Do you ever wonder why your photo on Instagram gets only 15 likes, when another brand posts the same photo and gets 1,000 likes?
Perhaps they used great hashtags to get discovered or already had a large following. But maybe their version of the same photo just looked better.
On Instagram your posts compete with the 70 million other photos shared every day. Making your photos stand out in that busy stream requires creativity.
A simple photo sharing app at its core, Instagram is all about engaging images. Adding a filter, an interesting texture, or a cool overlay can get you more likes.
If you want to succeed on Instagram, your strategy must focus on sharing the best version of every image you post.
These small tweaks can lead to big results for Instagram users. Here are two of my favorite examples of accounts who have grown massive followings by creating consistent, beautiful, and unique photos.
The lighting is perfect in Carin’s photos; the sun seems to shine directly on the object in focus.
How is this possible? Carin uses different apps for filters including VSCO Cam, an app discussed later in this article. These filters give her photos that sunny, vibrant look, that feels like a movie.
This image is a wonderful example of the photos you can find on Paris in Four Months. Her choice of filter gives this image a bright and sunny feel with a fade effect, which makes the Eiffel Tower glow in the background. Without adding a single hashtag, this photo received 18,644 likes. The actual photo is the most important thing on Instagram. With thousands of photos appearing in the popular feed, bright photos tend to stand out and get clicked on the most. Images with high lightness generate 24% more likes than dark images.
A makeup artist from Los Angeles, Desi takes beautiful shots of her glamorous, smokey, and dramatic makeup looks. In every photo Desi is glowing and her skin always looks perfect.
In a YouTube video, Desi explains how she takes her Instagram photos. Just like Carin, Desi uses apps like Squareready, Camera Plus, Facetune, and LensLight to touch up her photos and add visual effects.
Some of these apps are costly, but I found plenty of free or less expensive apps with similar features.
This is one of my favorite photos of Desi. Her face looks beautiful and radiant. The first thing you notice in this shot is her makeup. Just some simple app effects, gives her face the smooth, perfect tone and glittery shine you see in this photo. Shots with filters are 21% more likely to be viewed, and 45% more likely to be commented on.
Another tip: photos taken from above looking down and focusing on one core thing, in this case Desi’s makeup, tend to do very well on Instagram. According to this iPhone photographer, Emil Pakarklis, “Central subject placement works great in square photos as long as the subject is so strong that it can stand on its own and keep the attention of the viewer.”
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take beautiful photos. With a few easy apps, you have all the tools you need at your fingertips to create the perfect Instagram photos.
Here are 7 apps that will help you to create a beautiful and unique Instagram account.
1. INSTASIZE– Resize your photos to fit Instagram standards
Instasize lets you add a white background to your photo or increase the size of a smaller photo to fit the Instagram photo dimensions. You can also add a border and different filters to your image. If you want to post images that don’t meet the regular Instagram photo size this app is your solution.
2. PICSART– Add cool effects and a punch of pizazz to all of your photos
PicsArt is a community similar to Instagram where photographers, artists, designers & more create and share beautiful images. This app empowers you to think outside the box with your photos. Use the app to add cool effects like pop art or blur, text, funky frames, and, my favorite, a lens flare. This free app is great app to add unique designs to your photos.
PicsArt also runs weekly contests to create images using their app features. Submitting images to these contests can get you discovered by your peers and featured by PicsArt.
3. PERFECT365– Get that “Kim Kardashian” selfie look for all of your facial shots
Perfect365 is the best free makeover app in the app store. The app allows you to create different looks for your face shots including natural, sweet, or dramatic. You can even take a live picture within the app and use virtual makeup to change up your look. This app is a great way to transform facial shots into CoverGirl photos.
4. PICSTITCH– Make a collage of all your favorite photos
Do you have multiple photos that you would like to share at once? PicStitch is a free photo collage maker that allows you to combine multiple photos into one beautifully framed picture. For example, that amazing day you spent at the beach taking photos. You can now combine all of those shots into one experience instead of 5 different photos.
5. AFTERLIGHT– Search through an abundance of filters and textures perfect for your photos
Instagram offers some filters for your photos but there’s only 23. If none of these filters work for the style you want on Instagram, check out AfterLight. AfterLight has 74 unique filters, 78 natural textures, and 128 frames for your photos. It is $0.99 on the app store, but definitely worth it if you’re searching for the perfect filter.
6. VSCO CAM– Add a unique filter to adjust the theme of any photo
This free photo editing app allows you to change the filters of your photo, use cropping tools, add highlight tints, try out sharpen or fade effects, and improve the quality of your images overall. You can then use the app to directly upload your images to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or to your email.
7. ROOKIE– Add unique effects to your photos, even fun stickers
A free photo editing app, Rookie offers you features to make your photos unique. You can add different filters based on a specific theme like “Vintage Classic” or “Clean Portrait”, create different textures, use stickers, shapes, and text, and my personal favorite, overlay a photo directly on top of another photo.
I hope these apps will help you in creating the photos you always dreamed of for your Instagram profile.
I’d love to hear what other apps are your favorite 🙂
Learn more social media tips in a free webinar with SEO and content marketing expert, Sujan Patel, on Wednesday, March 23. Click here to register to attend live or get a recording.
Social Media Strategist @Viraltag