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Instagram new creative tools and the photography basics

Instagram new creative tools and the photography basics

It seems Instagram wants to surprise us with a new feature or app every single week. Something really exciting for users and brands alike that also tells us about their efforts to make Instagram the coolest social media platform.


Before jumping into the new features, I would like to remind that one of the most important lessons we can learn from Brands that are successful on Instagram is the style consistency.


“The most engaging and attractive accounts have a defined style;  A style-guide of Instagram if you may. For example, a simple defined stye could be achieved by posting with the same filter, adding frames to pictures to fit into Instagram, using a consistent background, using the brand colours or a combination of these.”


On March 7th 2015, Instagram announced two new creative tools to help you create a consistent style guide and enhance your photos: Color and Fade.

With Color, users can tint the highlights or shadows in their photo choosing among green, blue, cyan, orange, yellow, purple, red, and pink.

With Fade, users can bring a quiet tone to their photos by softening colors.


These new creative tools added to the ones Instagram released last December offer a whole set of enhancing tools similar to the professional range VSCO Cam provides. Of course, you may pay to get some of the finesse VSCO Cam provides, but these free tools by Instagram take you a long way.


When I started to use Instagram what instantly drew my attention was that I did not need to be a skilled photographer to make pictures look great. Actually, the beauty of the app is that it allows one to enhance pictures easily. However, there are some basics to follow: the basics of photography.


What are the best practices for pictures on Instagram?


1. Highest quality

Take pictures with your phone camera that has better quality than the Instagram one. Instagram wants you to upload pictures taken with your mobile to ensure that instant experience. Many photographers recognize they use their professional cameras and upload the pictures later to their phone and to Instagram. No matter the way you do it, you need to ensure the highest quality for your pictures.

Also take into notice you’ll need to make them square, either by cropping them square or by adding a frame (I use squaready or a similar app).


2. Great lighting

Take your pictures with great natural light if possible, apply more brightness or exposure when editing them. There is no reason to upload a dark picture. Repeat with me. There is no reason. Period. Good lighting is the number one principle of photography. It is the base actually.


3. Framing

Frame the subject properly and strike a balance in the composition. You can also apply the rule of thirds.


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.04.32


4. Less is more

Clean the background. Remove noise and distraction. Keep it simple and ensure the golden rule: less is more on Instagram. On a tiny window this maxima will help you attract the attention to the subject making it more relevant.

5. Experiment with different angles and compositions

Something that was expensive in the analogical era has become easy and fun in the digital one. Any photographer will advice you to shoot several times to help you find the best one. Sometimes up to 20 times.


6. Give credit, get good Karma

If you are unloading a photo from someone else give credit to the author. I see some users reposting motivational or inspirational quotes from well-known brands without giving credit. Enhance the community by sharing and celebrating the art and wit of others users.


Hoy me siento picante. #mrwonderfulshop Feeling hot, hot, hot!
Hoy me siento picante. #mrwonderfulshop Feeling hot, hot, hot!


Do you have any tricks you would like to share with us? What’s your favorite tool to edit your pictures?

Ps:  If you did not yet see Instagram’s update to Hashtag Rules, I commented about last week, please check it out.


Thank you for reading. If you found this post useful, why not follow the blog for weekly musings on how to win on Instagram. Or get in touch at if you have further questions.


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