13 Tips for Taking Beautiful Instagram Photos

If you want to take better photos to share on Instagram, it’s time to upgrade your photography skills. As you’ll read below, lighting and angles make a huge difference.

Here are 13 tips for taking beautiful Instagram photos:

1. Clean the lens

This is a no-brainer, but it’s always good to remind yourself that if you don’t have a clean lens, there is no way you can get a decent photo, let along a beautiful one.

2. Don’t zoom

Zooming can result in pixelated photos, so always move as close to the subject matter as possible before snapping away.

3. Turn the flash off

The flash on your smartphone acts as a flashlight instead of light enhancer. Take advantage of the light you do have by moving around to find a better lighting angle.

4. Turn the stable shot setting on

When you turn off the flash setting on your smartphone’s camera, switch the stable shot setting to “on.” Blurry photos will be a thing of the past.

5. Shoot in “broad” light

Broad light is soft light that hits your subject from many angles and reduces shadows and harsh contrast. Indoors, it is indirect light flooding through a big window. Outdoors, it is sunlight in the mornings and late afternoons/evenings.

6. Turn on all the lights

If you’re taking photos indoors at night or on a dark day, turn on all the lights in the room (and adjacent rooms). This will create broad light.

7. Move toward the light

The closer the light, the softer it is. When you’re shooting indoors, move your subjects closer to windows or lamps.

8. Diffuse the light

On a bright sunny day, you can end up with harsh shadows if you don’t diffuse the light streaming down on you. Either wait for clouds to cover the sun or drape a white sheet overhead. (This will create broad light, too.)

9. Use angles to change texture

Lighting angles can completely change the texture of your photo. Light from the front makes wrinkles and creases almost disappear. Lighting from the side, above, or below emphasize texture.

10. Remove distractions

Arrange the setting to remove all distractions – a stray shoe, empty wrappers, a pile of magazines. Style it for an extra bit of polish – like a vase of wildflowers in the background.

As food is one of the most popular and specialized categories of images on Instagram, here are a few tips especially for shooting food images:

11. Play with your food

For the best food shots, rearrange the plate for balance and symmetry – the eye is naturally drawn to those elements.

12. Position food on a matte surface

Wood tables, marble countertops, a bed of grass, and a picnic blanket are all matte surfaces that will help your food photos stand out. Shiny surfaces, on the other hand, will compete for attention.

13. Frame food from above

Shoot food from above for the crispest image, and include some negative space, like the rim of your plate.

What are some of your tricks for shooting beautiful Instagram photos?