Tips to taking a great Instagram photo!

Of all the social platforms I am on, Instagram is by far my favorite. Some days I can share up to 9 images, which is insane I know, and I am trying to cut back but some days I just can’t help myself.

tips to get a great Instagram photo
Now my Instagram photos are in no way ‘perfect’, however I’m pretty keen to learn and the reason behind this post is to not only help myself take better Instagram photos, but hopefully help you guys out as well.

Never take the photos in your Instagram app. The Instagram app lacks quite a lot of features that your actual phone camera will use as you take a photo. So my first tip to you is to always, always take your photo with your camera phone then upload into Instagram to adjust. Just remember to bare in mind your framing of what it is your trying to capture, as you’ll be shooting in either portrait or landscape {I prefer landscape} and then cropping it into a square.

Tip#2 – Natural light is your BEST friend. When I don’t have access to natural light I’ll not lie to you, I feel lost and a little bummed. Without it, photos can look grainy, dull & just lose their sparkle. So if your indoors take your subject over to a window, or place them {or it} into an area blessed with a lot of sunlight, or as another alternative you can use a light reflector {I’ve yet to procure one of these for myself!} as they will bounce light back onto the subject to brighten it up even more.

Tip#3 – Editing is something I love to dabble in and it’s actually something I personally find quite relaxing to sit & do. There are loads of great editing apps out there but a few personal favorites of mine would be VSCO Cam, Aviary, Afterlight & Snapseed. As for adding text to your Instagram images I enjoy using Phonto & A Beautiful Mess. All free bar A Beautiful Mess which cost me 69p.

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Here’s a quick example of an image I tweaked & made ‘Instagram ready’ in Afterlight.

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Afterlight is a great app to use however Snapseed is one step ahead for me personally in the ‘love department’ mainly because you can select parts of your photo to adjust. I took a photo of Annabelle trying to pop a bubble with her face {as all toddlers love to do, right?} and I made the section behind her brighter by using Snapseed.


Tip#4Take LOTS of photos! I am a nightmare for taking shot after shot after shot, just to make sure that in my minds eye I’ve taken the perfect shot. When I’m trying to capture my kids the photo snapping gets a little wild {you know what kids can be like!} but we always get there eventually. Composition is key, so just keep going until you’re happy with your shot.

Tip#5 – See everything in a ‘square’. I’ve always been in love with the square crop, they remind me so much of old Polaroids photos from my childhood. Even now my heart lies with Polaroids.

– Find your style & stick with it! I don’t know if I have a particular style ‘yet’ however I’m sure I’ll find it one day, or perhaps I do & I’ve not noticed it yet.

Tip#7 – Everyone loves a good selfie shot. I’ve become quite a fan myself & this is coming from a person who feels a lot more comfortable behind the camera than in front! If you want to take a good selfie shot make sure you close to a window {remember natural light is your best friend!} and snap until your happy! We can all be a bit critical of ourselves but learn to love yourself, your face and everything will start to shine.


So there you go, my tips to a better Instagram shot! I hope you guys found this helpful! I for one am excited to try and discover my inner insta-self and to make it shine! If you have any tips that you use to help you take the perfect Instagram photo I’d love to hear them! If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can find me here.

Also here’s a few of my favorite Instagrammers! Mummy Daddy Me, Capture by Lucy, Olivia Charlash, Not so Slummy & Loving the Little things.

Give them a wee follow, show the love, and do let me know if you have any tips that you would like to share to help others take great Instagram photos in the comments below! 


  1. Alex Bump to Baby
    15/04/2015 / 8:08 AM

    Great tips Debs! Instagram is my favourite social media platform too. I love using Afterlight or Pic Tap Go to edit my photos for Instagram. xx

    • 15/04/2015 / 8:23 AM

      Thanks Alex. Sadly PicTapGo is only for you Apple users, lol! So use Android lovers are denied it. Annoyingly! lol! xx

  2. 15/04/2015 / 8:18 AM

    I love using Instagram as well so these tips are very handy – thanks for sharing x

  3. Michelle Murray
    15/04/2015 / 8:19 AM

    Instagram is something I just haven’t got the hang of really. it looks great and some great tips #MummyMonday

    • 15/04/2015 / 8:24 AM

      Oh my goodness then I couldn’t advise learning it and conquering her more! Instagram is a wonderful social media platform. x

  4. 15/04/2015 / 8:56 AM

    Oh wow thank you for mentioning me! Great tips here. I’ve not used snapseed will give it a go thanks! Instagram is definitely my favourite platform, love all the engagement and community spirit. xx

    • 15/04/2015 / 9:06 AM

      You are welcome! Like you couldn’t get a mention, your Instagrams make me swoon everytime, lol! As for Snapseed? Its SO much fun, especially that selective tool. I’ve never seen that in an app before. xx

  5. 15/04/2015 / 9:34 AM

    I’m most definitely an Instagram newbie and these tips are great, thanks! #twinklytuesday

    • 15/04/2015 / 9:39 AM

      I really hope they help you out and that you grow to love Instagram too. It’s fabulous lol x

  6. 15/04/2015 / 10:07 AM

    great post and tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I have been looking to put more into my instagramming this year!

    • 15/04/2015 / 10:11 AM

      Thanks for commenting and I hope helps you. I LOVE Instagram! x

  7. 15/04/2015 / 11:17 AM

    Love your tips about which editing platform to use. I always rely on PicMonkey but that’s out of laziness. I will be taking your advice and trying a few of these out. #MMWBH

    • 15/04/2015 / 11:18 AM

      Love that you will be trying out the apps I advised. Good luck & have fun with them!

  8. 15/04/2015 / 11:41 AM

    Such a helpful post, Debs. I have to look into your recommendation of apps. Snapseed sounds interesting. I love the idea of choosing parts of the photo I can edit. Your tips are spot on and I use some of your tricks for my own instagram photos as well. I try to use the same filter as well (or ones that look similar to each other), just to have a consistent look within my images. Having that grid option for my camera also helps with composing the images and I take them. It lets me apply the golden rule of 3s that photographers often speak of. Thanks so much for sharing these!

    • 15/04/2015 / 11:43 AM

      Thanks for commenting and I have to admit I am a big rule of thirds fan myself x

  9. Em @ snowingindoors
    15/04/2015 / 11:41 AM

    Some great tips Debs, thanks 🙂 I always edit with VSCO, think I’m stuck in a bit of an editing rut! xx

    • 15/04/2015 / 11:44 AM

      Thanks for popping by Em. I use Vsco cam myself but After light and Aviary are slowly becoming my top two xx

  10. Sue
    15/04/2015 / 12:12 PM

    Didn’t realize you could do so much with Instagram! Love the tips Deb #MMWBH

    • 15/04/2015 / 12:16 PM

      Thanks such for popping by and hopefully these tips help you! #instagramlove

  11. El and Baby A
    15/04/2015 / 12:51 PM

    Oh these are so helpful – thank you! Off to download snapped asap! 🙂 xx

  12. 15/04/2015 / 1:40 PM

    I love instagram but often don’t get the time (or cant be bothered as I’m a lazy moo) to edit them before posting. I never know which app is best to use either so this is a fab post for me! #sharewithme

    • 15/04/2015 / 1:42 PM

      I am so pleased you will find it useful. Thanks so much for popping by x

  13. The Reading Residence
    15/04/2015 / 4:03 PM

    Great tips, love the angle of thinking about how to take the best shots and editing advice. Funny that we’ve both written IG posts this week – it’s just so pretty there!

  14. Katie @mummydaddyme
    15/04/2015 / 5:48 PM

    Fantastic tips Debs- I can’t explain how much I love instagram haha. My favourite apps are similar to yours- after light and VSCO. x

  15. ERFmama
    15/04/2015 / 8:31 PM

    Thank you so much, this is really helpful! 😀
    Sadly I still don’t own an actual camera, so my Samsung will have to do.

  16. 15/04/2015 / 8:47 PM

    Love this post Debs. I’m a relative late comer to Instagram but I love it.

    • 15/04/2015 / 10:04 PM

      I hope it helps lovely. Thanks so much for stopping by. x

  17. Al
    15/04/2015 / 9:45 PM

    Great tips! Our instagram is really active so we’ll be using some of the tips for sure.

    Thanks for linking up #bigfatlinky

    • 15/04/2015 / 10:04 PM

      Thanks for popping over Al and for hosting the #bigfatlinky

  18. Lilinha Espindula
    15/04/2015 / 10:41 PM

    I love Instagram, it is great to share your pictures straight away. It is my favourite social media channel! x

  19. Ali
    15/04/2015 / 10:43 PM

    Great post, I love Instagram too! I didn’t realise that you can alter the light in parts of a photo on snapspeed so thank you!

    • 16/04/2015 / 7:31 AM

      Pretty cool right! Enjoy Snapseed, it’s good fun! Thanks so much for popping by x

  20. Ashley Beolens
    16/04/2015 / 4:56 AM

    I hate using my phone as a camera (I have a decent camera why would I), I’m always disappointed but I think I might try some of your tips and see how they turn out.

    • 16/04/2015 / 7:30 AM

      I have a big camera too but I personally find lugging the big girl about isn’t as easy as taking out your phone. My phone isn’t my first choice either but in circumstances as I said it’s a lot more convenient to have on your person. It also depends if your phone has a good camera too! The FIRST thing I look for in a new phone, lol.

  21. 16/04/2015 / 7:26 AM

    You do have the loveliest photos in IG! I will follow this! I need to buy a memory card for my phone first though as I am out. Too many photos =P


    • 16/04/2015 / 7:29 AM

      Aww thank you! And I need a new {and bigger} SD for my phone too, lol *goes to Amazon!* x

  22. ClearlyBex
    16/04/2015 / 10:17 AM

    Great points there, and I agree with every point you have made! x

  23. 16/04/2015 / 4:06 PM

    Great tips! My instagram just isn’t as active as I want it to be. I really need to up it. But I’ll use your tips and hopefully do it. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky

  24. Dennis
    17/04/2015 / 2:19 AM

    Great tips! I love instagram. Snapseed is my favorite app for editing. (I’m @drpoulette on Instagram). #bigfatlinky

  25. jenny
    17/04/2015 / 10:33 AM

    Oh Debs these are fantastic tips for instagram. Love it and I use those apps too! 🙂 Great advice too. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  26. 17/04/2015 / 2:27 PM

    Some really great tips here! I use those aps and love them too. I think instagram is my favourite form of social media I cannot help but be on it a lot or posting photos! Thanks for linking up #MummyMonday xx

  27. Lucy Blossom
    17/04/2015 / 5:16 PM

    I’ve not used Instagram yet, but your tips have encouraged me to take a look at it. Thanks for sharing

  28. 17/04/2015 / 9:33 PM

    There’s a great lot of advice here! I really need to work on editing my photos – I tend to just snap and go! I didn’t know that about the taking a photo with the app! I hardly ever do it but did tonight! Luckily it was only wine haha! Thanks so much for linking up with #twinklytuesday

  29. Sim @ Sims Life
    20/04/2015 / 12:51 PM

    Fab post! I am totally reliant on the Instagram filters – especially when I have taken a selfie, the filters do come in very handy! 😉 Sim x

  30. BattleMum
    21/04/2015 / 12:57 PM

    What a great post. I love Instagram and think these tips are great for anyone using it. Up until recently I mixed between using it directly and using my phone but I’ve switched to using the phone only. I’ll be trying to remember your tips for any pictures for Instagram from now on.

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