3 Tricks to Instantly Improve your Instagram Photos

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I hear styling and photo woes from creative entrepreneurs all the time, like “I’m out of ideas, I don’t know what to post”, and “I don’t have a lot of cool props, so I can’t shoot flat lays” and (my favorite) “Why do my flat lays look so weird?”. So I thought I would share just 3 simple tricks that will instantly improve your photos and hopefully inspire you to get your camera out and start shooting!

Today’s tricks to instantly improve your Instagram photos are:

  1. Keep your Brand in Mind

  2. Tell a Story that Makes Sense

  3. Take the Weirdness out of Your Photos

#1: Keep your Brand in Mind

Forget the trends or what you think you “should” post, and stay true to your brand. Your values, personality, and aesthetic are what attract your ideal audience and separate you from the crowd. If your brand is playful and feminine, bring in bright colors, whimsical prints, and quirky props. If you’re more the dark and moody type, try incorporating deep hues, inviting angles, and vintage or antique props. Whatever you decide, just remember to bring your unique voice and have fun with it.

#2 Tell a Story that Makes Sense

A great flay lay isn’t just about showing a product; it’s about telling your audience a story about what their life would look like if they had your art/craft/design/product, or to let them into your world and get a glimpse of the “behind the scenes” magic. Selecting props that make sense together is really important and a prop that doesn’t make sense will result in an image that looks “off”, even if it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what the problem is. If you’re a stationery/calligraphy/invitation designer show the tools you might use to create your products; a beautiful brush, paint palette, ink well, calligraphy pen and nibs, etc. If you were to place a piece of jewelry into the shot, it might look pretty but does it enhance your story? Probably not.

#3 Take the Weirdness out of Your Photos

This is one of my favorite complaints when styling, because the “weirdness” can be caused by so many little details, but usually can be attributed to poor lighting or forgetting the rule of three. Whenever possible, use indirect natural light when taking your photos. This will help remove yellow undertones (often caused by incandescent or fluorescent lighting) and give you more true-to-life colors. Finally, remember to place items in odd numbered groups whenever possible. The human eye enjoys balance, but we’re most drawn to uneven or unusual composition. Using things in groups of three or five will help draw the eye in and invite the viewer to look longer. Completely even, balanced, symmetrical images can be appealing in the right context, but if poorly executed, can look static and boring.

If you try out any of my tips above, tag me on Instagram @veralyco. I’d love to see what you create.