3 Keys to Beautiful Instagram Photos

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How to Take Better Instagram Photos-4One of the most common questions I get asked not only by readers, but also friends and family relates to photography.

“How do you shoot and edit your photos? How can I get my photos to look like yours?”

With visual apps like Instagram maintaining popularity, it’s no surprise that everyone is looking to kick their photography game up a notch. I can admit that I likely have a natural eye for what would make a good photo since the hobby was passed down from generation to generation. The good news is that the technical aspect of photography is something anyone can improve just by knowing the basics. After all, you have to learn how to crawl before you can walk, right? I’ve shared how I (used to) edit my photos for Instagram in the past, so today we’re taking a step back and focusing on the 3 key concepts that can improve your Instagram photos. The best part is that these tips can be applied for all photographs, not just your IG feed.

How to Take Better Instagram Photos-13 Critical Elements for Better Photos

In order to maximize your photos and in turn boost your Instagram profile, you absolutely must take lighting, styling, and editing into consideration. That order isn’t happenstance, it’s intentional and sorted by importance. Lighting is the foundation of all great photographs. Styling is the story, and editing is the cherry on top. Let’s break it down.


Lighting is the most important part of photography. This is the element that makes or breaks a photo. This is the element that transforms a mediocre picture into one that is memorable. This is the element everyone needs to consider before hitting the shutter button, regardless of skill level. Natural lighting is always my preference, but artificial lighting is also an option when nature just doesn’t want to lend a helping hand.


Styling is what transforms a picture from simply being a photo to being a photo that tells a story. The way you style a photograph can completely change the mood of the shot. One thing worth considering when it comes to adding in additional items for styling purposes, particularly with flat lays, is the cohesiveness of the objects. Does everything make sense? Do the items add to your subject or are they disrupt the flow?

Let’s say you want to snap a picture of your newest coffee mug. What do you normally do when you have your cup of joe? Do you like to relax with a candle and a book? Do you enjoy a bowl of fresh fruit with a pastry? Or do you use the time to plan out your productive day? One thing you likely don’t do while enjoying a cup of coffee is simultaneously brush your teeth, so you wouldn’t include a toothbrush and toothpaste in the shot.

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Editing is your last resort, not your first pitstop. The purpose of editing is to enhance an already great photo and fix minor things that weren’t captured to your liking during the production process.  Much like your everyday makeup look, the default for editing should follow the “less is more” principle. Unless your aesthetic involves heavily edited photos with drastic color alterations, the connection between the photograph and the edits should be seamless. Instagram’s app has everything you need to do in-app edits, but there are also outside apps and computer software to assist.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for free access to my library of resources, launching very soon!


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