Want to be a better travel Instagrammer? There are dozens of great tips out there, and there’s more to Instagram than just slapping on a filter and calling it a day. But of the many pieces advice out there, here are six of our tried and true tips for better Instagram photos.
1. Filter at your own risk. Underfiltering is better than overfiltering, so try not to get too overzealous with Lo-Fi, okay? And now that Instagram has added so many minimalist-style filters like Gingham and Slumber, you can give a soothing tone to your images, evoking that dreamy, travel wanderlusty vibe. Want to see subtle done well?
2. Let the destination speak for itself. Simple photos that focus in on one part of a scene will almost always be more powerful than trying to capture an entire experience. Keep the construction of the photo simple, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles that’ll give new life to what might seem at first like a dull shot. Don’t try to crowd too much in; less is more, friends. The team at @barcelonaurbanadventures know this and win at capturing simple scenes that still manage to say a lot.
3. Go easy on the hashtags. Keep your tags relevant and to a maximum of about 10. It’s hard to read a sentence when every other word is a hashtag, and a tag-filled caption will take away from the amazingness of your photo. And never, ever use spammy tags like #likesforlikes and #followback — they’ll scream to the world that you’re an amateur just trolling for likes.
4. Stay focused or blur with purpose. Photos that are blurry and out of focus (as well as poorly lit) aren’t as exciting and inspiring as crisp, clean, bright photos. Your smartphone’s camera likely has an autofocus feature, but you have to give it time to find that focus before you shoot. Or, to select your focal point, tap your screen to force focus. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for blurring — when it’s intentional. If you’re trying to capture a sense of movement, or want to emphasize background rather than foreground, bring a little blur into your life. Just don’t go overboard with tilt shifting. It’s a cool feature for sure, but your entire feed shouldn’t look like a bunch of dioramas. For inspiration, check out @marrakechua‘s focal experiments.
5. Find faces. Often, the best travel photography doesn’t feature landscapes or architecture, but people. After all, it’s the people who make a destination, right? They’re the ones behind local cultures and customs, and are often the reason that we fall in love with a destination (how many times have you raved about the wonderful people you’ve met while travelling?). Just be sure to be responsible with your photography: avoid sneaking shots of people without their permission or snapping away in places where cameras are unwelcome. Check out @kathmanduua‘s Insta feed for great shots of locals living life.
6. Have fun! Don’t take it so seriously. Show the fun, hilarious, ridiculous moments of your travels as well as the stunning sunsets and pretty skylines. Travel is all about your personal experience. Anyone can take that great landscape shot, but throw a little personality in there, and it’s all yours.
What are your top Instagram tips? Share them in the comments!