How to take good photos for Instagram? 5 must-know tips

How to take good photos for Instagram

Taking good photos for Instagram is the key to growing the number of followers organically. 2023 is the year when AI technology for photo editing takes a new step. A lot of AI tools were born and help to generate quality pictures for various purposes. According to Wordstream, there are approximately 95 million photos and videos posted on Instagram per day. Can your photos stand out from the crowd? 

That’s why we have compiled 10 essential tips on how to take good photos for Instagram. This general guideline may contain things you already know and things you may not know or you have ignored when creating content photos for your Instagram page. Deep dive in and explore. 

How to Take Good Photos for Instagram

There are 5 basic things you have to follow when taking a photo before posting it to Instagram, including

  1. Light 
  2. Composition 
  3. Background 
  4. Color theme 
  5. Retouch photos

Lights for Instagram photoshoots

Set up enough light for a good photoshoot

Having sufficient light is one of the most important factors for taking appealing photos for Instagram. Trying to shoot in dim lighting often results in dark, grainy, and blurry photos that will not attract attention on Instagram.

When possible, take advantage of bright natural daylight by photographing subjects outdoors or near windows. Natural light flatters subjects and brings out true colors. For indoor shots, supplement with lamps, reflectors, or flashes. Avoid fluorescent lighting which can create unflattering skin tones.

Also, pay attention to the direction of light. Side lighting or backlighting can create interesting shadows and dimensions. Frontal lighting tends to look flat and unappealing.

Shoot during the golden hours of dawn and dusk for beautiful soft light that enhances photos. The midday sun can be harsh.

If using flash, bounce it off walls or the ceiling to diffuse it rather than pointing directly at your subject. This creates a flattering light.

Experiment with different lighting to see what brings out the best look. Dramatic or moody lighting may suit some shots while bright, crisp light is better for others. Making sure there is sufficient light for the Instagram photo is key.

Arrangements in a photo

arrangements in a photo

Paying attention to how you arrange the key subjects and objects within the composition will take your Instagram photos to the next level. A balanced, intentional composition is visually engaging. Whether you are taking product photos or portrait photos, there are certain rules to follow: 

You can apply the rule of thirds to position your main subject slightly off-center. This composition makes your images more appealing and asymmetric. Place it toward the side with more negative space. The rule of thirds is easy to follow and quite popular. 

Besides, we have a lot of rules for taking photos professionally. However, these rules require skills and practice a lot. For example: 

  • Use lines within the photo like roads, fences, etc to draw the viewer’s eye into the image. Position the subject along or at the end of lines.
  • Frame the primary subject with an object in the foreground like a window, tree branch, or doorway to add depth.
  • Creating repetitive patterns with similar objects/shapes can make compelling repetitive compositions.
  • Placing subjects or objects in mirrored positions on either side of the frame to create a symmetrical image. Works well with reflections.
  • Using wide apertures for blurred, out-of-focus backgrounds. This helps subjects pop by separating them from busy backgrounds.

Background for photos

choose backgrounds for good photos for Instagram

One of the most important yet overlooked aspects of photography is controlling your background. Choosing the right background for a photoshoot is important but sometimes, people still ignore it. 

All social media and e-commerce platforms favor photos with clean, intentional backgrounds that don’t distract. Take a moment to survey your entire background before snapping and remove any elements that don’t enhance the image. Blur distracting backgrounds by using wide apertures for shallow depth of field. Also, consider the color and texture of backgrounds and how they interact with your main subject. 

Complementary or contrasting backgrounds can make subjects stand out. Simple, minimalist backgrounds in nature or with a solid wall work beautifully. Also utilize natural framing with environmental elements like trees, arches, or fences. Whatever you do, avoid cluttered and distracting backgrounds. With some effort, you can compose an Instagram-worthy background that directs focus on the main subject.

Read more:  how to make product photos look professional

Follow the color theme pallet you intend to use

follow the color theme palette on your Instagram profile

Selecting a cohesive color palette can make your Instagram feed more aesthetically pleasing and cohesive. Before shooting, decide on 2-3 dominant colors to focus on such as complementary blue and orange or monochromatic shades of green. You will use these colors throughout your photoshoots for backgrounds and decor elements. 

Curate your props, location, and styling to reflect these key colors. Solid-colored backdrops or walls can prevent busy backgrounds from clashing. Shoot at a time of day when lighting enhances your chosen shades. Edit for continuity by color correcting, and adjusting saturation and temperature. Be consistent in applying filters and presets. 

However, don’t sacrifice authenticity solely for color – capture genuine personality and moments. Aim for flattering the subject over a forced palette. With planning, you can develop a feed featuring your signature color story. Yet allow some flexibility for new opportunities. Let your photos look naturally inspired by your intentional use of color.

Retouch photos before posting them on Instagram

Light retouching can take your Instagram photos to the next level. But be cautious not to overedit or lose authenticity. Use retouching subtly to enhance, not transform. Correct minor blemishes, smooth skin moderately, and whiten teeth and eyes sparingly. Boost contrast and vibrance for more vivid colors, but don’t oversaturate. Carefully sharpen details and correct imperfections like dust spots.

Apply Gaussian blur minimally to soften backgrounds. Darken edges slightly with a vignette for greater focus on the subject. Tastefully crop for better framing and use the straighten tool if needed. Finalize editing with your signature presets or filters applied consistently. Always keep a copy of the original photo before edits. With retouching, it’s best to err on the side of understated refinement. Your followers should feel inspired, not misled. Enhance photos just enough to idealize their essence.

5 exclusive instant tips to take photos for Instagram better

  • Move closer to the subject

Instead of zooming in on the subject, why don’t you go closer to it?  Zooming in makes your photos flat and uninteresting. Instead, try to get into your subject’s personal space, and that all adds depth and emotional moments to the photos. 

  • Light 

notice when and where the light is the most beautiful but also learn to set your camera light and how you can manipulate it 

  • Shoot the moment, not the subject 

Focus on what is happening around the subject instead of the subject itself, it will tell your stelling number. 

  • Capture contrast 

In all shapes and forms, shadows colors shapes textures always work. 

  • Simplify 

Don’t scram the frame with unnecessary information. Keep things simple. 

Apply these tips then you will a big difference in your photos to post on Instagram.


Taking appealing photos for Instagram requires both artistic vision and technical skill. Master the fundamentals like quality lighting, intentional composition, and light retouching. But also infuse your unique perspective and style to stand out. With practice and perseverance, you can develop the eye and technique to create captivating, engaging photos that connect with your Instagram audience.