Edit Your Instagram Photos Like A Pro For Maximum Engagement
Instagram has become the go-to social media platform when it comes to sharing photos, so it makes sense that marketers have caught on and started developing some solid Instagram marketing strategies. Many of these strategies aren’t that different from what you might find in a typical Facebook marketing campaign. You still need to find a target audience, test advertisements to find out what works, and schedule your posts to go live at the most opportune times. You might also notice that the best professional Instagram pages all have excellent photos with them. Sure, you might find the occasional amateurish selfie mixed in with the beautifully framed nature photos, but the most effective Instagram pages are full of truly artistic shots.
Coming across an Instagram page that can double as an art student’s portfolio may seem intimidating if photography has never been your strong suit, but you don’t need to be a photography expert to have a great-looking Instagram page. All you need is to be able to edit the shots that you do take. That does admittedly take some practice, but it’s still easier than you might think if you follow this handy guide.
Start with a Good Shot
While you obviously don’t need to take a picture of majestic mountains like in the above photo, you should at least start off with a good photograph that won’t take a lot of work to fit into an Instagram page. Start out in natural light, and take plenty of shots. The digital age makes it easier than ever to take several photos and just delete what doesn’t work out, so don’t be stingy with your photography.
It will also be best if you start out with a photograph that is already the right size for Instagram. Photos that are 1080 pixels wide seem to work the best. Instagram will crop your picture down to a square automatically, but you can re-size that square to capture the best of your photograph.
Choose a Good Filter
Once you have a shot that you like, it’s time to find a filter that works. You will have several to choose from, and there really isn’t any one that is better than the others (although Clarendon seems to be the most popular in the U.S. according to a recent study). Your best bet is to try several filters with your photo to see what looks the best.
If you really want to establish a uniform look for your brand, find a filter that you like and stick to it as much as possible. There isn’t one filter that works perfectly for every image, but you should be able to find one that will give your photos a similar and recognizable look.
Adjusting the Lux
The Lux setting allows you to adjust the contrast and exposure of your photos to make certain elements “pop” more than others. You can play with this by clicking the sun icon on the top of your photo. It has a handy sliding bar that will make it simple to adjust it to where you want it to be. Once again, feel free to play around with this for as long as you want.
The Edit Options
You should also see an “edit” button on your screen by your photo. This will allow you to play around with other settings until you have the image that you want. For example, you can adjust the alignment of your photo if you think it looks crooked in your Instagram page, and you can adjust the contrast and sharpness of the image. It’s almost like creating a custom filter for your photo, which is fun if you aren’t entirely happy with the app’s built-in filters. Just remember that you don’t need to use every effect and feature that is available to you. In many cases, less is definitely more.
Be Careful of Multi-Image Posts
As fun and useful as it is to play with different settings and features for your Instagram photos, you do need to be aware that any edits you make to one photo will apply to all of the images in a post by default. If your post consists of different photos of different subjects in different conditions, you don’t want the same filter applied to everything. Click the Venn diagram icon on the bottom right corner of each photo to tweak the image settings and make sure that every one looks right.
Save Your Photo for Later
If you aren’t quite ready to post your photo to your Instagram page, you can always save your progress and post it later. This can come in handy if you’re making several complicated edits or you have a multi-image post. Instagram should ask you if you want to save your image if you touch the “back” button while you’re editing. Just click the “Save Draft” button, and your photo will be waiting for you when you come back to it later. This is also useful if you have a marketing campaign that follows a specific schedule. If you have followers who are expecting photos to go live at a certain time, you can save your images to go onto your page when it’s the most convenient for your campaign.
Those are the basics of editing photos on Instagram. As you can see, there are enough tools built into the app to make it as easy as possible, but there are plenty of other tools out there that allow you to apply different filters or play around with the colors. As with any creative artistic endeavor, your only limited to your own imagination, so feel free to play around with your photos before they go onto your Instagram page. Even if you mostly use your Instagram for marketing purposes and your images are intended to sell a product, you can still take some time to make them look beautiful. After all, that will be what grabs people’s attention and lets you sell your brand.