Instagram Tips and Tricks

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on April 11, 2012

I am still obsessed with Instagram – are you? I think it’s a great way to capture small, every-day moments that you might otherwise forget. I love looking back over my photos and remembering when I took them! Here are a few tips for how to make your Instagrams shine.

Use your phone’s camera app to take your photo, then import into Instagram. The built-in camera app has way more capability than the Instagram camera, including zoom, focus, and exposure.

Bonus tip – ever had a photo turn out poorly because your subject was backlit and appeared too dark? On the iPhone, touch and hold your finger on your subject to lock the focus and exposure.

When you bring your photos in from the camera app, you will have the ability to zoom in on your subject – use it! Cut out anything unimportant in the background and showcase the details. Your photos will have so much more interest!

Lux, an enhancement feature represented by a sun icon, enhances the light in your photo. It works best on photos shot outdoors in natural light. It does not work well for indoor photos with artificial light, photos of food, or photos of people.

Tilt-shift, represented by the rain drop icon, places focus on one area of your photo and blurs the rest. You can choose either a circular focus (resize by pinching your fingers) or a rectangular focus (turn it by placing a finger on either end and spinning). Use tilt-shift to highlight one area of your photo or just add a little interest. You can also try blurring your entire photo by making the circular focus as small as you can and sliding it off to one corner.

Once you’ve applied either or both of the above features, you can apply one of the Instagram filters. To preview, tap the filter button at the bottom of your screen. Some filters have a frame attached, which you can toggle off with the frame button in the top left.

• Want to filter your photos without posting them? Switch your phone into “airplane mode” in your settings – any photos you edit will be saved to your phone.

• To quickly “like” a photo in your feed, tap twice on the photo.

• To easily reply to someone’s comment, tap and hold on their username, then click “mention user.”

• Combine the Instagram features with other apps! Check out a few of my favorite iPhone apps.

Fun web tools for Instagram:

  • Statigram: view statistics on your photos, share your photos on other platforms
  • Webstagram: view your photos and your feed
  • Instagrid: view your photos in a neat gallery format

Have any tips to add to my list? I would love to hear them!

{ 300 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele July 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

This was a great post to read! I’m so glad I stayed a while and browsed through your posts. I’ve actually been learning a lot from your posts. I’ve had Instagram on my phone for quite some time now, but hardly ever use it. It just seems so much easier to take a pic with my phone and instantly upload it to Facebook. I would actually like to use Instagram more, so I think I just might do that. =)


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Maria February 3, 2014 at 2:56 am

Hey! Nice tips ;) thank you very much! Welcome in my fashion blog


Jhanis March 11, 2014 at 12:49 am

I’ve been using instagram for a while now but have not taken advantage of those functions! Thanks!
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