Do you need some tips on improving your social media photos and videos? Instagram is one of the most popular networks for sharing images, boasting more than a billion active users. The visual aspect is critical to success on this platform. So you must use the best material possible. But how can you improve your Instagram aesthetic and the look of your feed images, IGTV, and Stories? Here are some amazing ways to make your Instagram photos and videos stand out.
You may also be interested in:
- Optimize Your Instagram Profile: From Profile Picture Ideas to the Best Handles
- Perfect Instagram Profile: 10 Tips to Grow Your Business
- Make an Amazing Instagrid with These 9 Layouts and 3 Tools
Choose Colors and a Style for Your Instagram Aesthetic
When you first glance at a company’s Instagram page, you instinctively notice whether it seems organized and consistent. If you don’t put any thought or planning into your posts, the result will appear random and disorganized.
While a few brands may be going for a very relaxed look, it’s usually beneficial to define how you want the page to appear clearly. Here are a few ways you can use colors or shapes to create unique visuals within a theme:
- Choose a focus color or general palette – for example, bold shades or pastels
- Create a pattern with the images in your feed
- Select images with common elements
- Use the same filter or effect for all videos and photos
- Try color blocking – Create nine posts in one color, then nine in another
The feed in the image above uses a general color scheme and common elements, including circles and plants. It also tends toward photos with lots of contrast.
Sit down with your team and talk about how to represent your business visually. Then start creating content to see what strategies work best.
Take Excellent Photos and Videos
If you have a professional photographer and videographer available, you might not need to know much about taking pictures. However, many startups and small businesses don’t have this resource. Here’s a crash course in taking excellent photos and videos.
Keep Reading: How to Get More Instagram Followers for Photographers
Variations in illumination make photography exciting and challenging. To take the best pictures and videos possible, you’ll need to understand how light behaves in the place you usually shoot.
If you’re indoors, notice where the sunlight hits and at what times of the day. Pay attention to artificial illumination, too. Identify the places in your environment that have the most favorable lighting at specific times of the day.
Early morning and sunset are typically the best times to take pictures outdoors. The late morning and early afternoon sun is often so intense that the lighter parts of the photo become overexposed. If you’re indoors, you may be able to use a sheer curtain to diffuse strong sunlight.
Get to know your smartphone. Tap on different areas of the screen to see how it affects light and shadows. Learn to use editing tools to adjust the brightness.
You may need some creativity to solve lighting issues when photographing. You can use household objects to put the light where you want it. For example, if your scene is too dark, you can use a white poster board as a reflector.
Use the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a well-known photography principle that’s easy for anyone to apply. Imagine a three-by-three grid over your frame, with two vertical lines and two horizontal ones cutting the screen into equal parts.
The places where those lines intersect are ideal locations to place a subject. This strategy gives you alternatives for when you don’t want the image to be exactly centered.
Continuous Burst to Capture Action
When you take still shots of live events, you want as many pictures as possible. Candid photos almost always include several that can’t be used because someone’s in the middle talking or blinking.
The continuous burst function available on some cameras and smartphones captures multiple images in a short period. This strategy gives you several photos to choose from, ensuring you get the best visual possible.
It’s normal to need to take many pictures to get an excellent one. Even professional photographers may show the client only 10% of the original images. Don’t be discouraged by the number of action shots you need to take before finding the one you want.
If you’re shooting video, always record more than you think is necessary. In this way, you’ll have extra footage to cover the parts you need to edit out.
Shoot From Varying Angles to Find a Perfect Instagram Aesthetic
The gridlines mentioned under the rule of thirds are also useful for creating angles. If you’re going for a straight-on or overhead shot, make sure elements like a table or walls parallel the grid. In the following image, the photographer kept vertical lines perfectly aligned with the edge of the picture.
If you want to take a more creative approach, choose an unexpected angle. Be sure to make it clear it’s deliberately not parallel to the gridlines. Otherwise, it may appear the photographer accidentally shot it slightly off.
Use Adequate Resolution and Aspect Ratios
If you take photos and videos at too low a resolution, they look blurry when enlarged. Instagram’s current image guidelines put the size of square images at 1080 x 1080 pixels. It’s best to upload photos with this resolution to guarantee high quality, even though they appear smaller in the feed.
There are additional guidelines for other publication formats, including rectangular photos, Stories, and ads. Check the resolution and aspect ratio before uploading your images and video.
Use High-Quality Stock Images
If you don’t yet have an excellent smartphone or camera to take high-quality photos, you may be able to find stock images that meet your needs. However, paid options can be costly.
For startups on a tight budget, free stock images are an option. You can search for them on sites like Pexels, Jeshoots, and Pixabay.
As an easier way to share stock images on Instagram, I recommend you use AiSchedul. This free Instagram scheduler directly connects you with Unsplash and allows you to share them on Instagram without downloading the photos on your device. To know how it exactly works, watch the following video and improve your Instagram aesthetic:
Edit Your Images for a Cohesive Instagram Aesthetic
It’s often hard to get alignment and lighting perfect at the time you shoot. Because of this, you’ll need to know how to adjust brightness and contrast and rotate images. While there are many other possible aspects to edit, these are the most basic that you’ll need to understand.
The right captions can draw even more attention to your photos and videos. Instagram allows texts of up to 2200 words, but closer to 125 is usually considered more effective.
People often don’t have the patience to read long texts, so sometimes it’s best to keep it short. You can even try a one-word Instagram caption for selfies. This strategy allows you to create a greater impact.
Evaluate What Works
There are two approaches to finding out what works for your audience. First, you can study your company’s Instagram analytics. You may also decide to observe what’s bringing success for your competitors.
You can analyze the kinds of images and videos that get the most audience response. Think about the following aspects:
- Natural vs. artificial lighting
- Symmetry and alignment
- Presence of people and type of situation
- Use of color
Make notes and take screenshots of the most attractive photos you find on Instagram. As you decide what works for your business, you can develop a brand identity guide to help maintain a cohesive image.
Keep Reading: Instagram Insights: Grow Your Business Intellectually
Instagram Aesthetic In a Nutshell
There are several ways you can make your Instagram photos and videos stand out. First, choose colors and a style to represent your brand. Learn to take excellent images that’ll attract attention.
Pay attention to the ideal resolution and aspect ratio for the photos and videos you post. You can use high-quality stock images to supplement those you generate. Learn to edit your pictures to optimize them before publishing.
Use creative captioning to attract your audience’s attention. Finally, continuously evaluate what’s working best. By doing all these things, you’ll find you can make your Instagram photos and videos stand out.