Do you love sharing your pictures? Are you hoping to become an influencer who gets paid to post pics of your lifestyle on Instagram? Do you run a social media account as a part of your job? No matter the motivation, creating vivid and exciting pictures will get you more likes and improve your exposure online.

Let’s look at some tips and tricks that will take your digital photo sharing profile to the next level.

Good Instagram Posts Begin With Good Pictures.

You don’t need to have taken a photography class to be an Instagram superstar, but a little academic theory from traditional photography provides a strong foundation to support your digital photo sharing ambitions.

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Keep it simple: Cluttered photos are distracting, while good pictures have clear, strong subjects. Have an idea of what you want the focal point of your photo to be — what object do you want the viewer’s eyes to focus on?

Fill the frame: Don’t leave too much blank space around the focus of the photo. This is especially true for headshots — you don’t want your subjects noggin to look like it’s been shrunken by black magic, right?

The “middle mehs: Don’t assume that putting your subject in the dead center of the shot is a good thing. Often focusing a little away from the center in the direction of one of the four corners of the frame is going to strengthen your shot. Study up on the rule of thirds for tips on where to put the power point.

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Find the lines, naturally: Use natural lines to point your audience to the focal point of the image. When you see a fence, a winding road, or a powerline, your eyes naturally follow those lines in the image — place your subject at the end of those lines. Bonus points if those lines are diagonal to the frame.

Have fun with bold colors: Use complementary colors for creating contrast in your images — red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow — the human eye is naturally entertained by these combinations.

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Instagram-Specific Tips

Think squares: When you’re taking photos for Instagram, remember that image will end up being a square – that landscape photo may change a lot when you crop off the sides. On the other side of that coin, though, a landscape shot may give you some flexibility in where you establish your power point and dramatic lines.

Skip the flash: The flash is an overrated tool on most smartphones, so take photos in the right lighting. Dusk and dawn, which are known as the golden and blue hours, respectively, are great for capturing unique natural light. Cloudy days also provide nice, even lighting.

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Don’t bother with the zoom: Get as close to your subject as you can. The zoom function hardly ever works as well as you’d like on a smartphone. Just get in there!

Know your device: Take the time to learn about your device’s settings. Your camera may include a bunch of fun gadgets and settings. Spend some time getting to know what your smartphone is capable of.

Don’t abuse the hashtag: Yes the hashtag is a valuable tool for driving new people to see your pictures, but don’t abuse it. A perfectly good picture can be ruined by the overuse of hashtags. Pick a couple of funny tags and a couple of subject-relevant tags and run with it. If you really need to get more hashtags in there, consider uploading the photo again for a second run with the new tags.

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Good luck on your next photo shoot!