Instagram photos are all the rage these days. If you don't have the app, you seriously need to get it, because it's awe-some. You can make a boring old ice cream cone look like a work of art. Or yourself look like a supermodel (filters!). It's, in my opinion, the best form of social media, and everyone needs to be using it.
Now. Despite Instagram's ability to make the totally mundane sublime, there still are ways to kick your photos up a notch. Here are 7 ways to make a good Instagram photo great.
1. Take photos at dusk or at dawn. Dusk or dawn is always an especially gorgeous time, but in Instagram photos, it's somehow even prettier. (Bonus: You can use #nofilter.) The middle of the day is never a great time for photo-taking, as direct sunlight can create harsh shadows.
2. Use other photo apps in conjunction with Instagram. You don't have to just use the Instagram filters when posting a photo to your account. Try softening things up with an app like Cross Process, or crop photos into cool geometric shapes with Krop Circle.
3. Double filter. Here's a secret: You don't have to post a photo to Instagram in order to use the filter. If you put your phone in "Airplane" mode when filtering and cropping a photo, it won't load to your Instagram account -- but it'll be saved in your photos. You can then take said pic and filter it again before posting it to Instagram. The effects can be amazing.
4. Don't center the thing you're taking a photo of. Whether it's a picture of some artisan jam you picked up Red Hook, Brooklyn, or a photo of you and your baby against a concrete wall, align to either the right or the left of the screen. Something about it just looks fancier. Look:
5. Take photos with your phone's original camera. Some say that taking a photo from your stream and then Instagramming it is the way to go. That way, you have a "clean" photo to work with, as opposed to one through the smaller lens that is the Instagram camera.
6. Get the details. Instead of taking a photo of the big, beautiful tree you're standing in front of, try taking just a picture of one of the details. And you can use an app like Pic Frame to put two or more photos into a collage.
7. Try LensLight. Some think bokeh is a bit cheesy, others love it. If you're in the latter group, try the LensLight app. You'll be able to add starbursts, hearts, and sparkly-looking light things to your photos. Not recommended for every pic, but once in a while, it's kind of cute.
What Instagram tips do you have?
Images via Nicole Fabian-Weber