Think about when you’re scrolling through Instagram. Dozens of images scroll up when suddenly one sticks out from the crowd. What made that happen? Why did you stop?

Like you, most users are scrolling through tons of content, most of which they likely find pretty interesting. This leaves you just a few short seconds to create something that will make them stop and read your caption. Below is our guide that countless clients have used to improve their Instagram marketing performance. 

Instagram Image Guide 101

You don’t need a high-end camera to take great photos for Instagram. In fact, most smartphones have everything you need to create great content for your feed that looks professional, consistent, and most importantly, engaging!


Minimal styles tend to perform best on Instagram. A single focal-point with depth draws a viewer in. You want to avoid busy imagery that distracts from your message. Lots of text, miscellaneous items in the shot, or competing content makes it hard for the eyes to rest on an image. Have a clear focal point to help break through the noise of a users Instagram feed. 


In photography, the rule of thirds is the golden rule when it comes to composition. The key is to divide your frame into three evening space vertical and horizontal lines, creating a 9-part grid. The goal is place the subjects in focus in the areas where the lines intersect. Having the focal point be in one-third of the image will create an interesting shot. 


If you have a newer iPhone, take advantage of portrait mode! This allows you to get great depth in an image, creating a clear focal point when your background may be a little busy. 


Adding text over an image is what we call “Risky Business!” Creating a composition is critical to effectively adding text that doesn’t compete with the image behind it. Just like the rule of thirds, it’s important to have a balance between your text and image. Often times it’s best to develop a template, which could just be text! Not all Instagram posts need to be an image per-say. A great text treatment can be part of your visual identity that feels consistent with the rest of your posts. 


We always recommend trying to shoot your photos in soft natural light. Avoid harsh sunlight – you can diffuse sunlight indoors with sheers or wait until the light is softened by not coming indirectly through your windows. Most smartphones have great editing capabilities to help lighten photos that may be too dark. You can also use this to create contrast where your images may feel too flat. Be careful not to go too extreme in your edits! 

Once you’ve given these tips a shot, check out your analytics to see what post styles are resonating the most! Feeling a little overwhelmed by it all? Check out our 3 quick tips on how to great a month’s worth of Instagram posts in one day or contact us to discuss how we can help maximize your social media.