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5 ways to boost your Instagram photography

January 7, 2019

It’s been a little while since I wrote an Instagram related post so when I sat down on my sofa this evening, mermaid blanket and cuppa tea in tact, I thought it was about jolly time I did.

Instagram is by far my favourite social platform. Combining my love for photography, creating scenes and engaging with others alike it’s just the perfect platform for me.

Now don’t get me wrong Instagram has its flaws , I only need to mutter the word algorithm to send chills down any bloggers spine but nevertheless I still adore it.

I’ve written my fair share of blogs about Instagram over the time I’ve been doing it, I’ve spoken about growing your followingthe best apps to use, my favourite bloggers using Instagram stories and more.

And I’m not done yet!

I’ve been seriously Instagramming for just over a year now, and I think over that time I’ve learnt a hell of a lot.

Not just about Instagram as a platform itself but how to take the best quality photos which I believe fit perfectly well into my feed.

If you don’t believe me, here’s the evidence:

November 2017

esther instagram feed

June 2018

june 2018 instagram feed

November 2018

esther instagram feed

Without sounding too much like a big headed boaster I am so proud of how far my feed has come.

From the quality of my content to the fact I now have some cheeky little #ad captions popping up, you can see how much things have changed and how much I’ve grown in a year.

Ok, boasting time over, it’s time to share some top tips.

Here are the five rules I follow for capturing content for Instagram:

(FYI, I take all my photos on my iPhone 7plus which is what I’m referring too with these tips)

1. Once is never enough

You know when you hear about bloggers camera feeds being filled with 50 versions of the same shot? That’s honestly not a lie. If I’m taking photos that I’ve set up, for example a flat-lay, I will never leave the session with less than about 50 snaps. My future self might hate me for it (the tedious task of clearing out the camera role looms), but it’s so worth it to get the shot.

The benefit of taking a huge number of snaps from different angles is that you can look back afterwards and choose your favourite. Nine times out of ten the angles I think are going to work out best aren’t actually the best. And that’s where it’s great to have a bit of choice. So snap away beauties and let your future self clear up the mess!

2. Move it, move it, move it

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had this experience. I’m referring again to if I’ve set up some bits for a photo, for instance if I’ve done some baking, or I’m creating a cosy bath shot. There are so many times when I’m there getting so frustrated because what I imagine could look good in my head just isn’t panning out the right way.

You know what my top tip for this is? Move every single item around. It’s difficult I know because you’ve probably worked so hard on an arrangement you feel like is going to look fab, but if it’s not working out it’s time to try something new. Every single time I’ve done this I’ve gone on to create a snap I absolutely love, so don’t be afraid to scrap arrangements and start again.

3. Make the light your best friend

Never in my wildest daydreams did I think I would get to a stage where I would be so angry at the weather. I mean don’t get me wrong everyone knows I struggle with the cold, but what’s even more frustrating is getting up on a day you’ve planned to take photos and realise the sun is covered in thick, dark, grey clouds.

One thing that is so important for creating high quality Instagram content is capturing the right light. Personally, I like all my photos in daylight. On the odd occasion I’ll post a cosy little evening snap but the majority of the time I stick to the daylight because I like the crispness it gives the imagery and I keep my feed looking pretty bright.

Depending on what you’re going for I would say stay consistent with your lighting. If you are going for a bright feel like me, find a spot in your house you know you get some natural light, and when you’re out and about taking photos, try and avoid glaring sunlight.

Its finding the balance between dark clouds and sharp sunlight which can sometimes be a challenge, but once you get consistent with the levels it will balance out your feed in a lovely way.

4. Keep it clean

Ok this may sound like the most basic tip out there but I believe it can make a huge difference to the quality of your photos: Keep your camera lens clean!

There is absolutely nothing worse, and believe me I’ve had this experience, than taking shed load of photos and looking back on them to realise you’ve got a big blur across the photo from the fish and chips you ate the night before.

Before every photo session I give my camera lens a very quick wipe and it can improve photos dramatically.

5. Take a step back

One thing I find really interesting is looking back at my photos from previous months.

I look at what has worked well, what I like the look of, or what I wouldn’t want on my feed again. If there is something I still really love the look of I will use it as a template for other photos.

If you’re feeling super proud of a cosy flatlay, why not use the same set up again? Just mix up the items your photographing!

It’s kinda like what I did here:

View this post on Instagram

Sunday evening rule book 📚 Tea ☕️ biscuits 🍪 candles 🕯 fluffy socks 🧦 and endless Netflix movies 🍿 how are you spending your Sunday evening? 💖✨

A post shared by Esther Wyse (@estherruthwyse) on

I took this photo, realised how much I loved it then recreated a similar version when autumn time came around.

View this post on Instagram

I can almost see it, I can almost smell it, i can almost feel it…the weekend is SO close people and I have been ready since Monday 🤷🏻‍♀️🙌🏼 how’s your week going so far? 💫 it’s been a busy one my end so I’m taking some time this evening to switch off and chill out 💤 Disney movie: CHECK ✨ chocolate mouse: CHECK 🍫 cosy boyfriend: CHECK 💖 have a lovely evening 💫✨

A post shared by Esther Wyse (@estherruthwyse) on

There’s no shame in creating content you know you love and you know your followers love, just make sure things don’t get too samey.

Wow, that was a quick 1000 words! If only I could have written that quickly at uni…

Boost instagram photography pinterest graphic

Anyway, I really hope some of these tips have helped you in some way, and I would LOVE to hear if you have any! If you’d like to follow me on Instagram you can find me just here.

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17 responses to “5 ways to boost your Instagram photography”

  1. Awesome tips Esther! I loved the one about changing up your items for a shoot when it’s not coming out the way I planned. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me but I honestly never thought of re arranging the placement of the items!

    • estherruthwyse says:

      Thank you Amanda! I’m so glad you found the tips helpful. Oh yes I do that almost every single time I do a shoot! Xx

  2. I loved reading this Esther! Light is very much my best friend when I’m doing blogging photos and I do take A LOT of photos, especially flatlay’s! xx

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  3. newgirlintoon says:

    Loved this! I’m with you, a complete Instagram addict! My local blogging friends don’t get it, as the most frustrating platform they really don’t get why I love it so much!

    OMG I take SO many photographs of the same thing, then I drive Simon mad by asking him to pick between 10 identical photos because I just can’t decide which to post.

    HA HA!!!!

    • estherruthwyse says:

      Really?! It’s definitely where I spend most of my time 🤷🏻‍♀️ and yours is FAB! Hahah me too, I hate trying to decide 🙈🙈

  4. These are some great tips! Personally I definitely need to remember to clean my camera lens more often… :’D Your feed is looking beautiful by the way – so light and airy! x

  5. Julia says:

    Loved this! It was super helpful and I think moving things around repeatedly is such a key thing. I’d say 99.9% of the time what I think will look nice never actually does look good on camera, even though it might to my eyes!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • estherruthwyse says:

      I completely agree! Sometimes it can just take one movement to make the photo what you want. Thank you so much I’m so glad you liked the post! Xx

  6. Beka says:

    I needed this so much right now! I’ve seriously neglected Instagram since starting my blog last year, and I want to change that and utilise it a lot more! I love scrolling through other bloggers Instagram feeds (including yours 😍) and I’m in awe of how beautiful their photography is – envious might be a better word! Thank you for sharing these tips, Esther ❤️

    Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com

    • estherruthwyse says:

      Aw I’m so glad they are helpful and thank you for such a lovely comment. I know it’s so hard not to compare isn’t it?! You’re welcome, hopefully they really help! Xxx

  7. Blue DeBell says:

    These are very helpful tips! I haven’t started using my own photos for my blog (which is still a wee baby) because I am afraid of the way the content is going to turn out. BUT I just bought a tripod and bluetooth remote and have my first shoot planned for this weekend, well weather permitting of course.

    • estherruthwyse says:

      I’m so glad you find them helpful! That’s so exciting – I think using your own content is the best way to make it look unique 🙂

  8. Em says:

    I’m totally with you! Some really sound advise, and some things that had never popped into my head!

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips with us!

    Em x

    http://www.emsworld.co.uk

  9. Omg, you’re totally right w/ #1, the shots/angles that I plan almost never end up being the photo I choose LOL. I’m glad I’m not the only one.These are genuinely good tips that are helpful. I think I’ll try your tip on using the same concept for a photo but switching out the items.
    Great post Esther!

    xx, Des | https://www.itsbetterinheels.com/

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