As the Instagram platform becomes even more popular and more photos are being shared, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out amidst all the great images. If you want some extra attention, you may need to step up your game. Here are11 tips to ensure that your images are worth the double-tap! (Some of these are directly-related to the iphone but most are generic.)
1. Turn off the flash.
It’s not that powerful and can sometimes ruin the image that you think you are capturing. Some folks advise that using the flash during day time is a good way to capture detail but I don’t find it to be effective.
2. Don’t use the zoom.
As with most smart phones, the zoom on the iPhone is a digital zoom, not an optical zoom. That means that the more you zoom into your image, the more blurry it will become. If you want a closer shot, you need to use your feet.
3. Reduce clutter.
Each of your photos should have a subject. There can be more than one but there should only be one main subject. If you can’t easily find that subject in your image, then you have too much clutter in the photo. Rearrange your shot to get rid of some of the clutter.
Simple photos do better on social media, perhaps because of the size of the screen they are being viewed on or because of the attention span of the viewer.
4. Snap your photo with the volume button on the side of your phone rather than using the dot on the screen.
This will help to eliminate any movement caused by pushing directly on the screen and will help to maintain focus. Both the volume up and volume down button can be used for this.
5. Shoot in square mode.
Because Instagram images are square, shooting in this mode will give you the exact image that will be shown on Instagram. The “square” mode is to the right of “photo”.
6. Shoot from the level of your subject.
If you are capturing images of pets or small children, shoot from their level for a more realistic and interesting view.
7. Remember the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds applies to composition of the photograph. Basically, you break an image into thirds both horizontally and vertically so that you end up with 9 boxes (like a tic-tac-toe board).
The premise is that this grid now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest as you are framing your photograph. A person’s eye usually goes towards one of the intersection points rather than the middle of an image.
Simply stated, don’t put your subject in the middle (either horizontally or vertically). Putting it off to one side will make a much more interesting image. Of course, rules are made to be broken, so there will always be exceptions.
You can add a “rule-of-third” grid on the iphone by going to “settings” ~~> Photos and Camera ~~> Grid (turn the button to green).
8. Take silhouette photos.
Silhouette images are often much more intriguing than regular images, perhaps because they are a bit mystical. You can easily capture silhouettes by shooting against the source of light. Place your subject directly in front of the light source (or hide the sun directly behind the subject). Sunrise and sunset are the best times to capture this type of image.
9. Include long shadows in your compositions. Shadows are more prominent in photos than in real life and can make for an attractive visual. Again, in this image, only the shadows are visible.
You can create the shadows by hiding the sun behind your subject. Play around with this idea and see what you can come up with.
You can also increase shadows by increasing the contrast when you are editing an image.
10. Shoot your images from a different angle.
Show the world as people are not used to seeing it by changing the perspective. Consider a very low angle by getting your camera as close to the ground as possible or get down low and point up towards the sky.
11. Clean the camera lens!
That’s pretty obvious but we often forget to do it.
Play around with some of these techniques and let me know if you find any of them helpful. If you’re on Instagram, let’s connect! You can find me at Instagram.com/ShelleyWebb.
Image credit: Top and bottom two - Shelley Webb
All others: DepositPhotos.com