How to Take Beautiful Instagram Photos

I'll admit it: I'm an instagram addict. Lately, it seems everyone has a take on how to grow a following and there are some misconceptions when it comes to creating an instagram following:

1. It's not just about the followers
2. It's not just about the likes

Sure, those things are great. But I'd rather have less followers that are engaged and actually interested in what I write about on my blog, then more that just follow me because sometimes my pictures are nice (or I'm giving them something away for free).

How to Take Beautiful Instagram Photos

P.S. The above photo was taken and edited with my iPhone. No fancy equipment!

The idea of sharing photos online has become so important. Since we are a highly visual society, we want an image to connect us to the words, or paint a picture for us in more ways than one. Around this time, last year, I was getting around 100 likes per post and not concerning myself at what kind of content I was putting out. Sure, I was editing my photos, but I wasn't doing it the right way. Now, I average about 400+ likes and, I have WAY more views on my blog, because of Instagram.

When I figured out a few tricks, it really helped to make a huge difference:

I've written a whole post about lighting for your photos before. The reason? It makes all the difference. Lighting, especially natural light, helps produce crisp, clean photos. There are lighting elements you can buy, but like the photo above, this was just natural light.   

Editing Apps.
Personally, I feel like some of the editing apps that are available for your phone are better than photoshop or any program for your computer. Here are some of my favorites:

– Afterlight – for tuning the image and adding some brightness to the image
– Snapseed – For editing elements of each photo ans spot brightening
– A Beautiful Mess – For adding text to photos (or creating word only photos)
– VSCO – For filters and the monochromatic look that so many fashion bloggers love
– Instagram – I don't use Instagram filers, but sometimes I will use their adjustment tools 

I think it's important to take a photo at a few different angles to find the right shot. If you look at my phone right after I upload to instagram, you'll notice I'll test out a few different ways to shoot the photo.

Bottom line, when you want to create a following around your Instagram that leads to people purchasing your product or reading your blog you do need one thing: engaging photos. I think part of that means taking pretty pictures, but this can differ for everyone.

Screw all this nonsense of it has to look one way or another. You choose your own aesthetic for your photos. The thing is, taking great photos is up to you. Creating an engaged following is something we should all strive for. I created a Free eBook to help you succeed, “5 Ways to Build an Engaged Instagram Following.” Download it below!



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[…] favorite source that has helped me with my photos is on the blog “Helene in Between”. I obtained two of my best apps ever, Snapseed and Afterlight, thanks […]

I love Snapseed! The way it lets you brighten selective areas lets me make photos of my dog that has a dark face much better!
The one app that I can’t live without, especially for photos taken outside or in natural light, is ColorStory! It makes a huge difference and now my photos are pretty consistent looking. I make them all bright and pretty!

Thanks for sharing all this! I took your free ecourse and loved it (took lots of notes!) And I'm seriously considering adding your course to my bday wish list. I tried signing up for your free instagram ebook (above) and it said the page didn't exist. Let me know if I missed something! Thanks girl. XO

I love this! I'm a fan of VSCO but I couldn't get into Snapseed. I'll have to try the others. Thanks for sharing!
The Rad Wife

Vsco is a big favorite of mine! I also just started using A Color Story, and may or may not have spent $8 on all of their filters…when I'm trying so hard to save money…whoops! The things we do for our blogs, am I right?

These are great tips. I am downloading all of these apps. & thanks for the free guide 🙂


I love improving my iphone photography, like you said it isn't always about followers, I love better photography because it helps capture memories. Thanks for sharing your favorite apps and editing tips girl!

I think taking a photo from a different perspective, like you said, is always so interesting. I'm one to take things the same way so often, so it's neat to see things from a different angle.

I love the pictures you take, they always look so nice. I don't do much but change the filter on IG & I should do more to make them look pretty. 🙂

I'm obsessed with Instagram! I need to step up my game!


All of these tips are so necessary to get a good IG photo! Esp good perspective! I don't use filters either but I love to change the settings to brighten, contract, and straighten

Lighting is truly so important!!

I love these tips! Do you have any tips on how to create more "insta worthy" photos? I guess I'm trying to ask like how do you post consistently, when I feel like a lot of days my day isn't worthy of a post. Ah, I don't know if that even makes sense.

Yesssss. AND your class, Instagram for Success, is a fabulous way to find out your great tips step by step. One of my blog goals for this year is to step up my Instagram game by posting better pictures. And I know I saw a few other people comment about it above, but A Beautiful Mess has their new app "ColorStory" out today & it looks pretty awesome.

I definitely need to up my game on the Instagram thing. My photos are completely random and never look that great. Thanks for the tips and the ebook!

I adore snapseed and vsco…. and some other tricks I learned fro you 🙂

Great tips! I've tried a couple of those editing apps, but I recently discovered PicTapGo and it is HANDS DOWN my favorite photo editing app. It's super simple to use and takes care of lighting, filters, adjustments — everything! Love your blog and your advice for bloggers!


Thank you for always sharing your knowledge! I think it's awesome that bloggers help each other out . . . even better is women encouraging other women! I'm excited to check our your e-book!

I'm always jealous of your Instagram game. Can I be your apprentice? Thanks so much for the e-book! LOVE.

This was super helpful thank you Helene! I have just joined Instagram and absolutely love it.

I have really been working on my instagram lately and even though it's so time consuming I really feel that it is worth it!

Afterlight is for sure my jam. When I have the time, I still will use photoshop to edit my photos, but only because I tinker with the picture less when I'm in photoshop. I just tried ABM's new app this morning and it was a WINNER. I bought all of their automatic filters which were just like their photoshp actions. Super pumped to get started using that a little more!

Snapseed is my absolute fave – so easy with every option I could possibly need!

Oh how I love instagram, and I totally agree that it's not about the number of followers but the level of engagement. Awesome tips <3
Green Fashionista

Instagram has been a challenge for me. I am going to try some of the apps you mentioned.

I found that my pics started turning out a lot better when I invested in a professional camera and a good photo editing app to change the exposure of my shots. Great advice!


Great tips! I just really started focusing on making sure my photos really stand out. I conquer that lighting/brightening a picture makes a world of difference!

These tip are a lifesaver! I just started a Instagram for my blog and these are definitely handy tips to keep in mind!

Thanks Helene! (By the way, when you click the "tweet" thing after signing up, it just says "free blog stuff>>" (or something of that nature)" and doesn't include a link or anything. Just thought I'd give you a heads up!

Love these tips! I'll definitely be grabbing that book!

This post is fabulous, and exactly what I was thinking we would write about 😉 You beat me to it! xx adaatude.com

Afterlight is my go-to. And yes, yes, yes about the lighting! I'll have to try out Snapseed though.

I always edit my instagram photos with vsco 😀

Big Dreamer

Instgram is my newest home and I'm OBSESSED with vsco!

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