20 tips to get the most out of Instagram

You can find some incredibly beautiful images on Instagram. Browse through beautiful nature photographs or take a look in someone’s life in a distant country. You too can show your best work on this social network. This article has twenty tips for both new and existing Instagrammers. Instagram is available for both iOS and Android while, for Windows Phone, a beta version exists. This article is based on the iPhone version of the app. There are small differences with other platforms.

Tip 01: Pictures are square

Instagram is a social network that revolves around pictures. The first thing to note is that all pictures are square. That may be getting used to because camera images are normally elongated. One advantage is that it does not matter how you hold the phone, there is no distinction between landscape and portrait photos. If you shoot from the Instagram app, you will see a square image on the screen immediately. That makes it easy to create a beautiful composition. Besides pictures, you can also make short movies.

Tip 02: Click and Share

Sharing a photo on Instagram goes through a number of fixed steps. First launch the camera via a push on the icon with the blue background at the bottom. Once you’ve taken a picture, you end up on the filters screen. Here, add the effects that Instagram is so famous for. On the next screen, you give it a description, an appropriate piece of text in which your note provides an example of what’s to see on the picture. Using the arrow in the upper left of the screen, you can always return to the previous steps. Finally, place the photo on Instagram through a tap on Share. We obviously go deeper in this article on these steps.

Tip 03: From the middle

We are used to placing the subject exactly in the middle. If you place it off to the side, it appears often much more interesting to watch. Furthermore, place your horizons preferably a third from the top. When it comes to the beautiful cloudy sky, then put it right on one-third from the bottom. Can you see a nice reflection, then you get symmetry with the horizon in the middle. While shooting with the Instagram app you can turn on a grid via the blue grid icon next to the preview. That helps tremendously to make beautiful compositions. The guides are precisely on a third of the image.


Tip 04: Existing photos

You can also put existing photos on Instagram. Press once the camera is activated on the thumbnail to the left of the Print button. You will see a the photo album with thumbnails. Want another album? Tap the divider bar below the preview, so you only see thumbnails. Then tap the arrow in the separator bar, select an album and the desired picture. The preview will then automatically reappear. Zoom with your fingers and pull up the most beautiful part of the picture that fits into the square frame. So basically you can shoot with any camera app.

Tip 05: Filters

Once a picture is taken or picked, you must select a filter. You can try them one by one until you have the best effect. Tap twice on the same filter and it displays a slider that lets you adjust the strength. The square next to the controller adds a frame.

Each effect has its own framework though you can not combine them. Keep a filter pressed and drag it to put it in front of your favorite filters. Or drag an unwanted filter up to hide it. Also, all the way back you can manage the filters you want to see.

Tip 06: Optimise

Photos do not always need a special effect. Would you rather have no filter, then choose the Normal option. But wait to publish directly, because through this same screen you can optimize a photo too. Tap the sun in order to adjust the brightness. Tap the wrench to see a whole row of useful operations. So you can adjust the brightness and contrast, changing the warmth and saturation of colors, making the picture sharper, but also tackle the exposure of shadows and light areas separately. You can customize the operations infinitely.

Tip 07: In perspective

There are three smart operations that we mention separately. With Vignette, you can add dark corners. This draws the attention of the viewer automatically to the lighter center. With Tilt-Shift, you can blur an image partly so it looks like you’ve captured a miniature world. Through Customize, you can put a crooked picture straight. Additionally, you can correct the perspective. Does a building look crooked or appears to fall backward? Then you haven’t pointed the phone exactly straight forward. Choose above the scroll wheel for vertical or horizontal perspective and in no time you put everything straight. Fantastic! Top left of the screen you see three variants of grid lines to help encourage you in this task.

Tip 08: Share

After editing your pictures, you’ll land on the Share with screen. Here you can add a caption. It is not mandatory, but it is appreciated if tell here something about what’s on the picture. Additionally, you can add the so-called hashtags. Just like on Twitter they are keywords that are preceded by a # sign. Hashtags are the ultimate way to bring your photos to the attention. This is where people search, so choose them carefully. Analyze your pictures and remember keywords where one might search for. You can specify up to thirty hashtags. On this same screen, you can continue to share the photo directly on other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

Tip 09: Dream away

On Instagram, you can delightfully wander among beautiful pictures and take a look into the lives of others. Tap the bottom left of the magnifying glass to see a stream of recent photos. You can also search directly via the search form at the top of the screen. Using tabs you can click Users and search Hashtags. This way you discover the best quality photos and the interesting people to follow. Please note that when viewing pictures of others, take a look at the captions and hashtags they use. You learn how to make your pictures even easier to find and you can trace similar picture easier.


Tip 10: Like

If Instagrammers find your photo, they can like it. You’ll get a notification on your phone and you’ll see the likes in one place when you tap the speech bubble with the heart on the bottom right. Generally Instagrammers appreciate if you be sure to take a look at their pictures. That can simply by tapping their name with the like. Double-tapping a photo is enough to liken it. Often that person then briefly returns to view your photo collection and so that way you’ll get extra likes. Comments on photos can also be placed. Want to mention or thank someone in a comment? Mention the name than with an @ sign it, just as in Twitter.

Tip 11: Profile

Tap the person icon at the main screen and you will see all the pictures you’ve posted on Instagram. Also, your profile can be seen here. A good profile gives others insight into what they can expect if they will follow you. Therefore, tap Edit your profile and enter into the description who you are or what kind of pictures you post. If you aim for an international audience, then write this preferably in English. Do not want just anyone to see your pictures, but only your approved followers? Then turn on “Private account”.

Tip 12: Friends

Want to quickly find your friends to follow them on Instagram? Tap the person icon at the bottom right of the screen and then on top on the gear icon. Under “Follow people” tap on “Find Facebook friends” and/or “Find contact”. Then you can import your friends list from Facebook and your phone’s address book and let Instagram search for existing users. This way you don’t have to manually search for them. On the same screen you can also see a list of people Instagram recommended just for you.

Tip 13: Unjustified like

Do you get too many notifications from Instagram on your phone, did you have accidentally liked a dubious photo, or would you like to have insight into where your Instagram photos are shared? You can control all of this over the settings of the app. Tap the person icon at the bottom and then the top gear.

At Posts you have liked you can see all the pictures that you’ve tapped twice. Convenient to find a favorite photo. An accidental like can be found and unliked here as well, just open the photo and at the bottom tap the Like button. The red heart on the dark background is now light gray.

Tip 14: Reports

Through sharing settings you can manage the links with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You decide always where a picture will appear. You decide this at the time you share a photo on Instagram (see tip 8). With push notifications settings you decide from what you want to get notifications so you are not overwhelmed and lose the overview. And do you only want to save the square images that you shoot with Instagram, or also the original rectangular photos? You can manage this with the “Save Original photos” switch. It is better to leave this enabled. You can edit a photo, then always apply other effects.

Tip 15: Location data

Do you share your photos taken with your smartphone? Then they almost certainly have location information. Perfect if you capture the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge, but what if you take photos at home? Do you want everyone to know where you live? At the screen where you put the photo description and hashtags (see tip 8), you can disable the option “Add to Photo map” to prevent this. If you would like to use location data and immediately identify the location with a fun name because you shoot there more often, then tap to “Name This Location”.

Tip 16: Customizing Location

A photo that is already on Instagram is still editable to adjust or remove the location information. Tap the person icon and find the photo you want to customize. Scroll down if necessary, so that you can tap on the bottom right icon with the three dots. Then select Edit. If the location has a name, you see that at the top left of photo under your own name. Tap it and choose Delete or Change Location. During the change, you can search for names and addresses, or use your current location. The location has no name or the picture contains no location information? Tap Add Location to specify a (different) location.

Tip 17: Remove Location

Removing a location works like this. Tap again on the person icon, then the location balloon above your photos. On a world map you can see photos that have location information. Zoom in until you see your desired photo(s). You can remove the location information in two ways. First, you can tap at the bottom of the icon with nine small cubes. A matrix of thumbnails displayed, but only pictures that you see on the map. Tap Edit and remove ticks away at photos where the location is to be removed. Tap Done and confirm you want to do this. The second way is that you tap the map, click Edit. If you tap a picture with a green circle with the number one, then it turns to gray and the number becomes zero (ie: no location data). Is there a higher figure in the circle, then it is a group of pictures. You must then choose Edit again and remove the check marks on the thumbnails.

Tip 18: Features

There are accounts that collect the best work of others. With often tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s great fun when your work make it to such a gallery. This is called a feature and you put yourself there and your photos with considerable interest. So choose from your best photos. Condition to participate is that you follow the account and add a specific hashtag on the photo. What hashtag that must be can be read in the profile, and usually in the pictures that are replaced. There are many of such accounts. On @SeeMyCity you can tag a photo of each (world) city you visit, while @phototag_h2o shows images that have something to do with water. For almost any topic, there is a group.

Tip 19: Rectangular

Instagram does not only have photos made with phones. Photos taken with SLRs and other cameras are popular too. You only have to transfer the photos to your phone to share them, for example through Dropbox. Pictures taken with the Instagram-app are always square. Sometimes you do not want that, especially if you’ve brought something in view very carefully. The solution is just as adding television bars so that the image still fits into a square.

Tip 20: Website

You share your photos on Instagram using your phone. However, there is also a website. On www.instagram.com, you can register your account to get an overview of photos that have been posted by anyone who follows you. In addition to viewing the timeline, you can update your profile. Even though you can’t browse the site directly, you can add a username to the address so that you can look at someone’s photos. Those of yourself, for example, or of any other Instagrammer. For example https://instagram.com/_food_bae_. You can thus also view photos and watch movies on a larger screen.

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