How to Shoot Stunning Instagram Photos – The Ultimate Guide

Social media has opened a new door of connection and engagement with people. It is a vast field and popular among the millennials and gen-z. 

Right now, 4.48 billion users are active on different social media platforms. And Instagram is one of the popular platform. People’s tendency to prioritize images over plain text has made this platform widely popular. 

If you have an Instagram account, why not leverage the platform?

In this article, we will discuss how to shoot stunning pictures for Instagram and will try to understand the strategy behind it. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Why Quality Pictures Matter on Instagram?

Here’s a rundown of the importance of quality images on Instagram.  

1. Quality images maintain professionalism 

Perfect Instagram photos take time and effort to master. Those who uses instagram are post high-quality images, as such images tend to reach more audience, ensures credibility.    

2. Images help your account be discovered

When you post quality images consistently, you draw more followers and will have your fanbase as well. Accounts with most followers generally pop up as suggestions and reach more audiences.   

3. Good images draw attention

Quality images tell a lot. Good pictures spark our interest, and we take a moment to see what it’s about. Such images are capable to relay a specific message to the viewers.  

4. Attract your niche-related audience

A saying goes, ‘Your vibe attracts your tribe’. If you are out there for commercial purposes, quality images will bring followers. 

Increase viewer’s engagement 

The better quality your images are, the more your target audience would want to interact and engage with your posts. This may translate to boosting your post according to Instagram’s algorithm.  

8 Tips for Shooting Instagram Photos

According to statistics, Instagram has over 50 billion photos uploaded till now. And every day the number is increasing. So, how do you plan to work with your images and get the audience engaged?  

To assist you there, we have listed 10 tips for shooting Instagram images. Here we go-  

Tips 1: Get your equipment prepared

Get your equipment prepared

The first step of taking amazing Instagram photos starts with having equipment in hand. You might need to make a list of the equipment you’ll need to capture photos. 

  1. Camera/ mobile phone 

For the photoshoot, devices like mobile phones or cameras can do the work fine. If you don’t have a camera, but the show must go on- a mobile phone camera is a pretty good alternative.  

If you want to shoot with a  camera, owning a branded or pricey one isn’t needed. You can go for a pre-owned one at the beginning stage.  

  1. Lens 

If you are using a camera, you need to have a lens. There are various types of lenses that are used for different purposes. For landscape or portrait- use kit lens; for creative and funny pictures- use a fisheye lens; for wildlife photography-use zoom lens. 

  1. Tripod/ C-stand 

Tripod or C-stand is required for taking steady photos. However, the safest option is to use a tripod. This ensures the photos aren’t getting blurry due to shaking, tremor or nothing is disrupting the camera position.  

  1. Light setup 

To light up your frame, take full advantage of sunlight. It is the greatest lighting resource available. But if you are shooting at night or indoors, there are a lot of artificial lighting options as an alternative. Having your own studio comes in handy in situations like this.  

If you don’t have one, you can create your mini studio in any room with any background. By searching Google, you can search for the lights you need for your type of shooting. Nowadays, ring lights are getting popular for taking pictures on Instagram.  

Tips 2: Organize the subject and props 

Organize the subject and props 

Every captured picture has a purpose, message, or story. If you are following famous photographers on Instagram, you probably have checked how they tell their parts of the story in the images. 

It is mostly revealed by the subject and elements organized inside the frame. So, focus on your subject. You may add props according to your needs. But make sure this doesn’t steal the show.   

Be creative with your element organizing and create the vibe you want. Once done, take shots. It may take a couple of clicks to get the exact Instagram shots you intend to have.

Tips 3: Create interesting compositions

Composition is an elaborated field. It means the arrangements of elements in a photo. Understanding the rules behind the composition will help you get outstanding images that are really good as Instagram pictures. 

There are some matters to follow for photography composition, such as-  

  1. Rule of thirds 

It is probably one of the most talked-about terms in photography. Rule of thirds is a theory of dividing frames into 12 sections. So when you shoot your subject, place it anywhere among those sections. 

The rule of thirds helps you creatively violate the rule of always needing to position your subject at the center of the camera’s lens. If the setup is properly implemented under this rule, you can expect to get unique, attention-grabbing pictures. 

  1. Leading lines  

In simple terms, leading lines are the lines on a photograph; a sure-fire way to attract views is using leading lines. It is a technical composition that leads viewers to look where the line goes. 

It is the photographers’ impressive use of leading lines that make such images interesting. Viewers will first see the lines in the picture and then take time to understand. 

  1. Horizon Lines 

Another composition rule you can use as Instagram photo tips and tricks is taking pictures horizontally. Taking pictures horizontally allows framing enough details. 

You’ll easily capture all the beauty you see without any limitation you’ll experience when shooting vertically. Shooting horizontally not only gives you a lot more to capture, but it also gives you the golden opportunity to be creative.  

Tips 4: Know the time to shoot

“A stitch in time saves nine”- the same goes for photography timing. If you miss the chance to shoot at the right time, you need to wait at least another day to get the momentum perfectly. 

But how do you know the right time for getting the perfect Instagram photos? Follow your peers, check when they are taking theirs. Explore your timing as well. As a precaution, avoid the times when the sun rays to the fullest otherwise, your shots might get hampered.   

A suggestion for timing is to morning and afternoon with soft rays, golden hours, etc. 

Tips 5:  Take plenty of angle shots 

 Take plenty of angle shots

It’s common for instagram users to take front shot. Apart from that, take shots of different angle. Doing things differently may offer astonishing results.  

Take a look at this image, this is quite interesting angle to take shot.


So, along with the traditional way of taking pictures, go for multiple different angle shots for taking better photos for Instagram

Tips 6: Play With Unusual Colors and Textures

In photography, color, texture, patterns- these terms are somewhat critical to deal with. To bring the best out of every setup, your equipment play a vital role. Also, when you are done shooting, a slight touch of photo editing will unleash some stunning look. 

Tips 7: Don’t Overdo It with Filters.

Using filters is fascinating. It is creative type of editing that delivers interesting and amazing photos. At times, you have to pull the reins of overdoing it as it may make images unnatural. For example, using too many filters on a portrait image may make the image filled with unrealistic beauty- which may make people feel low self-esteem. 

Tips 8: Edit to ensure professional touch

Edit to ensure professional touch

After taking your pictures, proceed to edit them. Editing can do a lot better work than the raw files. To do that, you can use different photo editing software available on the market. 

Day by day, those software are being updated with great features and satisfying users. With fantastic presets that’d give user’s images texture and depth that are worth seeing. Aside from the presets, you can do a lot along with importing your pictures on any great editing app to see how the app improves your image quality.  

You can do the post processing part by yourself, but if you are working for a commercial purpose, having a photo editor as a partner or outsourcing photo editing service from a reliable company is a time-saving decision. 

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Shooting Instagram Photos

Here is a list of 7 unavoidable mistakes, by following which can get creative images the viewers would love- 

  1. Placements of Subjects 

Subject placements matter. Where and how you are placing it decides your perspective. There are many ways to put your subject in the frame; it can be center, off-center, rule of thirds, or anything you find interesting.  

Applying the rule of thirds affects the overall setup and point of view of the image. If you have some other props along with the subject in the frame, make sure the decoration doesn’t look congested. 

  1. Not Heeding to Light Deficiency

Lighting plays a vital role in any type of photography. So, paying attention to light is suggested because post-processing sometimes can’t solve the poor lighting problems. 

For your Instagram lighting setup, make the best use of natural lights. Also, you can use artificial lights, which are a pretty good available alternative to lights. 

The best lighting for Instagram photos is plenty. However, among Instagram users, ring light has gained popularity.  

  1. Blur and Destructive Background 

Blurry images are a total turn-off. These mess with the eyesight of your viewers and make images less appealing to look at. Such images fail to imply photographers’ intention. 

The same effect you may get from a background that has too many distractions. It would distract your audience from the focus of the image. 

To avoid such factors, ensure that your device’s focus is clear, the background doesn’t have distractions, or the existing elements are complementing the frame. 

Then again, you can do things simply. 

  1. Element Cluster in the Photo

To beautify an image, props have an important role to play. But you have to be cautious of overdoing it. Your imaginary scene doesn’t always need many elements to depict your thoughts. 

You can use props only when you feel the urgency, not only for the sake of it. You can have minimalistic prop set-up and get fine Instagram shots as well. 

For instance, if you must add colors to your images, be moderate with it. Adding too many colors may jumble the composition of your picture. 

  1. Miss the Golden Hours

Want to take amazing Instagram photos? You already are aware that perfect shots don’t happen on a whim. It requires proper planning and the accurate execution of what you’ve imagined. 

Take full advantage of this period. This is the time when the sun rays are less intense and more dramatic as they cast long shadows on the floor. Hence, you can run creativity wildly.  

The warmth of the sun’s rays during these golden hours also contributes to the beauty of your shots. If you have a pre-plan for your shooting and know the angles- you are off the hook. 

  1. Not Understanding Focus Modes

Clicking randomly will hardly get you any good pictures. To get the best picture for Instagram, understand the focus mode of your device. 

In the camera, there are 2 types of mode- autofocus and manual focus. The Autofocus mode is further split into other focus modes like the single focus mode, hybrid focus modes, etc. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of all these focus modes helps you utilize them for their strengths in their best use case.

It would help you precisely take great shots because you’ll be in control. You will understand the functions and know how to make things work. That way, you’ll flawlessly be able to achieve the results you target.   

  1. Using an Instagram Camera With Filters On. 

Sometimes we capture images with Instagram filters. It isn’t professional at all. Filters are great for fun but not always. Using filters with each and every shot while trying to be creative with your Instagram shots isn’t that professional. Chances are, this may distort the message you want to give with the pictures. 

To show consistency and effort for your work, you need to create perfect Instagram photos. Hence, take photos with your normal equipment like a camera or the phone camera you normally use. Edit it after you have taken the desired shot. 

Also, Instagram can mess up the image quality. So, shooting with Instagram shouldn’t be an option. Instead of taking photos with filters, edit afterward- you will get many astonishing results. 


Q: What is the best image size for Instagram?

A: Instagram posts can be square, landscape or portrait. The best instagram image size is listed below: 

  • Square: aspect ratio 1:1 and  1080 x 1080px resolution 
  • Landscape: aspect ratio 1.9:1 and 1080 x 566px resolution 
  • Portrait or video: 4:5 with 1080 x 1350px resolution 

Q: What are the best dimensions for Instagram Stories?

A: The best dimension for Instagram pictures or video is about 1080 x 1920px with an aspect ratio of 9:16.  

Q: How do I Choose a Portrait or Landscape Photo on Instagram?

A: Instagram is no longer limited to square images now. It has introduced the portrait and landscape picture options. Just select your desired mode, then select your image and post.  

Q: How do I get more people to see my Instagram photos? 

A: There are some considerations to get more people engaged with your Instagram account. For starters, engage with your niche-related account and follow them.  

Apart from that, take cool Instagram photos and videos that would spur your audience to engage. Also, make sure to notice the best time when people are most receptive to Instagram. 

Post Instagram reels & images at that time. Once you realize the pattern behind it, you will start getting the results.  

Q: What is the most popular editing app for Instagram? 

A: Instead of posting raw images, doing some editing is a worthwhile decision. It makes images charismatic. 

If you are looking for awesome or cute pics for Instagram, a number of editing apps are available in the market, such as Picmaker, Canva, VSCO, and so on. 

Final Verdict

Here goes our Instagram photo tips and tricks based on some current trends. Social media platforms like Instagram are decorated with dozens of fantastic images from creative people worldwide. 

At times, standing out might seem challenging. Don’t feel discouraged. Pursue your passion for photography. 
Hope our article how-to shoot stunning Instagram photos – the ultimate guide will help you keep pace with the competitors and become able to thrive and fly.

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Hey everyone, I'm Amy Grace, a freelance article writer for photography, photo editing, and eCommerce niches. Working in commercial photography for years has made her experienced in this field. And now, she is utilizing her learned skills through writing. Already, she has collaborated with some renowned websites. Apart from these, Amy loves traveling.

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