Social media is a great business marketing strategy to get your name around because of its reach. And between all social media platforms, Instagram is one of the best to go for. Did you know that posts on Instagram reach around 1.16 billion people on average? It’s also the social media platform that gathered the greatest number of new users last year, beating Facebook by an important margin.
Instagram’s user interface (UI) is built to place heavy emphasis on photos over text, so your best shot at getting noticed is by uploading great pictures. But how do you do that? Here are some tips that will boost your engagement on the app.
Exposure is the amount of light that gets absorbed by your camera’s sensor. The higher the exposure, the brighter the image. However, overly exposed photos tend to render incorrect colours, making your photos look almost unnatural. The extra brightness will also overshadow the details you want to emphasise. Therefore, always shoot your pictures a little darker. If you think your subject is too dark, you can always adjust the photo’s exposure during post-production.
Plus, post-production software like Adobe Photoshop and Apple Photos have more tools available than just those for exposure adjustments, so you can better edit your photos to your preferences.
If you want added control over your subject’s lighting, you’re going to need a reflector. It doesn’t have to be the expensive kind like the mylar and premium types. Simple glow reflectors like Neewer and Foleto Cardboard easily flecks light for below $30. Of course, you can also buy $10 foam boards from Utrecht and other stationers for a similar but weaker effect.
Reflectors are used in indoor shots and are set in the opposite direction of your main lights (whether that’s a dedicated studio light or an open window). Aim your reflector in your subject’s shadowy areas. This way, your photos are always evenly lit.
To take good pictures, you need a great camera. Of course, that’s not to say that you need a full-on DSLR camera. Instagram’s compression algorithm will always lower your photo’s quality down to 1080 x 1080 pixels the moment it exceeds that resolution. As such, a decent phone camera will do the trick. Today’s smartphones are built with multiple grids in their circuitry’s design, so their components are installed in places where the power flows more smoothly. This way, manufacturers can install high-functioning sensors, lenses, and other components—which usually demand more charge from the unit’s PCB.
For Instagram, a phone camera with at least 12 megapixels, like a Huawei Mate or an iPhone, is more than enough to meet the highest photo quality you can upload on the platform.
The right Instagram filter can produce dramatic effects, elevating your images’ aesthetic. For example, Breeze by Carmushka mutes part of the photo’s exposure, creating a moody atmosphere. Meanwhile, thaifurtado’s Blogger Presets can help make colours pop, making it a fantastic option for minimalist images.
However, if you overdo any of these filters, you’ll ruin your photos’ natural lighting. Fortunately, you can toggle the amount of filter you can apply to your pictures via slider (from 1 to 100 per cent). There’s no ideal percentage for this, just know that you need to stop once your pictures start looking unnatural.
The best Instagram photos aren’t taken without a bit of preparation, so make sure that you have the right tools before you get started. If you need some inspiration, you can always follow some of the best influencers on the platform—see what kind of photos they’ve posted to have amassed such a big following.