5 Fail-Proof Tips for Creating Fire Instagram Content

You have the power

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@jonaskohh via Twenty20

Remember the days when we didn’t have a high-quality camera in our pockets at all times? Taking a picture was a far more deliberate undertaking than simply reaching for your phone, pragmatically housed in the front compartment of your jeans and quickly tapping a screen (not even a button!) to capture something as mundane as a punny sandwich board outside of a coffee shop. 

Photos were once a project! Something only professionals did for a living while the rest of us common folk took to a camera on special occasions, requiring the tedious task of lugging around an extra thing. Not to mention the wait time to view the results. Oy vey.

Those days are but a distant memory—can we get an amen.

We now live in extreme visual times. In fact, it’s how we mostly communicate. Case in point: the important role social media (more specifically, Instagram) occupies in our everyday lives. It can launch careers,  it imparts priceless advice, it’s where we go to get style inspiration and keep up with our favorite athletes. So much can be conveyed with a photo.

You consume these visuals as a user, but you’re also likely creating them for your own channel, and they’re probably a little mediocre—sorry pal. The good news is that improving your photo skills is as easy as following our advice below. In this day and age, if you don’t have a point of view and a personal brand, who even are you? The time is now to tap into your aesthetic. 

Keep reading and never capture a subpar image ever again.

1. Use Your Smartphone

Whether you’re an iPhone or an Android guy, both types of devices offer a worthy camera that will yield fantastic results. No need to drag around another gadget when your mobile is perfectly suitable for what you’re here for: Instagram content. That said, play around with portrait mode, experiment with the HDR functionality, lock the screen on the right light source and adjust the exposure, use the grid function on the camera to get that rule of thirds just right. Once you’re more mindful of these built-in tools, you’ll start picking up tricks that will give your photos that "profesh" polish.

2. Find the Light

This is a crucial point, so drill it into your noggin: Direct natural light is optimal. Artificial light will almost always produce crap results. The ideal places to take photos are outdoors or by a window (not against a window—backlighting is never cute), but stay mindful of weird shadows, especially if it’s a sunny day. The rays are your friend until they’re not.

3. Less Is More

Keep backgrounds streamlined to maintain focus on your main subject. The less busy your shots are, the less amateur they’ll look and the better the chances of getting your point across—along with plentiful double-taps once shared on Insta.

4. Use an Editing App

Sorry to break it to you mate, but if you’re still using the native Instagram filters, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re asking why, the reason is they’re bad. Don’t be gauche and download a third-party app ASAP. There are a ton of them out there that will elevate your shots from decent to spectacular. Some of our favs include Lightroom, Snapseed and VSCO. Run, don’t walk.

5. Give Yourself Options

Spoiler alert: You’ve got lots of film in your camera. Do yourself a solid and take more than just one snap—odds are the first capture won’t be the best. Give yourself variety on angles and distance, and always bear in mind that you can crop and adjust in the post.

Bonus: Be Spontaneous

Engaging Instagram content is all about sharing a compelling moment, so always keep your senses peeled for a potential frame-furnishing occurrence: a killer architectural structure, a piece of street art, random run-ins. They can happen when you least expect them. 

Now go forth and create that fire content and be sure to connect with us on the ‘Gram, cause you best believe we want to see those results.

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