6 Instagram Photography Tips

By Sally O'Neil

Instagramming is the sole reason I have been able to quit my office job. To follow my passion. To blog full-time AND successfully launch my own line of DIY Protein Balls nationwide. Goodbye boring office meetings, hello freedom and creativity.

But how is that possible? How can a simple set of images snapped on an iPhone launch a blog, let alone a successful business?

The answer is simple: Beautiful pictures. 

…not the answer you were hoping for right? But before you move onto your next impending email, let me tell you with these 6 simple tips, your images will go from zero to hero. 

1. Shoot in natural light

It’s most likely that the perfect picture will come to you at the most inconvenient time #sodslaw. Whether you’re out and about with friends, feeding your children, or shopping for a new dress, it’s guaranteed you won’t have that lovely DSLR strapped around your neck. Without the ability to control ISO and all those other (rather complicated) settings, the best thing you can do for a great image is to shoot in natural light. Your images will sharper and bursting with colour to draw more followers in.

Accounts that do it well: 



2. Shoot in ‘square’ mode

Have your pics Instagram-ready by setting your phone camera to ‘square’ mode. That way you can ensure everything you want in the shot is right there, without any post-crop dramas. 

3. Take time to get the best angle

While your pizza may look delicious at eye height on that stand, your phone just won’t do it justice. Try to the capture every beautiful detail. Celebrate those olives and anchovies. Scale the table if you must - it likely everyone around you will be doing the same. 

4. Develop a theme

As creatures of habit, it’s no secret we like consistency. Be it consistency in image colour, content or message, find your theme, and stick to it. Not only will people understand what you are about in just a few short seconds, but they can be assured they’ll be getting more of that same great content when they click the all-important ‘follow’ button.

No dog snaps when you sell jewellery (unless your dog is modelling some, of course) and no baby pics in your food reel. If you just have to share these special moments, set up another account for personal use.

Accounts that do it well: 




5. Get appy

Editing apps are your best friend. They can transform one very average looking photo into a piece of art. I personally love PicTapGo and VSCO cam, as I lean more towards images with minimal shadow and vibrant whites (my theme). Once you find a filter that you love, you can return to it time and time again for consistency. 

6. Consider the bigger picture

Sure, that bright pink smoothie image might look great on it’s own, but how does it look next to that pair of red Nikes you just posted? Your most recent images will be viewed side-by-side, so it’s important to consider the ‘flow’ of images and how they will look to others overall. Try alternating textures and colours to keep it fresh. 

Final note: Optimize

There are lots of websites which look at the vital stats of your posts to Instagram. You might be thinking *arghhh data*, but it’s all laid out in simple infographics that are really user-friendly. Once you have a few images published, have a look at a these sites (I personally like Iconosquare) and use the information to your advantage. Find out when your community is most active, and schedule your images (try the ‘Latergram’ app) to be published at that time. You’ll get much more engagement and visibility.

Meet Sally, a UK born Sydneysider, known in the Insta world as TheFitFoodieBlog. She began a New Years Resolution to clean up her diet in 2013, and has since lost 14 kilos, gained heaps of energy, and never looked back. She began taking snaps of her dinner and recording her recipes on a basic Wordpress site, with no knowledge that it was the humble beginnings of a health blog. Now she’s a freelance food photographer, recipe developer, magazine columnist and full time blogger at the-fit-foodie.com. She is also the proud author of Chocolate Everyday and owner of a popular range of vegan and fructose-free DIY Protein Balls. Check out her out on InstagramFacebook Twitter or Pinterest.