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The Non-Photographer's Guide to Capturing Stunning Instagram Photos

Photography is a tricky subject to decode. It takes actual professional photographers years, effort and time to perfect their skills as a visual story teller.

But here's the thing...

You don't have to be a professional photographer yourself to capture stunning instagram-worthy photos. You just need a little foundation and a minimal basic know-how on how to take good instagram photos yourself.

I've got good news for ya...

You can shoot amazing photos with nothing other than your phone. Technology has seriously bested us and it's slowly becoming easier to post professional photos on instagram.

The thing about instagram is...

If you don't have stellar beautiful instagram photos, you're lowering the chances of someone hitting that follow button.

By posting perfectly curated photos, you'll be able to create a beautiful instagram feed that attracts more and more followers.

Here are 4 super simple steps that will guide you on how to take instagram photos like a pro (with just your phone).



Lighting is one of the most crucial things for good photography. You don't want your image to be either over-exposed or under-exposed.

You want to aim for that lighting sweet spot, and it's almost always achieved through natural lighting.

Good and Bad Lighting

Unfortunately, I live in an apartment where I don't have a whole lot of natural light going on but I'm still able to manipulate the light to my advantage by sitting next a big window that brings in as much light as possible.

A few general tips here:

  • Avoid harsh lights because it could kill details in your photo

  • Be mindful of the shadows (unless you want it there for artistic purposes)

  • The golden lighting times are either during sun rise or sun set



How you composition your photo could alter your visual story. You need to follow a technique called the rule of thirds by aligning your photo to flatter it well.

The rule of thirds is a guideline for your subject placement. This refers to what you want your viewers to focus on?

Think of the rule of thirds as intersecting horizontal and vertical grids where you'll place your subject either in the middle, right, left or top, bottom.

So here are some examples:

You'll see that you can composition your photos in various layout to make it more visually engaging and that's generally what you want to aim for.



If there's one thing I'll strongly recommend; it's to really take some time to style your photos and adding some props.

The difference between a good instagram photo and a bad one, is that good photos grabs you because it tells a visual story and when you add props you help tell that story.

The good news is, you can literally find a million different props already laying around your home. Anything from: tea mugs to a bouquet of flowers to even a simple pen - these are all things you can use in your photo to tell your story.

I use props at ever corner I can...

Here's an example:

In this photo, I was obviously trying to showcase the henna design, however, I took it a step further by adding complimenting henna things like:

  • Henna cones

  • A small pair of scissors

  • A sealant bottle

  • and a Notebook

This makes the photo so much more interactive and engaging, rather than just showing the henna design off alone.



There's not a single photo that I post in my instagram feed that is not edited. Not only does editing seriously enhance your photo a ten fold, but it's one of the easiest ways to create a seamless instagram account.

When you have a consistent editing routine through-out your photos, you'll slowly start to realize that your photos are following a specific theme. You'll find that you favour one colour tone over the other or that you prefer bright photos rather than the dark ones.

Whatever your editing process looks like, you MUST edit all your photos to be able to post professional looking photos on instagram.

To edit my own photos I use amazing apps like: Adobe Lightroom, Facetune and SnapSeed.

Here are a few comparisons for you:




Photography will truly make or break your instagram account. One of the fastest ways to grow your instagram following is by making sure you're posting beautiful instagram worthy photos. The whole point of instagram is to be both social and visual.

For good photography you'll need to adhere to:

  • Good natural lighting: aim for the Golden hours (which are either sun rise or sun set)

  • Composition and Layout: by following the rule of thirds to put focus on your subject

  • Styling and Props: that helps you tell a visual story

  • Editing: to enhance your photos to a whole other ball park


1 Comment

Hi all. Great guide! I am a photographer from the USA, so I appreciate this kind of content. I'm just getting started in stock photography and looking for good white brick wall images to use in my portfolio, and I found some great stuff on Depositphotos. I especially like the uniqueness and creativity of these photos. And I can use them in different ways. Thank you Depositphotos and thank you for your advice!

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