For communicators looking to increase their cache of visual materials and at the same time build online street cred, Instagram is the only place to be. While many brands are already on the platform, few truly know how to succeed on this unique social media site.
In today’s saturated media environment compelling visual assets are the only way to stand out among the dross. And the centrality of images to Instagram draws a vibrant community of users and producers who settle for nothing less than the best.
Since Instagram focuses mainly on visuals, many of its users are professional photographers and designers. If you’re new to the whole photography scene, the platform's wealth of professionals offer instructive perspectives on how to develop a strong social presence.
Here are three basic tips from the PR News Visual Storytelling Guidebook Vol. 1 on how to make your photos Insta-worthy and succeed on the platform.
Embrace the basic guidelines of photography
For your images to look their best on the platform, traditional photography rules still apply whether you’re shooting on your smartphone or with a DSLR camera.
Use the rule of thirds to help you take more balanced and interesting shots.
- Frame and crop your images.
- Have a simple, defined subject.
- Keep the camera, phone or other device level.
- Look for something visually appealing, like colors or textures, to make your images pop.
- Follow these guidelines and your images will be cleaner, clearer and more effective in communicating to your audience.
Edit images for mobile and desktop
Though Instagram is primarily a mobile application, eventually it may become more desktop-friendly. When you take a picture you may be tempted to tightly crop the image to get something specific from the shot to post on Instagram. While this works fine for mobile viewing, many users now view images on computers and tablets. Cropping images too small will distort them, effectively ruining your work when not viewed on mobile.
Learn to use different cameras and apps
Though taking and uploading photos is easiest from mobile devices, many DSLR and other cameras have Wi-Fi capabilities for uploading. There are also plenty of other products that will help ease the process of uploading from cameras. Apps can also be used to add special effects or combine images to make a collage. Popular apps like Pic Stitch enable users to combine photos in more than 200 possible collage layouts. Depending on the purpose and context of what you’re sharing, dozens of apps may be right for you.
Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree