Using Instagram can be a great way to promote your business. As of 2021, the social media giant has amassed approximately one billion users, giving business owners a huge audience to tap into. And on Instagram, it’s all about visuals. Since the platform primarily focuses on images, business owners who want to stand out need to create a unique visual identity through the art of photography.

Below, we list a few different ways businesses can take engaging Instagram photos to drive social media engagement.

Choose the right camera

To get started, you’ll need the right device to take photos with. If you’re planning on using complex photography techniques like action shots or low-light photography, then you would need to invest in a professional camera with accessories such as However, your trusty smartphone camera will suffice for ordinary photographs.

Modern smartphones are manufactured with high-density PCBs (or printed circuit boards), which means they can support a lot of complex activities. This is not something we typically concern ourselves with regarding day-to-day use, but it is essentially how phones are able to take high-quality photos that are in some cases indistinguishable from those taken with mid-range digital cameras. Apple, Samsung, and Huawei are all known to produce smartphones with particularly powerful cameras.

Photos captured on smartphones like these are also more suitable for Instagram than photos captured by DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. Instagram comes with automatic image compression, which cuts down the image quality of larger files. Since images taken using smartphones make for smaller file sizes to begin with, Instagram is less likely to compromise their quality.

Find good lighting

Good lighting plays a key role in capturing quality images. When it comes to smartphone photography, having an external lighting mechanism (or good natural light) will always produce better results than using flash. The best time to take photos is during the “golden hours,” which occur just after sunrise or just before sunset. During a golden hour, the sun’s light will be at just the right brightness, neither too harsh nor too weak, which can give your photos a sort of natural warmth and clarity. Wall signs from somewhere like the Neon Mama online store can provide additional lighting if needed, as well as add a fun decorative effect. By prioritizing good lighting, you can capture photos that properly display your subject.

By prioritizing good lighting, you can capture photos that properly display your subject.

Follow photography composition rules

As the art of photography has evolved, photographers have developed a set of compositional rules individuals can use to make scenes more compelling. Such compositional guidelines exist to create a balance between visual elements, and to draw the viewer’s attention to the most important parts of a photograph.

Credit: Rule of thirds photo licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

One of the most basic compositional techniques is the rule of thirds. To follow the rule of thirds, you must first divide your image into nine equal parts using two vertical lines and two horizontal lines. When capturing your photo, position your subject or the most important elements of the scene along one of the lines. The result will be a photo that feels more balanced.

Find a good editing software

If you’re not entirely satisfied with how your photos turn out on the first try, some tweaks in post-processing might add the pop you’re looking for. But editing isn’t just about fixing your mistakes. It can also be used to customize a photo –– whether that means altering which colors stand out, making images darker or brighter, or something else of this sort. Crucially, if you apply similar editing styles to all your photos, you can unify them under a single cohesive aesthetic.

Smartphone users can download one of many available photo editing apps to improve their photos in post-processing. Free apps like Snapseed, Picsart, VSCO, and Adobe Lightroom all come with interesting features like artistic filters and color correction options, which you can use to make your images look more fun and vibrant.

Posting visual content on Instagram can be a great way to expand your business’s reach. Improve the quality of your Instagram photos by selecting the right devices, lighting, compositional techniques, and editing software.


I'm a writer on a mission to help businesses and brands find their voice, feel important and light up the world by delivering a real message.

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