Over the past few years, plenty of new social media platforms have made their mark on the digital media landscape: from Facebook to LinkedIn, Twitter, and the new kid on the block, TikTok, social media has become a huge part of everyday life for many. Of these platforms, few have had an impact as big and long-lasting as Instagram. Even with new platforms emerging every month, Instagram has remained one of the most popular ways to build an online following and tell audiences about yourself.
Against this backdrop, creating content with a strong visual identity that stands out from crowded newsfeeds is essential. To explain how to edit Instagram photos for maximum impact, we’ve teamed up with the photography experts at Ted’s Cameras. From the best instagram filters to photo composition tips, read on to discover their do’s and don’ts of Instagram photo editing.
Do get the basics right
Common photography tips and tricks like the rule of thirds, negative space, and good lighting all apply to Instagram photography, so keep them front of mind. For best results, use your digital camera and focus on getting the right exposure from the outset – this is much harder to change at the editing stage and can affect the overall character of your photo.
Top Tip: Look for the ‘Exposure Compensation’ setting on your camera and adjust this accordingly if you find your pictures are too dark or too bright.
Don’t overuse filters
While it’s tempting to layer on the filters and create an artistic masterpiece, avoid the temptation. Remember that anything that is obviously trend-driven always dates quickly, and that high contrast filters or ones with a strong colour cast can make your photo look garish or amateurish. If you do want to use an Instagram filter, go for one of the black and white options or something subtle.
Do shoot in RAW
As any photographer knows, shooting in RAW format is the best way to guarantee high quality images. RAW files are uncompressed, meaning that you have the ability to edit everything from exposure to white balance, which controls the balance of colours and accuracy of skin tones in your photos.
Don’t ignore Instagram’s advanced editing options
While there are plenty of Instagram photo editing apps available, don’t breeze past the advanced editing options on Instagram itself. To access these, upload your photo and click “Edit” instead of “Filter”. Here, you’ll find many of the same settings as those on the best photo editing apps for instagram, only in a more simplified form. Experiment with each option, remembering that when it comes to editing, less is always more.
Top Tip: The “Warmth” setting is similar to white balance: If the skin tones in your image look off, try adjusting this slider.
Do experiment with composition and cropping
While tastes are constantly changing in the digital world, a well-composed image is always in fashion. Again, basic photo composition tips like negative space photography and the rule of thirds apply, as does the advice to move around your subject to find the best angle. At the editing stage, don’t be afraid to crop out unwanted white space or distracting background elements – including photobombers who may have wandered into your shot!
Do focus on consistency
Once you’ve found a winning “look” for your images, attempt to replicate this across all your future uploads. This will help you build a strong visual identity and brand and in turn attract a regular audience. To do this, take note of the adjustments you have made and use these as a starting point for editing future images.
Taking great photos for Instagram is a chance to get creative
Express yourself and share your point of view with the world by curating a well-photographed, visually consistent Instagram feed. Follow our advice to learn how to edit Instagram photos to achieve a consistent, appealing aesthetic and start building a following today!
Written by Ted’s Cameras