So you’re on Instagram, and you’re taking pictures of whatever you like, whether it’s your breakfast or yourself, or even that fancy sunset you saw in Bali. But you’re not getting the followers you want, and your food pictures aren’t looking as good as you want them to.
Here are some tips that will help you up your insta-game, and make you a pro in no time.
Rule of Threes
This is the simplest trick that will enhance every photo you will ever take. Divide your photo into three parts horizontally, and then vertically. This will create a 4-line grid over your photo, and help you focus your subjects and frame them in the best way. You can use these lines in 2 ways.
Place your subjects in each of these 4 points, or along any of the lines.
If you’re taking an #OOTD, for example, position your face at one of the points to draw the focus there. Your eyes are naturally inclined to look at those points.
If you’re taking a selfie upclose, crop your photo so that your dominant eye is at one of those points. People are naturally drawn to eyes, so yours will stand out much more, and people will find themselves liking the picture more as well.
Arrange your scene into 3 sections to create depth.
If you’re taking a picture of a sunset or of a landscape scenery, divide them into those 3 horizontal sections to create depth in your photos. This will truly enhance those photos and make them pop out of your followers’ Instagram app.
Create Lines With Your Subjects
The concept of natural lines bodes very well with your eyes. They make order out of a chaotic scene, and create sense in an otherwise abstract image. By making use of the scene before you, you can find diagonal lines that converge to a subject point, or parallel lines that create patterns from an ordinary scene.
Symmetry Is Beauty
Someone once said that the standard of beauty for a face is symmetry. While there are more people countering that with their own theories, it doesn’t change the fact that our eyes and brains are attuned to symmetry. It is nice to look at, and the OCD part of us are more inclined towards a balanced image.
This little trick will add a bit more art in an otherwise boring Instagram gallery.
Natural Light Is The Way To Go
Never underestimate the power of natural lighting. The best time to take a photo could be morning, at around 8 or 9am, or in the late afternoon, at 3-5pm. This is because the sunlight is not too bright, as it is at noon, preventing your photos from being over-exposed, but not too dark that your subjects can’t be seen.
The best way to tell if your photos are well-lit is if they can stand out without any filters. Filters are meant to set a different mood in your photos, but if your photos are underexposed, no amount of filters will save it. #nofilter
Contrast can be your best friend. By using colours or lighting to create contrasting sections in a photo, you will create depth and drama in your otherwise dull photos. If you see photos of people holding things before a white background, it is because it is the simplest way to create enough contrast to make your photos stand out.
But if you don’t have any white backgrounds at hand, then try to find a solid-coloured background that doesn’t have too many contrasting patterns, or make sure that your outfit is a bold, solid colour that disrupts the busy background. Even using contrasting colours (like red on green) will help a lot in making a bold statement in that little square.
Set An Insta-brand
For every famous Instagrammer, you can look at their profile and instantly tell who they are and what they’re about. Whether it is about style or family or food, one look at your profile should tell it all. So set a brand for yourself, and stick to it. Having a clear idea about what you are about will ensure people will like and follow you.
It helps to have a common thread running through your pictures, like a similar level of exposure, a common palette of colours, or a quirky feature that people can associate you with that makes you stand out from the rest – like a cute cat or a hot Caucasian boyfriend.
Make use of the Tools – in moderation
While Instagram does have a huge cache of filters you can use, the real gem lies in the Tools section. With features that allow you to increase brightness or contrast, or even increase the warmth of the image, these tools are all you need to enhance the already amazing photo you’ve taken. Increasing the warmth and sharpness of an image will make any food picture look instantly more appetising, while increasing saturation will brighten up the colours of any photo taken on a gloomy day.
But like filters, use them in moderation. Sometimes a tiny increase in contrast is all you need to give that extra “oomph” to your latest selfie, but too much will make you look washed out and blotchy.