boiled down to one thing: photo composition. This basically means how you frame your photo.
The one resource I would always recommend to any new photographer is Steve McCurry’s Photo Composition tips. If you don’t know who Steve McCurry is, I suggest you look up some of his work – I’m sure you’ll find it familiar!
He’s one of the most prominent photojournalist and his work consistently appears on National Geographic magazine.
You can see his tips in this Youtube video.
2. Natural Sunlight is your friend
To take good Instagram photos, always pay attention to the lighting condition when you take a photo. You might be able to save a bad light photo with editing, but nothing beats a photo that was already nicely lit, to begin with.
And wanna know a secret? The best light of the day is NOT when the sun is the strongest. It’s actually when the sun is a little bit more mellow, such as right after sunrise and right before sunset.
This is why top Instagrammers like to start their day really early – to catch that magical morning light often referred to as Golden Hour.
How to edit your photos for Instagram
Just like how photo-taking skill is important, your editing skill of that perfect photo is also key. Here are some photo editing skills that can help make your Instagram feed look good.
1. Master using Photo Editing apps on your phone
Back in the days, we used Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing on our desktops. While those tools are still handy, we’ve definitely come a long way since then – you don’t even need to turn on your laptop to get Instagram ready.
There are now a bunch of photo editing apps that can help you enhance your photos faster on your mobile phone!
In terms of which one is the best, it really depends on your preference and you like to edit your photos. Snapseed and Lightroom tend to give a lot more control over editing your photos, with advanced tools like “Healing Brush” and “Curves” that can seriously transform the look of your photo.
Take some time to get to know all the apps and decide which one you like. On the other hand, VSCO has the most basic set up, but their presets are the best.
Personally, I’ve always used just VSCO since it’s the tool I’m most comfortable with. I don’t normally edit my photos too much, so I found VSCO to suit me for most of my Instagram photos.
2. Experiment with different styles and create a look you like
If you look at good instagram feeds, you’ll notice a common theme: consistency is key.
Why? In order to gain a following from someone, they must be able to know on the first glance what your feed will offer. Usually, this is determined by scrolling through the latest 9-12 photos on your feed.
If your editing style is too inconsistent and there is no obvious theme from first glance, you’ll lose their interest and subsequently, their following.
So it’s important to create a look you like and stick with it!
3. Don’t be afraid to crop and re-align the original photo
Sometimes the photo you take doesn’t turn out the way you envision it, but that doesn’t mean you have to trash the photo – sometimes just a little cropping or re-aligning can do wonders to the photo.
Find your niche and know your audience
It might be tempting to post everything and anything on Instagram, but… isn’t that what everyone else is doing? Instagram has become the most popular social media, and as such, there is now a lot of noise on the platform.
So you need to cut through the noise by defining a niche, something YOU love doing.
For example: Do you like taking photos of food? Then create a food Instagram. Do you travel on a budget? Then share how you can afford to go to a destination and the struggles you have to go through.
Once you’ve defined a niche, take the time to know your audience. Do they seem to respond better to a certain type of photo? Or perhaps a certain story on your caption? Eventually, your vibe will attract similar minded people, and you’ll know the kind of audience you have.
And that’s all I have to say about creating and maintaining a good feed on Instagram!