Blog post: Top 5 Tips to Have you ‘Gramming’ Like a Pro

Posted on: August 7th, 2014

Wouldn’t it be nice to view the world through an Instagram filter?

Have a Tahitian tan all year round with Lo-fi, get vintage with Valencia and make every moment a golden one with Rise.

As we live in a highly visual world, it’s easy to understand why this photo-sharing and editing platform has over 200 million users, amongst them are myself, Beyonce and US President Barack Obama.

The trouble is, now that showcasing your photography has never been easier there’s a lot of Annie Liebovitz wannabes clogging your Instagram feed. Let’s not play around people, just because you slap a filter on your images, doesn’t mean you possess the technical talent and skills of a pro.

However, here are a few trusty tricks that I believe will help you on your way to achieving #100likes:


1. Remember, you’re working in a square!

It’s tricky trying to capture the full effect of your shot in a perfect square, especially as some photos look much better when they’re horizontal or vertical. I’d suggest not using the camera function in the Instagram app at all. Rather, capture pictures using your iPhone camera. This way you can zoom and crop as you see fit. Try using an editing app such as Whitagram or Instasize (both are free!) to help you resize your horizontal or vertical images so they’re Instagram-friendly.



Image Credit:


2. Focus is Key

No-one wants to view a blurry, out of focus photo. When using your iPhone camera, tap the screen in the area where you want the focus to be placed- this will help to improve the clarity of the image.

(Tip: tapping on the darkest area of the photo will add the most light to your lens).

The straightening toll in your Instagram app also works wonders, especially when there’s a horizon line through the photo. By using the grid and sliding bar features, you can realign your photos to the degree and keep the composition perfect.


3. And then there was light

Dark spaces make for shaky and grainy photos– which is not what you want to see when you’re on your daily scroll. Soft natural light is always best to achieve clear, sharp photos. Try taking your picture near a window with your subject facing the light. For a landscape shot, ensure that the sun isn’t positioned directly in your photo, as this will often appear too harsh and blurry.


4. Amaro or X-Pro?

We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting from the 17 photo filters that Instagram has on offer. Essentially, each filter is a digital layer that gives the appearance of professional editing, although they each produce a different effect. Take Sutro for example- it has to be every Twilight fan’s favourite filter, adding a sinister tone to nearly every photo. Or Nashville, where its pastel tint adds warmth to a photo with the tap of a finger. It all comes down to trial and error- scroll through each of the filters and experiment with the best one for your shot.

For more information about each filter and their different effects, see here:


5. What’s in a caption?

Some people would argue that it doesn’t matter what your photo looks like- it’s all about the caption. If you’re like me, sometimes an Emoji symbol sums up your picture too perfectly for words. Whatever you do, keep your caption short and focused; and be fun and witty. Make your caption count!

Lastly, remember not to overkill on the hashtags – 2-3 is ample.


Do you have any fail-safe tips for great Instagramming?



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By Sonia Chiarelli

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