Do you remember that amazing feeling that you had when you first held a 12 megapixel camera phone? You felt practically immortal! Like you could do anything with your phone… Until that is, 4K became a thing.
These days, your iPhone is able to do even more than an average camera from 2009. And we praise the phone gods for that! Plus, unlike the DSLR camera that you’d otherwise have to lug around in order to look “professional”, people are coming around to seeing photographs shot with an iPhone as just as good!
In order to join an elite club of renowned iPhone photographers, you need to curate an Instagram feed that shows off your technical skills, as well as your creativity.
Knowing how to constantly improve your Instagram photos, beyond the basics of “using natural light” and “capturing the viewers eye with leading lines”, there’s just a bit more that good Instagram pictures have in common — and now, you’re going to know the secret!
Read: iPhone Photography: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
As promised, here are the secret techniques that pretty much all the really great Instagrammers (and professional iPhone photographers) know almost intuitively these days.
This one might seem silly, or weird, since Instagram itself started as a photo editing app, that became a social network, but yes. Believe it. The pros don’t take photographs on Instagram, let alone editing them on the app — I think Instagram itself is coming to terms with this fact. The problem is that the app doesn’t allow you to take advantage of your phone’s features. These days, iPhones are almost too good for Instagram’s features.
Find a nice stable, steady spot and plant yourself there. The thing is, in order to be a great photographer, no matter the medium, you need to have a steady hand or else, your pictures will come out blurry. Some people call this turning yourself in a “human tripod”, but wouldn’t be better just to get yourself an iPhone tripod/stabiliser?
iPhone photography isn’t as niche as you think, my friend. You can actually go out there and get yourself some crazy professional accessories to take your iPhone from drab to DANG in no time! A great place to start is with Hitcase since you can get both lenses, tripods, and protective gear.
Oh yes! Gone are the days where you either have to compromise on photo quality in favour of being safe with your gear, or vice-versa. Now, you can have both! Great photographs, and the added security of knowing that your phone case is rugged enough to handle the elements!
Read: The Best iPhone Accessories for Winter | Skiing, Snowboarding, Hockey
You ever see that popular #NoFilter hashtag on Instagram? It’s there for a reason. Not cause people are inherently beautiful, but because the photographs get see by many people. If you would like to improve your Instagram stats, as well as see what other people are doing, take part in the #NoFilter challenge! Who knows, you might even make some new friends while exploring the hashtag.
It’s true! Nothing gives the brain as much of a rush or the satisfaction of creating a pattern out of thin air, or even spotting a pattern in a photograph! Many Instagram accounts have gotten popular simply because they are able to identify patterns either in nature or city-scapes. You don’t have to choose “either” “or”, you can simply shoot both and see which one resonates the most with your followers.
While having a neutral and minimalist Instagram feed might be something that you think you’d want to do, you have no idea how many people just genuinely love seeing something with colour. In see full of neutrals, it is of course, the colour that will stand out the most. Pick the brightest, most vivid colours that you can because they’ll have major payoff when people slide in your DMs and inform you that your content makes them happy!
We all have a mistaken idea that in order to improve our Instagram photos we have to move to a completely new city and change our vantage point, when the truth is, where you are, there your vantage point is too! Don’t fight against your surroundings, instead capture the motions, even if it’s something like passing traffic or people walking their dogs, or jogging. If that’s your life, then capture it.
Pro tip: Burst mode is your best friend here:
Whether you realize it or not, your eyes are already primed to enjoy looking at things with a sharp focus on something that is completely unsuspecting. Think about it, in a scene that’s full of busy shots, someone who chooses to go against the grain by shooting something that’s hyper-focused on a subject with a bit of minimalism is a welcome change. So think about it as like the wasabi to your sushi. Or the pickled ginger to your salmon. It’s a total palate cleaner and offers an alternative to a busy and “look at me” feed.
Pro tip: You can use Instagram’s own vignette tool to do this or a tilt-shift. Or any other app that allows you to enhance the detail of an image while adding a soft blur to objects around the subject.
Some might call it “people watching” or “crowd spotting” or “candids”, whatever it is, research indicates that we all really love looking at people’s face on Instagram. Don’t know why, but we do! Actually, when you have a person in a photo, it’s far more likely to get almost 40% more likes than photos of food or any other subject. Crazy right? So use that!
Take captivating portraits, following principles that have already been mentioned countless times here, i.e. “use natural light”, “get a background that grabs people’s attention”, “shoot from various angles”, and “put your phone on portrait mode”.
Read: The 10 Best Photo Editing Apps, 2018
The only way to really improve your Instagram photographs is to look at what attracts you to other people’s content and keep taking photographs until your photos look like that.
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