Successful personal or corporate branding on Instagram starts with photos that captivate audiences. It is rewarding to create Instagram photos that are stylistic and interactive across wider audiences. You do not need to be a professional to create stunning images for use on your page.
You only need a smartphone with a powerful camera and a variety of photo editing tools. With a few tricks and creativity, you can edit your photos and turn them into attractive visuals that keep your followers glued to your account. Here are 15 tips to help you edit your Instagram photos like a professional.
1. Start by taking quality pictures
If you want to achieve the desired results when you edit Instagram photos, start by capturing quality photos. You might never achieve the best outcomes if you use poor-quality photos. Your smartphone contains features that can help you improve the quality of your shots.
- When you are taking shots in low light, place your smartphone on a stable surface. Or use one of these tripods.
- Get smart with your phone’s camera lenses. Do not just rely on the main camera but use tricks such as macro, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensors.
- Balance your shots by using gridlines to make your photos more interactive.
- Use the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature to help create balanced light and dark elements in your photo.
2. Think natural
If you want to edit Instagram photos to a minimum, leverage the use of natural light. It makes your pictures look authentic. Avoid using the flashlight when taking your shots in natural light. It removes the natural light and can ruin the general quality of your pictures. It is harder to edit photos taken using the flashlight. To go natural can also mean looking for attractive natural features such as trees, lagoons, and flowers. They are more attractive and make editing less complicated.
Working with photos on your phone is fun, but it also has some challenges. For instance, if you often use your iPhone to edit photos, its storage becomes full faster. This makes your device slow, and in some cases, you can no longer take more photos due to limited storage. To avoid this, regularly organize files and free up space on your device.
3. Seek inspiration to help you edit Instagram photos
You are never perfect but you can consistently improve your skills through inspiration. There are many places online that you can visit and get different angles of inspiration. Begin your search for places such as:
- Instagram pages of other people: Visit the Instagram pages of influencers and other users with many followers. Check the kind of photos they have published and get ideas from them.
- Blogs: Read information about creating stunning Instagram photos on blogs.
- Video streaming channels: Some video channels like YouTube contain visual content that can offer you excellent inspiration.
The purpose of seeking inspiration is to draw ideas for creating your original work. From the creative photos and ideas that you get, start to experiment until you get the kind of photos that you desire for your Instagram account.
4. Create a plan to help you edit Instagram photos like a pro
Before you begin to shoot and edit your Instagram photos, it helps to have a plan. Know why you want to create stunning photos for your account. When you have a good plan, your photos will attract more traffic, likes, and clicks. Take your time to seek answers to the following points.
- Decide the goal of your photos: Decide why you want to edit photos for Instagram.
- Determine your target audience: Your target could be your current followers or other online audiences.
- Decide what kind of photo will make a difference in your account.
5. Use a variety of tools to edit Instagram photos
Photo editing tools allow you to create visuals that improve your brand recognition. Each time you post attractive photos, you earn greater trust and respect from your audiences. Tools help you add color and text and remove background. You can decide if you want to show only a portion of a photo or add other features. Images allow multiple uses to achieve a predetermined goal.
It takes time to create audience-centric images but tools can help you reduce that time significantly. They make your images stand out and they could go viral if they successfully deliver the intended message. There are different types of photo editing tools available online. Your phone’s OS also contains features that you can use to create stunning photos.
Further Reading: The Top 23 Instagram Tools You Need for Successful Marketing
6. Create a flow in sync with the latest trends
Trends keep changing as society and technology advance. Avoid using older trends but stay up to date with the current trends to help you edit Instagram photos that will make your page stand out. For example, only a few years ago, most Instagram photos looked highly filtered with square-cropped photos.
If you use that trend today, your photos will look outdated even though the trend is only a few years old. Some of the current trends can help give you Tiktok video ideas for creating winning visual content. If your images look outdated, they will push users away from your page. The current trends in 2023 include features such as:
- Unchanging color schemes. Brands upload images that align with the brand’s colors and products.
- The 70s through the late 90s nostalgia: Many brands are reviving trending memories of 20 to 40 years ago to achieve better brand awareness.
- Natural lighting: Natural lighting is gaining popularity in personal Instagram branding but more corporates are using dramatic lighting to capture photos with higher contrast.
7. Add text when you edit Instagram photos
You may decide to leave your images plain and post them on Instagram after editing. You can still achieve your goal but it might give you limited results. Your audience might not understand the full purpose of your photo. Text significantly increases the success rate of your post.
The brain processes visuals and text differently. You increase the effectiveness of your photos when you add short text messages for your audiences to read. The text could be a joke, an explanation, a label, or general content.
Further Reading: The Top 15 Instagram Font Generators to Check Out
8. Add brightness to your photos
When taking Instagram photos with your phone, it would be okay to use natural light. During editing, your photos will look great if you add more light using tools. It is a key factor in determining the success of your photos after posting. It affects the mood of your photo by changing its tone and atmosphere.
When adding brightness, you should be in control and manipulate it the right way. It affects the texture, drama, and depth of your photos. Soft light portrays gentleness and quietness, while dramatic light portrays seriousness or a somber mood. You need to pay attention to the direction of the light based on the perception that you want to create.
9. Put more focus on the looks
If you want to edit your own images, pay special attention to your looks in the photo. Social media users get attracted to photos that look smooth and well-edited. If you visit the best influencer marketing platforms, you will notice they post photos with super smooth skin tones. It is hard to meet anyone with such naturally smooth skin. Everyone has some imperfections. You might have minor blemishes, acne, or dark spots.
Your work should be to eliminate those blemishes and leave your skin looking smooth and without a blemish on the photo. You can use software to remove the redness in your eyes. It helps get more attention from audiences and for building lasting relationships with clients.
10. Bring your creativity to life
You cannot rely only on ideas or inspiration from other users to create winning photos for Instagram. You might limit yourself on your abilities and fail to create photos that create lasting memories in users. Stir your creativity and add items such as effects, stickers, and wraparounds to your photos.
There are a variety of animations that you can use to add value to your photos. They help you create gorgeous images that attract the eye and increase engagement on your page. To boost your creativity in photo editing, learn to be curious about the world around you and beyond. Learn ideas from nature and learn to stay observant of the happenings around you.
11. Edit Instagram photos based on your niche
Personal branding should be the first thing that comes to your mind before you shoot your photos. You cannot build a successful corporate brand if you fail to build your personal brand. It benefits to have a niche and create content based on it.
For instance, if you are in the fashion market, you can confuse your followers if you keep posting all types of content. You need to post content that resonates with your brand if you want to succeed. When shooting and editing photos for Instagram, you need to be guided by your brand. It is one of the strategies to help you build lasting relationships with your audiences.
12. The use of decent equipment matters
It matters the type of equipment you use to take photos or edit photos. Your phone is an excellent device for shooting memorable images but its quality has an impact on image quality. A phone with 16 megapixels and above can be perfect for taking Instagram photos to build your brand. If your phone’s camera is 12 megapixels, it can still work but you need to pay attention to editing.
Cameras with higher megapixels capture better-quality images than those with lower megapixels. If you are using more advanced cameras, ensure their quality is good. During editing, choose a high-quality application.
13. Use Instagram photo editing filters
Instagram features several filter options that let you edit your images using preset configuration. You can configure the feature with varying brightness, saturation, and photo contrast settings. The feature is a good choice if you want to achieve editing results in an instant. It provides you with consistent intensity across your pages.
One of the disadvantages that you might have is that every Instagram user has access to the same feature and settings. It might not be a perfect option if you want your photo to stand out and look unique. Consider using it as a starting point but advance to the use of other editing tools.
14. Keep off from too much editing
The purpose of editing is to improve the quality of your photos but not to distort it. One of the features that help you with editing is filters. It removes features in your image that you dislike and to add others. They help you increase brightness, texture, tone, and contrast.
People filter their photos too much to achieve a smoother skin and remove blemishes. If you over filter, your picture will look distorted and unattractive. To achieve the best results, do minimum filtering. If you still do not like the results, it would be better if you take another photo.
15. Create in your mind your perfect Instagram photo
Before you try to achieve a perfectly edited Instagram picture, achieve it in your mind first. Create the image in your brain and envision how it should look like. When shooting your pictures, let that image guide you. Use it as a guide in your editing process and ensure you achieve it. It is one of your ways to create a consistent brand image for your page. Stick to the image in all your photos across your pages.
Further Reading: 15 Instagram Apps to Create Perfect Business Instagram Graphics
Editing photos for Instagram helps build your brand image. It re-energizes your photos and prepares them for various uses on your account. There are different strategies for editing your Instagram photos. Decide what goals you want to achieve with your pictures and focus on quality when shooting. Choose the best editing tools for your images and pay attention to the amount of filtering that you make. Consider your target audience and choose photos that are relevant to them.
Anna Lysiuk is an outreach specialist and writer. She is passionate about marketing, business growth trends and technology
Hero Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash
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