YOU’VE got a really nice picture that’ll get your Instagram friends jealous.

You post it after applying a filter, and with a witty caption. But wait, why are there so few likes, still?

You, my friend, need help with upping your Instagram game even more. Tip number one: Don’t just throw on XX Pro or Valencia.

We know how to get your photos in tip-top shape for social-media. More to the point, there are easier ways to get more likes on Instagram – and more importantly, do the pictures justice.

How to better take: Food photos

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When it comes to delicious food, we totally get it — the whole damn universe needs to know how tangy your raspberry jam tastes.

The only rule of thumb you need to know here: Never, ever, use artificial lighting. For your food photos to look good, the light cast on them has to be soft. With that being said, avoid flash and rely more on natural lighting.

To make things easier for yourself, take the outdoor seating when you visit cafés next time — just so you won’t have to resort to the horrors of flash photography.

How to better take: Flat lays

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Flat lays are part and parcel of lifestyle photography. Sure, it takes a lot of effort, but everyone is appreciative of an aesthetically gratifying photo. You’ve probably tried it before, only this time you’re going to do it better.

You’ll need to choose a theme for your photo. An example: If you’re taking a photo of stationery, gather props like staplers, notebooks and even a laptop to decorate your canvas. For simplicity’s sake, have your items stick to a consistent colour template as well.

The styling gets tricky, but practice makes perfect. The above two examples are different variations, the food one staying consistent with only circular shapes, whereas the stationery shot has more of a grid layout.

If you’re not satisfied, feel free to move items around to create a shape that speaks to your inner artiste.

How to better take: Landscape photography

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Take a quick look at your Instagram timeline — you’ll realise no one really uses the Boomerang feature anymore. It no longer generates the same kind of interest; frankly speaking, it’s gotten tacky.

Now, imagine taking awesome landscape shots. Then imagine them in motion — the wind whispering through trees, stars shooting across the night sky; it’s akin to being there yourself.

If you’ve always wondered what these are called, we’re talking about fascinating cinemagraphs: GIF animations with small elements in motion while the rest of the picture remains stationary.

Loopsie is a neat little app that gives you both freeze and animate options in your cinemagraphs. In both repeat and bounce manners, you can choose to make the video repeat from the start after finishing or play it backwards instead.

Available on iOS and Android.

How to take better portraits (of yourself)

This part is where we address the harsh reality of photo-taking. We’ve all been there — we take amazing pictures of our friends, sometimes bending over backwards (literally, too) but what do we get in return?

We shall bear this burden no longer. It’s time we take our photos into our own hands; for a dope portrait of yourself, it’s best to learn from the pros.

Mango Street is a creative photography duo on Youtube. In this video, they give you tips on how to pose photos — using symmetry and angles to give your portraiture that extra ‘oomph’.

No matter for those feeling uninspired about modelling; your Instagram feed is about to ascend from rags to riches.


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Where to get the best filters

Truth be told, Instagram filters are no longer the same XX Pro and Valencia from 2012, but the only place they belong now is in the Chainsmokers song. If everyone is using the same presets, your photos aren’t going to stand out.



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This is one of the most popular photo-editing apps you can find on Google Play or the App Store today, with a minimalistic interface with easy-to-use tools that make creating editorial-like images a breeze.

In its ever-expanding preset collection, popular ones include Vsco’s collaboration with fashion editorial Hypebeast; its HB1 and HB2 that give you the perfect edit for your hypebeast looks.

For a more natural ‘no-edit’ look, pick presets like F2, K1 and N1 for a brighter image with fresh white tones.

Available on iOS and Android.

Lightroom CC

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For fanatics who wish to go full throttle on photo-editing, Adobe has a mobile version of it’s Lightroom colour-grading software available.

Whatever you can think of, they have it: Colour mixers, curves and bulk edit features; you can even create a preset of your own and save it for future use.

We wouldn’t say this is exactly editing on-the-go, but if it’s how to get more likes on Instagram photos, then isn’t it all worth it?

Available on iOS and Android.

written by.
Elvin Ng
Elvin is a writer dabbling in the fashion, travel and culture beats. When he isn’t blogging about his latest adventures, he’s most definitely hunting down the latest and biggest sales in online shopping.

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