Putting up photos on Instagram is one of the simplest things in the world. You can quite literally click, upload and even insert a witty caption in seconds. Using Instagram these days is about so much more than that though.

It’s about you getting a chance to showcase your own view of the world and share with everyone else something that you’ve found beautiful, funny or even downright ecstatic!

Essentially, if it makes you feel a certain kind of way and can be photographed, it is a prime candidate for Instagram.

This, of course, drives the next question, how do you get brilliant photos (like those accounts you absolutely love and follow) on Instagram. You probably already have a good bag of tricks up your sleeve for some amazing photos yourself. Or maybe you don’t. In any case, here are 12 tips to help you make the most of your Instagram account and showcase your best photos.

1.) Edit your photos in VSCO. Note how I didn’t say VSCO and another app. Seriously, VSCO is all you need.

Select a filter to start and don’t stop at that, edit it to fully reflect and emphasize the features you like about that filter. The simplest 3 step process you should use as a minimum is “Add Filter”, then “Adjust Exposure” and “Change Saturation”.

2.) Take photos from lots of different angles. You can always delete the excess one later but when you get the angle right with the photo you’re taking, that can something be the difference between an average photo and a phenomenal photo.


Time for a spot of afternoon tea methinks… #IslesOfScilly #ThatIslandLife

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3.) Experiment with dramatic effects. The default we all tend to is to have the clearest, brightest, crispest and most colourful photos ever but some photos are so much more powerful when you play around with the editing and come up with something dramatic.


Turkish drapery for Turkish ladies… ??#5SensesOfTurkey

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4.) Don’t edit in Instagram. It’s just nowhere near as good as a bespoke app for photo editing.


Even the seagulls are bringing their a-game today! #Nordics48h #Fishing #Scandic

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5.) Daylight photos always look better than night time photos. Take as many as you can during the day instead of any night. There’s no just no substitute for daylight as a source of light.


The weather in London is definitely bringing it’s A-game today. ?? #BigBen

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6.) Play around with the rule of thirds (i.e. put the subject in the corner of the photo). This is a renowned photography rule that I rarely pay attention to but it can make for very interesting photos.


Scaredy cat! ? #Iceland #Skogafoss

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7.) Try to keep a uniform background (e.g. a white background for food). This helps draw focus to your subject hence producing a powerful image.


These beaches are more than enough reason to visit the Isles of Scilly… #LikeAKidInACandyStore #IslesOfScilly

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8.) Change the temperature in your photos. A lot of photos usually end up particularly warm (probably because they’re the kind of environments that we are all naturally drawn to) but turning down the temperature and reducing the saturation is another interesting take to have on your Instagram photography. Just remember never to reduce the temperature so much that it’s obvious.


Island Life… #IslesOfScilly

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9.) Framing a subject is a very good way to draw attention to your subject. And a great way to show off your point of view when you take a photo.


On our bikes exploring the island of Tresco… ???? #IslesOfScilly

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10.) Pay attention to symmetry, patterns and natural lines. Incorporate them into your photos for a stunning visual effect.


Evenings in Covent Garden…. ??? #LoveLondon #London

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11.) Use reflections in the water to your advantage.

12.) The best photographs of people (friend, family or even passersby) are ones with people being absolutely natural instead of posing for photos.


Portraits appreciating and people watching at the National Portrait Gallery in London

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Cheat move: Phone photos no matter how good (or how expensive) the phone is, is no match for a good DSLR camera or full-frame mirrorless camera.

Take photos on your camera and transfer them to your phone for fantastic photo quality. A lot of cameras have WiFi or wireless connections to phones so this is a surprisingly easy task to do. (It’s not necessary to do this but if you get the change to, it can lead to some amazing photos).

And finally, remember, it’s your account. Don’t play by any rules when it comes to content. If you feel like you want to put up a cheeky selfie or even a screenshot of something you’ve found funny then do it.

That’s what the darn thing is all about anyway so have fun with it.

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