Five Simple Tips to Create More Compelling Instagram Photos

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Lap dog? photo by Chris S. Cornell

With more than 55 million photos posted on Instagram each day, it can be difficult to rise above the clutter. Are your photos getting noticed? Are they helping your brand reach its objectives? If not, there are several things you can do to improve the situation.

1) Take lots of photos and select the best ones. This will help your photography in two very important ways: First, the more shots you take of a given subject, the better your chance of getting that perfect expression, having the shot properly focused and capturing an appealing composition. Second, and equally important, photographers who take more pictures are more likely to get better at their craft as they learn what works and what doesn’t. Use the regular camera app on your phone rather than the Instagram camera.

2) Get close enough to the subject. Your phone has a relatively wide angle lens and is great for landscapes — but if your subject doesn’t fill the frame, you may need to get closer to achieve the quality you want. Avoid the zoom feature and move the camera until you have an appealing composition.

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Not ready to come out of his shell. Photo by Chris S. Cornell

3) Take advantage of natural light. The flash on your camera phone usually produces dreadful results — take advantage of natural light for the best images. Choose a camera angle in which the subject is illuminated in a flattering way. Experiment with different lighting situations, and adjust the exposure by pointing to the part of the image that you want the camera to meter on. Take the same photo three or four times, varying the composition and exposure, and select the image that seems to work best.

4) Pay attention to colors and composition. Instagram — with its simple square format and lower resolution than the SLR photography many of us are used to — rewards those who can create well-composed, striking images. Winning images can be created with striking color combinations, and interesting juxtapositions within the frame. Again, take many variations of each image, and you’ll have far more options when it comes to cropping a final photo. Experiment with the “Rule of Thirds,” which proposes that important compositional elements be positioned off-center for more dramatic effect. Also experiment with high and low camera angles, looking at the world from a viewpoint other than your normal everyday eye-level.

5) Keep your eyes open and keep shooting.  There are scores of great Instagram photos all around us, each and every day, but we fail to even notice the great majority of them. Be aware of your surroundings and appreciate the amazing things we walk past every day.

Chris S. Cornell is Director of Social Media at WOW Production Services in New Rochelle, NY. Connect with him on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in Westchester Social Media

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