With Facebook’s purchase of Instagram and an Android version of the app having been released in recent times, there’s a whole bunch of new users out there! Here’s a quick rundown of tips to make your photos standout above the rest…
1) Don’t use the camera in Instagram
Instagram’s camera function is extremely limiting; instead, opt to use your handsets regular camera app. This will allow you to zoom, add a grid to ensure your photos are straight, and crop your pictures how you like.
2) Use other apps
Instagram’s filters are great, but sometimes they don’t quite provide enough control. That great effect that just slightly over exposed part of the photo can often be irritating; the answer: use a different app. Snapseed is a favourite of ours at Social Gadget. The app offers a great choice of filters that can be completely customised by simply sliding your finger from left to right. The ‘strength’ of the effect varies from 0%-100% depending upon how far you slide, it’s that simple. In addition, you can add multiple filters to your photos making for some outstanding combinations.
Aside from filters, other apps can provide more interest to your pictures. Colorsplash for example, allows your to add drama to a photo by converting it to black and white, leaving only your chosen details in colour. InFrame Cut [iTunes download link] allows you to create split screen, multi-photo images with customisable frames, and Pic Collage allows you to create great looking collages, using photos on your device or from Facebook and the web.
3) Shoot with good light
In the UK this isn’t always the easiest I know, but it’s worth trying your best to take your shots in good, natural light if you really want them to look killer on Instagram. Smartphone cameras, by comparison to regular cameras, have pretty small sensors which only allow in so much light. Do you best to help them out by using natural light where possible. Also, using the HDR function (if you’re an iPhone user) will really help your pictures pop when applying filters later.
4) Look at what other people are doing via Hashtags
There are some truly incredible photographers on Instagram; take inspiration from them by looking at what they’re up to. Hashtags are keywords on instagram; if you’re about to take a shot of something such as a ‘tree’, search for photos hashtagged #tree to see how others compose their pictures; you might just find a neat new perspective that makes your photo stand out.
5) Cheat, and use a high end DSLR and Photoshop
Ditch your phone altogether and take some great shots using Canon or Nikon’s latest offering; tweak it until perfection in Photoshop, then quickly upload it to Instagram like nothing ever happened…