How to take better Instagram pictures

tips for better instagram photos

tips for better instagram photosI get so many questions about photography and most of them come from my Instagram friends.

I deleted my personal Facebook profile years a go, I suck at Twitter, I’m too busy to Snap all the time (but you can follow me: Paula13t ;) ) but when it comes to Instagram and Pinterest, I am obsessed. For the record, I am the type of person who can’t stand it when people overuse the word “obsessed” so if I’m saying I’m obsessed- I mean it. I think it has to do with the fact that both of those outlets are so visual, which is something that a photographer and blogger in me loves.

In today’s post, I’ll tell you all about how I take my Instagram photos and a couple of things that are very important for me- like a clean background and good lighting.

How to take a perfect flatlay


Bright pictures always look better so take your photos by the window or another place where there’s a lot of natural light. If you have a blog and most pictures in your feed are blog-related, always take your pictures during the day (especially if using your phone). The lights in your home can leave an ugly, yellow cast in your photos and colors will not look true to what they are. If you can’t find a spot bright enough to take your pictures, use a reflector to brighten it up and minimize shadows.

klarf black on black


I never use filters on my photos anymore since I noticed that pictures that are filter-free, bright, shot on clean surfaces get a lot more interaction/likes. If you take your picture in a bright place and use a steady hand, your colors and textures will already work for you, and you won’t feel the need to use a filter. If you do like using filters, you can use the scale to tone it down a little, making sure that they don’t look too intense.

blog o urodzie


This one is a must for me. I usually use my camera to take my IG shots, and even when using good settings, bright light and awesome set up, I always edit my pictures. Now, I’m going to share a little secret with you guys. Usually I just edit my photos in Photoshop, but when I share pictures that don’t come from my blog (like motds, etc) I edit them using a beauty app- an app you’d use to edit your selfies that smoothes and brightens your skin. It’s very easy to overdo it with these apps, because they make your images look overly smooth and give it that “photoshopped” loo, so you have to be careful when doing this. The app that I use is called Beauty Cam and usually I just auto adjust it on the lowest level. Here’s a before and after (these are from my phone, so they’re not the best quality, but you’ll get the point):

how to edit Instagram photos


This is also important, especially when taking “flatlays”- clean, uniform background won’t be distracting and pull focus away from your subject. I love simple, neutral backgrounds- they seem to work the best for me. Another thing to keep in mind when “styling” your shots, is not to put your subjects too close together- unless you work with perfect lighting. Otherwise it can create shadows- especially when working on simple and clean backgrounds. Having a reflector helps out a lot here too.


Are you guys as obsessed with Instagram as I am? Link your accounts down below so we can check them out!


  • Reply
    Lina Khalifa
    March 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Loved this post! I’m downloading the BeautyCam app right now! Thanks for sharing, Paula x

    Lina /

  • Reply
    Nameless Gap
    March 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Light is such an important part of my pictures, I always like my pictures to look very white and bright :)
    Paula |

  • Reply
    Giada Graziano
    March 13, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I completely agree with you!
    light is absolutely fundamental . I also try to take photos with natural light and when i can’t I use soft boxes (especially during winter when the natural light is not always so good)

    Glam Observer

  • Reply
    Ambar Syed
    March 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Lovely tips – I love using a bright background and natural lighting too – and lots of pretty props! My Instagram is @ her_little_loves if you want to check it out :)
    – Ambar x

  • Reply
    Chelsea van Egmond
    March 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I love your tips! Thanks for sharing! My account is @_jointhecreativeside

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    My instagram is, surprise surprise, @bunniesaremagic – but since it is mostly cats and squirrels I struggle less with indior lighting :) Great tips though!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Love your tips and Instagram :) my account is @darinanykl

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    These are great tips! I totally agree that lighting is crucial – I usually end up upping the brightness in most photos. I stick to a similar set of guidelines most of the time, but I still have a long way to go.

    My Instagram is @sweetspontaneity :)

    Sweet Spontaneity

  • Reply
    Paula Loreti
    March 13, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    First of all, can I say that I loved all of the items in the first picture? It made me thought of a great outfit haha. The tips were really good and I agree with the no over-filter point, a lot of times it makes the pic unreal!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    You have a very clean and beautiful feed, loved your photos. I totally agree about how much difference lighting and editing can make to a picture.

    JULIE ||

  • Reply
    Annelise Golfarelli
    March 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Yes, I love Instagram and your photos. My account is @annegolfarelli

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Fab tips. I love Insta and I’m always trying to improve my photos. I’m huge fan of clean airy pics and try not to over edit which is hard. Your pictures always look amazing
    Lisa X

  • Reply
    Ela BellaWorld
    March 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Your Instagram game is strong! Your feed is my favourite, I love how bright and clean your photos look. I mostly take my photos with my camera, since my oldie iPhone5 doesn’t seem to be enough for HQ photos :)

    Ela BellaWorld

  • Reply
    Carol Lander
    March 13, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Paula, your photography tips have been so helpful. I’ve only had my DSLR for a couple of months and I’m definitely in newbie photo land. Love your clean, bright look. @blueskykitchen

  • Reply
    Emma Bought What
    March 13, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    These are great tips! You have really nice Instagram photos x

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    What great tips! I totally agree with not using filters – I mostly just edit my photos and make them a little brighter. It’s hard because sometimes I want to share something but it’s dark or there isn’t a nice background… but I always try and make it work as I like having some sort of “theme” in my Instagram photos.

    Thanks for sharing, your photos are always so beautiful!

    Margarita Chi | MARGARITACHI.CO

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Amazing tips, thanks for sharing! There’s never enough photography tips out there so I’ll make sure to keep yours in mind! xo

    Klaudia //

  • Reply
    Samantha Frances
    March 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Since I’ve started taking my photos with natural lighting I’ve seen such an improvement in their quality! Such good tips! xxx

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    March 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I have Twitter but I feel like I kind of suck at it as well, I do love Instagram though- not yet on board with Pinterest quite yet. Love these tips and I need to get myself that app asap.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Great post. Will check out beauty cam – thanks! My Instagram is lisa__ven

  • Reply
    Serein Wu
    March 13, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I love creating product shots for the my blog and Instagram. Always admire your clean photos. Thank you for sharing your tips ❤️ @sereinwu

  • Reply
    Kierra Lee
    March 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I’m the polar opposite of you! I never have enough time to take the type of photos I want for Instagram., so I love Twitter because it’s quick and easy. But practice makes perfect so I’m making a better effort to work on Twitter! I love the white clean background as well!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I’m not a huge instagramer at all but I loved reading this post because I feel like you can definitely apply it to a lot of social media and even blogging :)

    Kathy x

  • Reply
    Kristina Wilde
    March 14, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I always love reading your posts! I’ve said it so many times but you’re an inspiration!
    Content always soo good!

  • Reply
    Conor Rees
    March 14, 2016 at 5:59 am

    A really informative and well researched article :)

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Your feed is gorgeous! I tried so many times to keep a clean & white feed but I’m so impatient that I gave up having a theme, haha. I just post any pictures but I envy everyone who has a theme for their instagram. I don’t have the patience for it haha! Yours is so lovely!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you Linda! I don’t think you need to have a “theme” at all :) I wouldn’t say that I have a theme, just really love makeup haha ;)

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for the tips, I’ll definitely be trying out Beauty Cam. Never heard of it and it seems to make a huge difference! How do you feel about different frames? Do you think all Instagram pictures should be square or would you ever use the ones with white space?

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      You’re welcome Danielle! I love it when people have different frames, I don’t think that there are any rules to that. Whatever it takes for you to express yourself :)

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Beautiful! My IG is Sophie.strout

  • Reply
    Amber But Better
    March 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I def need to up my photo game… great tips. I guess I need to spend some time practicing in daylight with different backgrounds. Thanks!

    IG – @amber.butbetter

  • Reply
    Biana Perez
    March 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I’d have to say instagram is my favorite social media channel!! Love your pictures always! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply
    Lauren Pence
    March 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Nice tips! lighting is key!

  • Reply
    Mikéla Davelyn
    March 14, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    You are so relatable and this post definitely made me laugh. I HATE it when people use “obsessed” as a filler word too. It is a good word, but so many people say it NON stop. If there are two social media sites that I am obsessed with, though, they would be pinterest and instagram as well :)

    Great tips hun!

    xo, mikéla /

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I love Instagram and your account is one of my favourites, your photos are always so beautiful to look at. Love your tips as always and will definitely try out that Beauty Cam app. Do you stick to using your professional camera for Instagram or do you ever use your phone btw? I’m mostly using my phone but think I need to get my camera out more often x

    Beauty with charm

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 17, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Aww thanks so much Alina!! I do use my phone sometimes, but I definitely take them with my camera more often.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Great tips, Paula :) I was so excited when Instagram finally gave the editing option to scale down filters! Makes any filter look so much more natural if I do decide to use one.


  • Reply
    Abi Bailey
    March 14, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Always love your photography posts, Paula, I don’t know how I managed before I bought a reflector!
    My Instagram is @abijbailey and my blog is :) xx

  • Reply
    Danielle Beautyblog
    March 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Oh I do love your photos Paula! My Instagram ain’t the prettiest but has got a bit better since I stuck my marble background down! Then I like to ruin my feed with a giveaway repost!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Your IG is definitely one of my favourites–so, so beautiful! I tried to do the marble background but it just didn’t seem to fit–so I opted for a plain, basic white background instead. I love how you make the marble look so lively and amazing!

    Vanesa | The Beauty Anecdote

  • Reply
    Jess | The Indigo Hours
    March 15, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I’m loving Instagram at the moment! Your photos are gorgeous :)
    I always tone down the filter, and I always use the same one to keep it consistent. good lighting is such a great tip, though!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  • Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I adore your photography tips they are always so helpful!

  • Reply
    Nia Nicole
    March 17, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I love these helpful posts! I’m starting to get into flatlays and taking better pics for Instagram and your blog has really helped me out! Nianicole228

  • Reply
    Paula @
    March 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    You’re welcome, thank you so much for visiting !

  • Reply
    Nereyda Gonzalez
    March 23, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Your Instagram is one of my absolute favorites! I love looking at your photos :)
    I haven’t used Instagram in a few days because I was away for the weekend and I miss it. Thanks for the tips!

    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • Reply
    Lena F.
    March 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips :) I can´t wait to try them out. xxx, Lena |

  • Reply
    Ashley Laughlin
    March 26, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Your blog is fabulous! I stumbled onto it today (I think via Pinterest) and I love it. I’m new to the blog world but I blog about beauty and books so if you want to check it out I would really appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Caitlin Louise
    June 22, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Your instagram is to die for D: Complete jealousy! Will be using these tips!

  • Reply
    Keri Hill
    July 28, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Obsessed with your styling in all of your photos-defiantly goals for me! So glad I found your blog-def a fan!(:

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    You take BEAUTIFUL photos for your blog and I really enjoyed this post. Am now following you on Pinterest. Like you, I can not tolerate Facebook as the settings were beyond me and, as a photographer, I don’t believe they protect any copyright. I do like twitter but am slightly addicted to instagram. Keep it up, girl!

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