How To Take Really Cool Instagram Photos? (18 Tips with Examples)

How To Take Really Cool Instagram Photos? (18 Tips with Examples)

9th March, 2021

Everyone wants to snap that perfect shot for the gram’. In our times, Instagram photos are not just regular images that you post on your timeline. They’re actually much more. From boosting self-esteem, all the way to better results for marketing campaigns and ads, knowing the tricks and tips about taking cool Instagram photos can come in handy for anyone who’s living in the 21st century. So, without any further ado, here are 18 unique tips on how anyone can snap the best photos for Instagram.

#1 – Don’t try too hard

Our first piece of advice isn’t related to the technical aspect of photography or the content of the image. In fact, it is actually linked more with psychology and your mindset behind snapping a cool pic.

If you don’t own a brand or have your own style of imagery developed, we recommend avoiding overdoing things during your early trials. If you end up trying too hard, the photos can seem fake, forced or just not cool. You probably know that confidence is linked with coolness and thus, you have to have confidence in the pic, otherwise it just won’t cut it.

So, don’t forget – it’s a photo and if the right one comes along, you’ll know. If it doesn’t, avoid getting hung up on it and wait for the next opportunity.

#2 – Master angles

If you hold the camera below your eye level while taking a selfie, it’s highly likely that you’re showing yourself from a very unflattering angle. It’s much better to take a pic from above. But, if you’re not doing a selfie, anything can work, just because...

Furthermore, you can snap selfies from the side instead of just looking dead ahead. Finally, make sure that the horizon is level and that the camera isn’t tilted. Although it’s might not always ruin the pic, but it can make things seem less stable, more random and not cool.



A post shared by Kylie 🤍 (@kyliejenner)


A post shared by t$unami 🌊 (@kellyoubrejr)

#3 – Try macroing

Macro shots are essentially pictures of something very small but from a very close distance. Macro pictures usually show things that the human eye can’t sometimes pick up. All photographers and photo artists love macro shots and some of them make it their bread and butter. A focused snapshot of a caterpillar or the tear, running down a protester’s face can create memorable imagery for your personal gallery and Instagram as well.

In order to take the best macro shots, you’ll need a smartphone with state of the art cam technology or a camera with a macro lens. Finally, pick a suitable subject and look for the perfect snapshot. It might take 100 individual pictures to find the best one, but trust us – it’s definitely worth it. Your followers and fans are definitely going to notice!

#4 – The 3x3 grid

It’s called the rule of thirds and it revolves around the philosophy of snapping a symmetrical image.

This technique encourages you to divide the frame into nine grids of equal width and height. By lining objects in the frame with the grid lines and grid points, anyone can create a lot of cool landscape and urban photos that have a professional vibe. It’s all down to symmetry and balance within the constraints of a single image.

It’s not so hard utilising it, so you should try it to see how it works for you. iPhones have a dedicated feature in the camera (called ‘Gridlines’) that is the exact same thing we’re talking about.

#5 – Avoid faking

Ads or forced content are cool every once in a blue moon. If the pic you take seems to look fake and isn’t genuine, people on social media are not going to appreciate. Regardless of how famous or iconic your personality is, if it seems fake, people will call you out and the engagement rates won’t be high.

Thus, always prefer images that were born naturally and weren’t staged or pre-arranged. They can be funny, raw, powerful or all in one.

#6 – Play around with editing

Instagram has a wide variety of in-app editing tools that you can use to enhance, saturate, de-saturate, sharpen, highlight your photos and much more. All of these tools are pretty mainstream and standard but you can greatly change the mood and look of any particular photo. There are apps with millions of downloads that do just that.

However, there are some smaller tips as to what you should and should not do with regards to photo editing for Instagram if you want your pics to look cool:

·        Avoid overexposing. Too much exposure will lead to bleak or blurry pictures that are extremely un-cool. Exposure should be managed before snapping the photo, right in the camera app. Exposure editing after the pic is taken won’t do as much although you can change things up if you need to.

·        Sometimes natural is best. Too many users get stuck on the idea that every cool photo must be polished, filtered and edited. Not necessarily. Probably the most powerful and meaning pictures in world’s history didn’t have all that much editing in them.

·        The best edits are usually minor tweaks. If you have a good-looking photo in your Camera roll or gallery, it might not need a ton of adjustment to become that cool. Most of the time, the pictures that people take only require a small tweak here and there (mostly related to colour balance and saturation) in order to become that much memorable and pop out.

·        AI editing. There are more than a handful of mobile apps which employ artificial intelligence in order to enhance photos. The AI is able to analyse the photo within the matter of 10-15 seconds and make the adjustments which should improve the lighting conditions, colour balance and similar things. It’s not accurate 100% of the time, but in 9 out of 10 cases, the AI app makes sound and on-point adjustments.


#7 – Don’t be afraid to hire professional editors

Professionals are pros for a reason. They have the tools and the know-how to make your photos pop and to squeeze the best possible result from a picture. You can either hire a photographer to snap cool images of your products, facilities or just make a personalised photoshoot. Regardless of what you hire them for, pro-level pictures and edits are definitely cool and can help with engagement rates or self-esteem!


#8 – Find a picturesque location

Taking photos during the golden hours is probably the most popular and evident choice for most of us. It can be cliché and can be not a cliché, depends on how you present it and where do you post it. Some locations like the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera, Niagra Falls and most other tourist hotspots have tons of places where you can capture the perfect moment.

However, don’t be fooled by the sheer numbers of photos that the objects we mentioned, attract. There can be even more picturesque and beautiful landscapes near your home or close to where you work. Try and find hidden gems.

#9 – Blend urban with natural

Contrasts make pictures stand out and seem cool. If you’re able to draw parallels between two completely opposite things and frame them in a single shot, you have a clear-cut gem of photography.

One of the easiest ways to contrast is to find natural spots in urban embrace. Parks, gardens and orangeries within the city limits come to mind first, but it actually doesn’t need to be as big as that. You can find a cool shot of a flower or grass growing just in the middle of the city, in a completely random location, or spot a tree, all by its lonesome, surrounded by skyscrapers or houses.


#10 – Lighten the mood

Humour is a way to cure the soul. Or so it is said. On Instagram, jokes, memes and funny content is actually the main reason why around a third of the entire user-base log on. If you only factor in adolescents and teens (people from the age of 14 to around 30), roughly 4 in 5 frequently watch jokes & memes on Instagram, Reels and/or IGTV.

Since good humour is cool and very valued on social media, you can take full advantage of things and upload funny pics. Stop frames right before a major fail, funny pet pictures or just random snapshots of something completely unexpected can definitely gain traction and engagement. Now that’s cool!

#11 – Capture personal moments

Content which gives you goosebumps is always cool. It’s easier to immerse someone in a story behind a video, since you can utilise sound and other editing technology in order to captivate the attention of the audience. With pictures, it’s a bit more difficult because a pic has to tell the whole story by itself. But you can use captions to clarify a sensitive personal story or to give background and familiarise everyone with the lore behind a particular event that you care for.

Sometimes the image doesn’t have to be the prettiest, have the best colour balance or symmetry. Sometimes it just needs to tell a story.

#12 – Recreate moments from history

If you take things seriously, you can try and recreate historical moments. This doesn’t just concern famous moments like MLK’s ‘I have a dream’ speech or Neil Armstrong standing on the moon.

You can try to find something from your youth or something from your parents’, grandparent’s youth. Recreation of such moments is magical in its own right, not to mention the nostalgia that such images can bring.

#13 – Pick and employ exciting colors

Cool photos usually stand out from the pack. Yes, you can spot B&W pictures that are incredibly meaningful, deep and all that good stuff, but more often than not, things like purple skies, red-yellow-ish sunsets, deep green grass or forests captivate our attention. Most people think that bright and bold is brave and brave is always cool.

Thus, make sure to capture something that is very colourful, by nature. You can then make only very minor tweaks to the photograph and it is going to look amazing on peoples’ feed.

#14 – Master lighting

If you’re trying to capture images on a set, make sure to think about lighting beforehand. Photographers say that the quality of a studio picture is directly linked to the quality of the lighting. It can make both people and objects look much better or much worse.

Natural light is always a benchmark, but well-lit indoor areas can also help you create memorable and cool images.

#15 – Maximize photo quality

You have probably seen blurry photos on Instagram. Poor quality is usually a direct results of reposting or not maximising camera capabilities.

Instagram has a set standard for photo uploads. It determines that the resolution of all images should be the same and thus, it upscales or downsizes your image file, accordingly. It’s always best to have the highest quality raw image file for Instagram to compress. It’s not going to be as detailed, as a 4K pic on your PC screen, but better resolution pays off, still.

#16 – Focus

Just as with the macro shots that we mentioned before, focusing is super important in imagery. When you’re trying to capture objects, you might be interested in leaving something blurry and instead, directing the attention to something in the foreground (or background).

Try to figure out how depth of field works on your camera app or on your device and try and nail the composition to accentuate the most interesting objects in the frame.

#17 – Shots from above are nice, but very mundane

You probably seen food pics and galleries from boutiques that showcase some neat and fun things from above. When they’re laid out on a surface, it’s easier to see many things in one picture, evaluate a collection of clothes, etc.

But, while these pictures are easy on your eyes, it’s highly unlikely that you remember a particular picture with such a layout. Why? Because they’re all the same.

It’s an easy composition but it has pretty much no essence and no stand-out value. These photos are easy-to-like but not cool in any way. Don’t think that by doing the same you can stand out with cool photos. Try to minimise the appearance of such shots or spice things up by creating your own layout.

#18 – Use the tools that Instagram gives you

Instagram has a ton of cool features that content creators can take advantage of to create cool images. You have pre-set filters, stickers, gifs, overlays and even collage layouts that you can use to add variety to the image that you’re posting.

If you want a pic to have more character and to be more in-tune with a particular theme that you’re aiming for, make use of the aforementioned tools and you’ll definitely hit the jackpot!