8 Photography Tips for a Stunning Instagram Business Profile

Dec 12, 2016 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team
8 Photography Tips for a Stunning Instagram Business Account
Posted Dec 12, 2016 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

When used strategically, an Instagram business account can be a huge sales asset that helps you reach new audiences, showcases your products, and highlights your offerings in a compelling visual format.

And with an audience of more than 500 million active users, this platform has a large audience that’s just waiting for you to tap into.

Some online stores are already seeing their Instagram efforts pay off: According to Sprout Social, one beverage retailer grew their engagement by 37% and its followers by 15% in one quarter.

How’d they do it? By regularly participating on the platform and presenting curated, well-shot images.

And guess what? You can do this, too. In this post, we’ll explore some of the best practices that can take your Instagram business account from good to great.

Related: 8 Instagram Apps to Increase E-commerce Sales

Photography Basics

Before we jump into Instagram-specific tips, let’s first review some photography basics that will help you compose stronger images overall. Any beginner photography class would cover these tips — so speed up the process and put these to work right away.

The Rule of Thirds

Composing images based on a three-part grid can help you better compose your shots.

Here’s how it works: Imagine four lines on your visual (two horizontal and two vertical) that divide your image into nine even squares.

With the grid in mind, you can either center your shot or put your focus in one of the outer thirds. Often times, a subject that’s off center makes for a more interesting image because it forces the viewer’s eye to wander across the whole image.

Use Natural Light

Taking photos in natural light on a sunny day (outdoors or through a window) is an easy way to boost your image quality. Sometimes, indoor lighting can cast too many harsh shadows or produce discoloration.

Instead, leverage the quality of natural light by taking your images during the day and without the aid of artificial lighting.

Shoot Different Angles

Anyone can take a photo from a normal viewpoint. However, if you want to present your viewer with a more interesting image, try shooting from various different angles to see what shots give the best perspective.

Go high, low, up close, far away, and test several different side angles to fully experiment.

Once you feel comfortable with these photography basics, you can start thinking about how you’ll apply them to your Instagram efforts.

There are also a few platform-specific tips that can help improve the quality (and popularity) of images you share in this space. Let’s look at those next.

Related: 7 Ways to Use Instagram to Promote Your Store

General Instagram Photography Best Practices

As a platform that focuses on photos and video, the audience on Instagram expects a bit more in the visual department from the content producers here.

Blurry, uninteresting images just don’t stand out from the feed. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before posting a photo.

Strive for Colorful Images

To accomplish this, you can add filters to your images to enhance the color in a variety of different ways. Instagram does have some built-in filters, but you could also consider investing in an external resource like A Color Story and VSCO, which are just a few of the many affordable, high-quality options. A great example of a colorful, visually appealing Instagram feed can be seen from online decor retailer Everingham and Watson:

Everingham and Watson

Everingham and Watson

Curate Your Posts

It can be tempting to post just any photo you take, but some of the best Instagram business accounts are ones that carefully select their photos.

To better curate, take many different photos and only post the best one from the bunch. Also, make sure your content has an overall theme or aesthetic to create a more cohesive look and feel.

Last, but not least: A good rule of thumb is to always ask yourself: Is this photo serving a purpose? Take a note from the curated page of Vitality Tap’s Instagram account:

Vitality Tap

Vitality Tap

Highlight Your Products

Your business Instagram account should include a good mix of well-composed product photos to spotlight your offerings.

However, rather than just sharing your website product photos with a white background, use this platform as a place to express your inner photographer.

Show your products in use and/or in interesting context, like AFOUR Custom does:

Afour custom

AFOUR Custom

Use Interesting Backgrounds

Create more eye-catching visuals by ensuring your shots have an interesting, colorful backdrop. While your background doesn’t have to be in focus, it should add to the overall quality of the image — not detract from it.

Think about both the foreground and background when composing your photos, like the Galapagos Conservancy does on their Instagram account:

Galapagos Conservancy

Galapagos Conservancy

Include Yourself in the Mix

It’s also a good idea to include yourself as the shop owner in the mix of photos you post from time to time.

This helps your audience come to better know the face behind the brand, and allows them to connect with you on a more personal level.

Give your followers a peek behind the scenes and show them what you’re up to with your business. Jana Spring, founder of the FunTone shop, shares her travels and event appearances to update her audience on what she’s been doing.

Jana Spring

Jana Spring

With your basic photography knowledge and these platform-specific tips, you can dramatically improve your Instagram account.

In turn, this can help build brand recognition with your target audience, drive sales, and help you reach new customers around the world.

Step Up Your Instagram Business Account

With the year drawing to a close, now is the time to start thinking about what changes you want to make to your Instagram efforts for the year ahead.

Think about it: You can’t afford a sloppy Instagram account for your business–it’s a poor representation of your brand, and you as the store owner.

Put these tips to work and strive to continually improve your photos on Instagram. As a result, you can grow your following on this platform and can come to be thought of as a leader within your niche.

Read also: How to Become Instagram-Famous In an Algorithm-based Feed

About The Author
Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

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