How to Take Instagram Photos That Earn You Likes: Step-By-Step Guide

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So, you’ve been posting tons of pics up on your Instagram, but you’re struggling to get your Instagram photos to stand out?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a couple of hours scrolling through the Instagram Explore page on Instagram and be in envy of the amazing Instagram photos that other users post up.

And with Instagram constantly evolving and adding new features, it can be tough to get your content to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

That’s why today, I’ve come up with a step by step guide on how you can take good Instagram photos worthy of likes using your phone.

How to Take Good Instagram Photos That Earn You Likes

If you’re not really sure where you should get started or how to take better Instagram photos than your leading competition, don’t worry- I’ve got your back 😉

1.     Don’t Take Photos Via Instagram

Okay, rule #1: don’t take photos on Instagram.

So, if you want to get your latest post on the Instagram Explore page, snap a pic on the Instagram app.


Well, it’s because your phone’s camera is so much better than what the Instagram app has to offer.

Your smartphone comes with an HDR (High Dynamic Range) function that allows you to snap different pics with several exposures that have already been pre-set.

However, Instagram doesn’t have an option that allows you to get a quick pic with HDR.

Besides, Instagram doesn’t allow you to zoom in or out and it’ll also automatically crop your photo into a square shape.

Therefore, if you want to really be able to customize the look of your picture, do yourself a favor and use your phone’s camera to take your photos.


2.     Use Natural Lighting While Taking Photos

Understanding how light affects your pictures is crucial to getting your pictures to stand out on the Instagram explore bag.

Generally, you should take a look at some other accounts for some Instagram photo inspiration to see how other users are taking their pictures.

You’ll see that most of these Instagram users are using natural lighting for their pictures.

Furthermore, you should always make sure to avoid using your camera’s flash when you’re filming in natural lighting, as you’ll take a chance of your picture being too bright and washing you out.

Besides, even if you don’t have the opportunity to take a picture outside, you should take your pictures by a window or in a room that’s flooded with natural lighting.

Trying to take your Instagram photos at night?

Try using ambient lighting rather than direct photo lighting, as the harshness of this lighting can cause unflattering, photo-ruining shadows.


3.     Use Vibrant Colors

Vibrant colors are just so eye-catching, aren’t they?

Incidentally, while your Instagram Explore page may be filled with black and white, minimalism, and neutral colors, standing against that Instagram trend will help to get your page more exposure.

Also, bright, vibrant colors are fun and energizing!

Surfing through your Instagram feed and you may find that pictures that vibrant are the first to catch your eye. Don’t be afraid to add color to your Instagram photos to help make your feed eye-catching.


4.     Make Minor Edits After Taking Your Pictures

Don’t fall into the trap of over-editing your pictures. Over-editing or being too heavy on photoshopping can make your picture look unnatural and impact the quality of your image.

When editing your pictures for Instagram, you should focus on making minor edits that impact the overall quality of your pic and not just certain parts.

Next time you go to edit your Instagram photos, you should try adjusting the brightness, contrast, warmth, shadows, and highlights.

Making these small adjustments can help to make your pic much more eye-appealing without making it look like you’ve spent hours fixing even minor flaw in the picture.

It’ll help to make your post look more natural without downgrading the overall quality of your picture!


5.     Change Up Your Backgrounds

Do the majority of your Instagram photos feature the same background over and over again?

While the forefront of your picture is important, using a captivating background in your picture will really help to make your photo that much more interesting.



6.     Add Some Depth to Your Pictures

The subject of your photo isn’t the only important part of what you’re taking pictures of. Think of photography for Instagram like a layered cake!

The subject of your photo is the icing, but if you slice into the dessert and the actual cake isn’t tasty, you’re left underwhelmed.

The depth of your photo is the ‘cake’ while the subject of your photo is the ‘icing’.

Adding layers to your photos, such as objects in the backgrounds or a variety of patterns, adds depth to your pictures.

So, rather than just shooting a picture of a slice of pizza, try adding in a patterned napkin or a brightly colored drink in the background to add depth to it.


7.     Use Different Perspectives

Don’t fall into the trap of taking all of your Instagram photos from one angle. It’s repetitive, boring, and chances are that there are thousands of other people snapping pictures from the same exact angle that you’re taking your pictures from.

Taking your pictures from a different angle will help to provide a unique perspective on a subject, even if it’s something that’s been photographed thousands of times over!

Instead of taking a picture straight on, try shooting from the side, above, or even while you’re crouching down on the ground!


8.     Don’t Depend On Autofocus

Unless you’re in the middle of a high-action photoshoot, you shouldn’t depend on autofocus.

Learning how to manually control your camera’s focus will help you to capture on photo exactly what you’ve planned out in your head. It’ll help you to get that perfect shot.

In order to manually adjust the focus on your smartphone’s camera, all you need to do is tap on what you’re want your camera to focus on. That’s it!

Take your picture and you’ll have a perfect, well-focused picture for your Instagram account.

how to take instagram photos using the rule of thirds


9.     Learn About The Rule Of Thirds

Learning about the rule of thirds will help you to gather a better understanding of how to balance your photography.

Adding a structure to your Instagram photo will help to keep the eyes of your audience moving around your photo.

The good thing about the ‘rule’ of thirds is that while the name of this guideline suggests that you can’t comfort it to your own photography style, it’s really just a composition tool that photographers have been using for a long, long time.

To begin with, the rule of thirds divides an image up into nine equal parts, with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines dividing an image up to create these equal parts.

Similarly, using this photography technique to align your subject within this grid will help you to center your subject and keep your audience focused.

However, while you don’t have to follow along with the rule of thirds in your Instagram photography, it can help to enhance the story that you’re attempting to convey through your image.  

how-to take instagram photos

Final Words on Taking Good Instagram photos

Whether you’re looking to boost your engagement, get people to shop your Instagram feed, or people to click over from a link in your bio, posting high-quality pictures is the way to go.

Likewise, including quality photos on your Instagram help you to tell a story. After all, Instagram is a social media platform that depends entirely on pictures.

In order to effectively tell the story of your brand, posting quality and original photos will help you to provide your audience with a message that will keep them constantly coming back for more of your content.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or even a professional photo editor to take awesome Instagram photos.

Whilst using the steps above to ensure you’re taking great Instagram photos, make sure your actions will help the quality of your photos improve over time.  

Finally, when posting your Instagram photos, ensure that you’re posting pictures with engaging captions. This would keep your followers engaging with your content. It would also give your photos a chance to appear on the Instagram explore page, which in turn would help to boost your account reach!

So, what’s your favorite way to edit your Instagram photos?

Do you have any tips that you use to improve the overall quality of your pictures?

Share your thoughts in the comment section!

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