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I am an Instagram addict. Partially because I am taking a March Insta-a-day challenge, but also because I love how fun the simple shoot and choose a filter is. This allows even the most novice photographer to bring out their inner Anne Leibowitz. However, many individuals aren’t using Instagram the best way they can. The features available on Instagram to make your photos look amazing aren’t always utilized as much as they should. Today, I will show you five tips on how to take amazing Instagram photos.

Choose Photos Wisely

One mistake of novice instagramers is that they choose to instagram any photo that first comes to mind. One way to garner more likes, and most importantly more followers, is to take a photo of something you’d “like” if someone else posted it. If you love animals, take a creative photo of you cat or pet (pet photos are a favorite on Instagram). If you love nature, take quality photos of trees and flowers in the spring, snow and winter themes in the winter months. It will show how much thought you put into your photos which, in the end, keeps your audience coming.

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Apps Can Help

A secret that many popular Instagram users have is to make use of other apps that deal with photos. Applications like Camera+ can make your already nice photos pop even more before they can have the finishing touch of a filter. They can also make some great changes to mistakes made when taking the photo, some that you can’t change in Instagram. For example, while Instagram does have an option to adjust brightness, it can sometimes be a little too hard on some photos. Applications can help you have more control.

Create Depth of Field

Instagram allows you to add the “blur” to your photos. This is professionally known as depth of field and it allows you to draw the focus to the subject in your photo. Instagram has this option at the top area of the screen when choosing filters. This effect gives your images a professional finish and can make it easier for your audience to draw their attention to where you want.

Make Use of Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter. They are a great way to not only discover, but have your photos discovered by more individuals. If you are unfamiliar with hashtags, they are the things you see next to a keyword (#) and are immediately picked up by a search tool. With Instagram, the keywords are grouped with other photos of the same keyword and are given a dedicated page for that keyword. This also is a great way of starting a trend on Instagram. For example, #marchphotoaday is a trend on Instagram with hundreds of thousands of images with this hashtag.

Add Location

Lastly, a great way to make use of Instagram is by adding your location to the image. This should be done only safely, for example not tagging your home address. But it’s great for places like a park or other public location. When you tag the location, it’s grouped with other photos taken there. This is great for individuals interested in visiting that area but not sure how it looks or what to expect.

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