How to take better Instagram Photos

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Instagram is fast becoming the primary social media tool for businesses and individuals serious about making a career in the new global media. But there’s a big difference between good and great, and if you’re serious about ‘making it’ on a platform like Instagram, you’ve gotta set yourself apart sooner rather than later. Today we take a look at a number of ways to take better Instagram photos…


From the @worldwanderlust feed

1. Take photos with your camera first

There’s nothing worse than seeing a photo uploaded that has great potential, but something is just a little off. If you take your photos with your camera app first, you are allowing yourself to undertake photography as a process of trial and error – which for the majority of us amateurs, is how we produce good photos. The photos taken with your camera will also be of a higher quality, and with the HDR function you will be sure to come through with the goods.

2. Follow people with a shared interest for inspiration

Instagram is a community – it’s about being inspired, inspiring others, sharing mutual interests, and meeting people from around the world who interest you / vice versa. For me, it’s all about travel photography – so I follow accounts that are similar to my own but of course differ in varying ways. That being said I also like to follow a few healthy food bloggers (to remind me to put the chocolate cake back on the supermarket shelf), a few health and fitness instagrammers (@sjanaelise is incredible), and even an ethical/spiritual instagrammer @essenaoneill to remind me to refocus my energies and never forget my purpose in life.

3. Steady now

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get the simple things right when it comes to taking an instagram photo. Be sure to stand still, have your feet planted firmly on the ground, focus the shot, make sure it is straight, nothing is obstructing the photo, and THEN take the shot.

4. Cropping and the rotation tool

But if you still don’t get it right (believe me, it happens to the best of us), just be sure to fix it in a photo editing app before you upload. Cropping and straightening your photos are simple, yes, but they also simply cannot be overlooked.

5. Don’t overedit

Over saturating your photos, removing too much contrast, going crazy with filters… it can all get a bit much. At the end of the day the thought that the shot conveys – the emotion – the story of the photo – combined with the caption – is what matters. For that reason I personally choose not to use filters in Instagram.

6. Edit outside of Instagram

But of course, some edits are necessary to make your shot ‘perfect’ (whatever that is).


It’s been a round for a little while now and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. This is a great app to use if you use it consistently, but be sure not to swap between this and high contrast photos throughout your feed…..because it just looks weird and indecisive.

PS Express

Photoshop Express is a quick and easy way to fix little bits and pieces – cropping, rotation, clarity, etc. without overdoing it.

7. Quirky Captions

Tell a story, be raw, be you.

8. Your gallery as your shop front

If you were the owner of a shop, you would put your best-selling items in the window and do so in a manner that would lead people to want to come inside and see more. Similarly with instagram, you should always put your best foot forward. If you’re not sure whether a photo is worthy or not of being on your feed, don’t upload it. There’s always another grammable moment just waiting to happen.


Over to you! What are you best tips for instagram and better photo taking? Please share if you enjoyed this post!

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    August 30, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Hi Brooke,
    Really nice post.
    It can often times be challenging for non professional photographers to get the right angle, right focus , right light etc…for the perfect shot.
    Who knows , our next pictures on will probably be inspired by that article ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks again for sharing
    Miles and Passsports

    July 23, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Hi Brooke,

    How do you get your Instagram photos that you take on your camera to your phone? If I email those photos to myself as attachments, they always look blurry on Instagram. Any suggestions?

    Petya Dju
    March 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hey Brooke,
    I adore your Instagram feed, your photos are amazingly beautiful and inspiring!
    I wish you all the best ๐Ÿ™‚
    If you want you can check my insta

    Ane @ My Hungry Travels
    December 13, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Hi Brooke,

    I’m a huge fan of your blog!! I find that in addition to VSCO cam, Snapseed is also a great app to edit photos before posting. One tip I use to steady the photo when I’m taking it is to hold my breath so that I’m not moving!

    Happy Travels!

    October 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Love it brooke! have a look at the TIM instagram ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nissi Mendes
    October 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    good tipps! thank you so much for sharing!

    if you like, visit my blog on
    New post inspired by Divergent on

    The Queen of Dreaming
    June 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Great, great tips!!

    June 11, 2014 at 8:29 am

    nice tips! will follow them ๐Ÿ™‚
    greats โ™ฅ

    Glamourous Traveller
    June 6, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Another tip is to try and space out Instagram updates. Given time changes and differences in when other people upload pictures, it’s probably a good idea to not upload those five pictures of you in that exact same location all at once.

    Instead, space it out to every few hours or so. Or even in the a.m. vs. p.m. to expand your follower base and keep your readers interested.

    Kamran Shirdel
    June 5, 2014 at 12:20 am


    Whitney @ Journey Mercies
    June 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Great tips! It’s fun to look back on my IG feed and see how I’ve grown as a photographer/IG-er since I got my iphone last fall. I love Afterlight for editing and also Mextures to add some atmosphere and grunge to photos. I think the most important thing is to find an editing program that you like, stick to it, and learn how to use it well. But you’re right, subtlety is key. Anything done too much is icky – it should enhance the story you’re trying to tell, not steal the show!
    Whitney {@whitconard}

    June 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks for this!!

    June 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Excellent points and now I have something to try out for my next set of pictures. Thanks!

    June 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I use Afterlight, which I like. Still trying to figure out my preferred editing though, because I don’t think every picture needs the same thing. But here’s my account if you’re interested ๐Ÿ™‚ @Explorista

    Miss Eliza WonDerland
    June 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Great advice, I’m going to have a look at those apps. Just found your blog and it is so exciting! Good on you for fulfilling your wanderlust!


    Miss Eliza WonDerland

    June 2, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Great list of things to do in Instagram….I would say don’t overdo the filters either….

    June 1, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I just started working with VSCO cam and it’s an excellent app! What do you think about shape filters or texts in Instgram photos-yay or nay?

    • worldofwanderlust
      June 1, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      I think nay – but it depends on your preferences!!

    June 1, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I’m not quite as good with photos in general, partly because I don’t have an eye for it… I do love taking good quality photos, and I notice them when I do. I want to learn angles and lighting so that when I take a photo, it will actually turn out great and enjoyable to look at ๐Ÿ™‚

    May 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I use “whitagram” to get the whole photo onto instagram… I.e, sometimes the photo you’ve taken is bigger than the instagram frame and it cuts it out… Whitagram sort of minimises it without making the photo smaller but fits the whole thing in, which is good for wide angle shots. Can’t believe I haven’t tried vscocam yet!

    Jake Ryan
    May 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I first found out about your blog when you liked a few of my photos on Instagram
    (travel_food_film) and since have loved your reading blog. Love these tips. Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

    Do you take more photos using your camera or using your phone? I currently only travel with an iPhone.