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!

{ 341 comments… read them below or add one }

Prabaharan E April 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

As a big fan of instagram normally i do all the tips which you said.. Here is a extra tip for you. Install pixl-ro-matic app in that you can do amazing effects which is not in instagram. Then import that photo in instagram and do your magic. Final output amazing freaky photo for you..


dannyestrada April 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Reblogged this on dannyestrada and commented:
check out these pretty cool Instagram tips!


Tecantikan April 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

This is great! Thanks xo


Molybdenum Studios Founder and CEO April 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I may have NO Instagram, but anyways, this would be helpful! (:


guenny April 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know this until today – - – > • 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.

Thanks again! :)


Sum April 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Amazing tips! Thank you! I can’t believe I’ve been using Instagram and didn’t know about the Lux or Tilt Shift. I can’t wait to use these tips. Love your blog, too! :)


Nurse Frugal April 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Can’t wait to try these tips once I download instagram!!! Thanks for sharing!


onlytruffle April 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Reblogged this on onlytruffle and commented:
Handy! :D


jemilp April 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Cool tips!


Samantha April 22, 2012 at 12:33 am

I love this, these are some great tips :) I wondered why Lux looked so terrible on photos of people, now it makes more sense. Do you know how to do the multi-panel photos in Instagram, or is that combined with another app?

Great post, and Congrats on Freshly Pressed!


Shafiq April 22, 2012 at 1:48 am

I like you way you design & post any blog. :)


Karen April 22, 2012 at 1:49 am

Reblogged this on The Ponderings Of BlazerKaz aka Karen.


dabholkarmadhu April 22, 2012 at 2:08 am

Awsome stuff u do !!!!!


Saudi Telecom News April 22, 2012 at 2:21 am

Is that some kind of website or just an application, is that available for android?


anadventureworthtelling April 22, 2012 at 3:51 am

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! I’ve been meaning to try this out and now I have some direction.


gauravblogsdreamz April 22, 2012 at 4:06 am

very nice pics………


greglabustro April 22, 2012 at 5:07 am

Reblogged this on greglabustro and commented:
I Love Instagram!


gotmyreservations April 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

I just pinned your post on my Pinterest board. Do you get a message when that happens?


David Undetiwan April 22, 2012 at 6:16 am

Reblogged this on ッ David Undetiwan and commented:
Very useful tips and tricks for taking pictures for Instagram! I’m very pleased with this post! Wonderful done!


Sara April 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

Nice! I just shared on my facebook page.


Ashee April 22, 2012 at 7:55 am



cheeho0625 April 22, 2012 at 7:56 am

So great that I found your blog.I can upgrade my photografhy skill in no time^_^


jensine April 22, 2012 at 8:41 am

Thanks for all the tips and tricks


koalisabear April 22, 2012 at 9:03 am

Reblogged this on ladekoalisa and commented:
I found this so useful I had to reblog it!
Tout sur instagram !


valentinedee April 22, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’m really out of this loop. I don’t even know what Instagram is. But I love your blog. It’s cute and fun.



troismommy April 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

Great tips! I sometimes use the camera first, if only to have a “regular” version of a photo before I make it “cool.” LOL Unfortunately, my iphone camera doesn’t zoom anymore, and I’m not sure why. It’s like it was updated and no longer zooms. I wonder what I can do about that.
Cute blog! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!


Carissa April 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

Reblogged this on thread of inspiration.


Jen C April 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

Thanks for the tips! My daughters name is Kira. :)


Whitney Rains April 22, 2012 at 11:05 am



Hamilton April 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

I’ll definitely be saving this post for future reference.


CrochetQueen April 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

Thanks so much for the tips! I just started using Instagram on my boyfriend’s phone (I don’t have a smartphone) and I am using it for my blog pics. Now thanks to you they will be even better!


ugo4cruz April 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

Reblogged this on Olatunde411's Blog and commented:
Few tips on how to use instagram.


Quân Thạch - Vũ April 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Now my pictures will look much more awesome.
Thank you.


conquerthecity April 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

So helpful, thanks for the post!


leanneregan April 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I only just downloaded this app today so your post is brilliantly useful! Thank you :)


lamakeupholic April 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

thank’s for the tips! ;)


ordinarylifelessordinary April 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Have only just discovered Instagram… I know right?! But I love it, and have been using it to illustrate my poetry on my blog and to create story prompts for people to write from and it just makes all of it look so much cooler and user friendly. With your tips too I can just keep making it look better and better, thanks for sharing! Great blog by the way, love what you do! Congrats on being freshly pressed, you deserve it x


yablogtherapy April 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Your tips have been so helpful as I have just started experimenting with Instagram. I had no idea that I could import my camera photos onto the app. Love your blog!


thescarletnumbers April 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I’ve found these tips extremely helpful as well.


Eat Pray Photograph April 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Super cute! Love it!


sharichelle April 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Your blog looks awesome and inspiring. I installed Instagram a while back, but never really explored it. Thanks for the post :D


The Write Teacher April 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Love it! Beautiful photos, beautiful blog, kudos!


jessica.kumanovski April 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I love your post!! This made me upload a new photo of my cat using all of your tips! Especially Lux – I didn’t know about it (only just updated my app’s…oops) and it is a gem! Now i’m off to download the other apps you recommended! Thanks again :)


siponi April 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I love your post about instagram :) how wonderful! thank you for the tips! and my instagram id is tinghay :)


ashee April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Great photos looks as cool …….


Cass Leeya April 23, 2012 at 1:09 am

Reblogged this on heartconversations and commented: :)


Laura Moseley April 23, 2012 at 1:30 am

Reblogged this on Laura Moseley and commented:
Thanks Kira!


Ashagi Harahap April 23, 2012 at 2:52 am

Nice tips! I also use Tumblr as “Instagram gallery” to have better view on my Instagram post.


eighteenthousand April 23, 2012 at 4:06 am

Reblogged this on eighteenthousand.


thewinestudent April 23, 2012 at 4:13 am

Thanks Kira! I was looking for a good app for my phone pics ~ especially now that picnik is no more.
I wasn’t sure about Instagram but your pics look great!


Alexander Maxham April 23, 2012 at 4:44 am

Reblogged this on iPhone Empire.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 21 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: