If you want to make a big impact on Instagram, then you need to know how to take great looking photos – it’s that simple. Instagram is an entirely visual medium and in order to sell your value proposition and to stand out as a top creator, you need photos that immediately grab attention and that look the part.
Partly this comes down to your own ability to take great looking photos. But it is also a matter of your hardware; meaning your camera, your lighting and more. Just because Instagram is primarily an app that you run on your mobile phone, that doesn’t mean that every photo you take need to be made with your smartphone camera!
Let’s take a look at the best equipment for growing your Instagram account and how to create your own set-up.
Some of the time you are going to be using your phone camera to upload to Instagram. There will always be a place for these kinds of photos because you are always going to have occasions when you want to quickly take a photo of something but you don’t have a professional camera to hand. Taking photos on your smartphone is simply quicker and easier too, which means you’ll be more likely to keep a consistent and steady flow of content coming to your channel.
Getting a cameraphone that has a relatively high pixel count is one good way to do this. You can also benefit from a wide-angle lens and other features like manual focus for when you want to create macro effects (where the subject is in high definition but the background appears blurred).
But when you have the opportunity, it will always be better to use a DSLR camera or a bridge camera and to pick something that will let you play with your shutter speed, your focus, your ISO and more. All this will help you to create more stunning effects and all your photos are going to appear crisper and more high quality – as they belong on the cover of a magazine.
Cameras are not everything when it comes to taking photos on Instagram though. What’s also highly important is the lighting equipment and a well-lit photo is always going to look considerably more professional than a poorly lit one.
A great way to get good lighting is with a ‘softbox’, which will enable you to increase the contrast in any photo without making it look overly bright. Try to light objects from the side for more interesting shadows and a more dramatic effect.
Another tip is to consider getting colored lighting, which you can achieve with bulbs from LifX or Hue. These can create some very attractive effects that will look great if you are taking photos of products – especially if you can place them onto a clean and somewhat reflective surface such as an oak desk.
This is something else to consider: the props, backdrops and other elements that you can bring into your photos. These don’t have to cost a lot of money but a few of the right props can make your photos much more exciting!