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11 Instagram Tips for Beginners

Are you ready to take your insta to the next level but just don't know where to start or if you even have the right tools and talents? Well, I'm here to tell you that you do. Do you have a smartphone? Then, congratulations! You are ready to begin!

And if you don't think your talented enough, don't fret. Photography is a skill that is learned. However, you do need to constantly be practicing it if you want to get to that professional-looking level. The nice thing about this hobby, is that it's almost meditative. So while you're honing in on your skills, you're also practicing some self-care. It's also a great way to get out of your shell and connect with people (especially if you're more of an introvert, like me).

Tip #1 - Don't take pictures on the Instagram App

Use your own phone camera to take pictures. You phone camera is able to take much sharper photo's and most phones now have great tools to make your photo's look even more professional. Whether it's "portrait mode" or the grid setting, your photos will look far more professional than what Instagram is able to offer.

Tip #2 - Post a photo every day

Give yourself a challenge to post at least one photo every day. Figure our what your vibe is (pastels, black & white, rainbow, etc.), and stick to that theme. Once you start posting regularly, you will see your Instagram community start to grow. A word of advice when just starting out though; don't worry about the likes and comments. Growing your portfolio is far more important than the external validation you will be receiving in the beginning.

Tip #3 - Tell your story

People love to see the story behind the photo. Post photos that are meaningful to you and that will keep your audience engaged. If you already have an Instagram, then guess what? You're already a content creator. People are going to be checking out your photos and will be reading your stories, so make them captivating.

Tip #4 - Be passionate about your subjects

If you love cooking, focus on photographing food (both finished products and ingredients). If you love gardening, get outside and take a photo of your garden every day. If you're into makeup, line up your lipsticks and get creative. You need to be passionate about what you're creating though.

Tip #5 - Find the right lighting

Play around with the sun. Doesn't it provide beautiful effect at different times of the day? Dawn is the perfect time to photograph your coffee on the kitchen counter. While dusk is a beautiful time to get outside and photograph nature. Play around with different types of lighting.

Tip #6 - Find your tribe

People love connecting with other people who share the same interests. How nice is it to connect with someone who "was trying to get that same shot!"? So, in order to "find your tribe", you need to make sure you get out there and start commenting & liking other people's work that is similar to your own. How do you find people who's work is similar to your own? Hashtags. Which brings me to our next few tips.

Tip #7 - Be specific in your hashtags

I know, I know. Hashtags can be so cringe. But like it or not, they are a necessary part of growing your Instagram. Hashtags will organize your photos into specific groups that others will be able to find when searching those words. So while you can be broad with writing #CakeDecorating, something like #LegoCake, #MiniFigs #Birthday and #LegoParty will help bring in a more specific audience.

Tip #8 - But don't get carried away with the hashtags

You never want your hashtag section to be longer than your caption. An endless stream of hashtags screams "desperation". Try to keep the #'s to a maximum of 10 per post.

Tip #9 - Short and sweet hashtags

Don't make your hashtags too long. The longer the hashtag, the smaller the chance it will have of being found. So instead of saying "#WoodenWordGrateful, just write #Grateful

Tip #10 - Capitalize each word in your hashtag's

You don't want people to have a hard time figuring out what you're trying to say. So make it easier #ByHashtaggingLikeThis and #notlikethis.

Tip #11 - Build a lazy-day stash

Have a few edited photos on hand for when you want to post but don't necessarily have the motivation to find something to photograph. And if you're on the fence about whether you should post something or not, take a step back for a few hours and then revisit it with fresh eyes. Sometimes we need a little time away to figure out if something is "post-able" or not.

Congratulations. You are now... a photographer!

And always remember....

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