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18 Instagram Tips & Tricks From a Savvy Instagrammer

This is a contributed post by Madison, a savvy Instagram veteran from Wisconsin, USA. Today I’m going to reveal my top secrets of hacks and how to achieve a beautiful Instagram feed. Some of these things took months and months to discover and some had been shared to me by other people.
  1. You’ll want to match your whole feed in terms of colors which is a lot harder to pull off than it looks. Sometimes a photo looks a little bit better colorful, the other looks better saturated, sometimes you have a photo of flowers and sometimes a photo of a building. It is practically impossible to have a normal day to day colorful life and have all your photos match the same color schemes so the best way to strive for that arrangement is to pre-select your favorite filters on VSCO and have them ready at the touch of a button, because there is literally hundreds of filters on there. For you to go through the photo and try to play with every single filter, every single time is such a nightmare. To try and match that up is a big mess. The way to achieve the best result is to go onto the VSCO app settings and re-arrange your favorite filters that you are going to use the most. You’ll also want to classify filters into: scenery and buildings, food, selfies along with others so that related pictures have a similar look.
  2. It should be pretty obvious by now, but use the VSCO Cam app. What you can do is pre-arrange your whole Instagram feed inside the app so before you even go to post something you’ll want to see how the posts fit together. This functionality is essential for a flourishing and breath-taking Instagram profile.
  3. If you are taking white pictures or grey pictures, make sure that those photos with a specific color have the same tone that match next to each other. It becomes easier when you use the same exposure and the same filter. Sometimes you’ll just have to play with it to achieve the same amount of whiteness and brightness.
  4. Since we’re on the subject of white I’ll have to add that sometimes when you take a photo on, for example, a white carpet, a white sheet or anything similar there can be some weird shadows or sometimes even a yellow hue. The secret is to upload the photo on Facetune and use their whitening tool that’s actually used to whiten teeth in pictures to make the white even whiter. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it so that it doesn’t look over-exposed. The app is not for free so don’t feel the need to purchase it.
  5. For jewelry or any detail shots or anything with sunglasses in it, anything where you want to make the details pop but don’t want to over-sharpen the photo, use the sharpening tool on Facetune to sharpen jewelry, watches or sunglasses.
  6. For that clean, minimalistic look make sure that you’re breaking up your photos with something that has lots of space. Meaning take photos that maybe, has a small cup of coffee, but using lots of background space will give it a clean and minimalistic look. Essentially taking a photo using a lot more of the background than the actual object that you want to emphasize.
  7. The hardest thing to create is color-coordinated posts because you have to think a lot. Some people have an entire feed that’s basically colorful and matching, this takes massive amounts of time on your hands to achieve. Let’s say that you took a photo with a burgundy top and then for the next photo with a burgundy side bowl continuing with more pictures in the same color scheme, edit them in the same way to make them really coordinate with each other.
  8. Depending on the look you’re going for I usually desaturate the photos so that they match. But always make sure that the saturation on your feed matches up.
  9. Kinda no-brainer, but make sure that the photo you’re about to post matches the one next to it. That’s why having your things laid out in a grid on VSCO really helps.
  10. Natural light is your best friend. Always make sure that it’s a direct, natural light so standing in front of a window or in sunlight will help you make anything look better majority of the time. Don’t take pictures where light is coming from the sides or the back, that’s just setting up for a disaster.
  11. Take full advantage of the burst mode, especially cool if you’re doing a jumping photo or a photo filled with action. Have your friends use the burst mode to take a ridiculous amount of pictures of you so there’s lots of photos to pick from.
  12. Thank god that you no longer have to post your pictures in a little square. Buildings just looks so much more amazing in portrait photos, and landscape works wonders for landscape shots. You could play around with this and see what else matches different aspect ratios.
  13. Keep your edits clean and simple. Don’t oversaturate, over-sharpen, over-contrast, most of the time you don’t really need that much editing. You don’t even have to use the full effect of a filter, but just a little bit of it. You don’t want to go overboard and create unnatural photos unless that’s the artistic vision that you have.
  14. Another cool thing that you can do to make your feed look really neat and pretty is to add quotes that you really resonate with here and there to break up the feed.
  15. A big tip is to focus on telling a story through your Instagram feed and not just chase the likes. Some photos may be a bit more artistic or simple so that they won’t get as much engagement but whenever you pull up your feed you want it to almost tell a story of its own. You want people to feel like they’re reading a visual tale. Think of your Instagram feed like a tumblr board where there’s kind of things that you love and where there’s a lot of variety in the shots.
  16. This point somewhat relates to the previous one. Diversify your posts. For example if you just posted a selfie, avoid posting another selfie next to it. If you just posted a picture of your food, avoid posting another picture of your food. I think you catch the drift. Don’t think about it too much though, just see what matches together so that you don’t post the same things next to each other.
  17. Less is more when choosing the background for your photos. Even if a super-busy city street may sound cool, pictures usually end up better on simpler backgrounds like walls and scenery that doesn’t have that much going on.
  18. Another thing that looks really cool on your Instagram feed is contrasting different textures. A brick wall greatly contrasts a picture of blankets and they may contrast a polka dot sweater for example, but still make sure that they have the same color scheme. This gives an interesting and a visually-pleasing look, just be careful of clashing textures so that it does not become bothersome, try finding a balance.
These are my best suggestions that I’ve collected over my long journey on Instagram and I hope that at least some of it helps you.