Instagram is an entirely visual outlet. That being said, the picture itself is vital. Poor pictures equals a poor feed, and a poor feed equals fewer followers. If you are interested in growing a brand or visual story with an engaged following, then there are a few tips and guidelines to improve your photos and get results.

  1. Steer clear of Instagram’s filters. These filters worked a few years ago when Instagram was new, but now they make the photo look dated. Instead, check out Instagram’s new photo editing system! You can brighten, change contrast and saturation, and much more. It’s easy and can help you tweak your photo without ever having to leave the app.
  2. Utilize photo editing apps. If you are willing to take a small amount of extra time, I promise that this will pay off (I know from personal experience!). Using specifically designed editing apps can completely change the look of your photos. My favorite to use is Afterlight. It’s a dollar in the app store and quite honestly is one of the best dollars I ever spent! It allows you to edit your photos with photoshop-like features. Snapseed is another popular editing app. I don’t use this one as frequently, but it’s great if you need to brighten or darken one part of an image.
  3. Develop an editing formula. Using a similar pattern while editing all of your photos will help your feed stay more consistent. Find what works for you and stick to it as best you can. For example, my standard formula is 1) change saturation 2) brighten 3) change contrast. And I do it with every photo. Now some need some extra tweaking here and there of course, but keeping a consistent pattern will help.
  4. Keep images light and bright. Instagram users tend to love photos that are filled with light and color. I always brighten my photos a little in the editing process.
  5. Follow people whose feeds inspire you. Get an idea of exactly what imagery you like and what is true to you, and then play around with editing apps to get the same feel for your photos. I draw inspiration from several accounts; I use them as a model for how I want my feed to look, and I edit my photos accordingly.

Here is a list of several Instagram accounts that inspire me with interesting feeds and incredible imagery:








Go give them a follow! Then dig a little on your own and find feeds that are inspiring to you. And if you like, you can follow along with me, @top.knotted!

*Want more tips and help? I highly recommend the Instagram class taught by Hilary Rushford (@hilaryrushford). Check out her Instagram profile to learn more about how to register for her class.

Instagram is such a powerful outlet for building brands, businesses, and social connections. I hope that this helps you as you work towards your Instagram goals! And remember, don’t compare yourself to other larger profiles; they have spent much time growing their following and developing their visual brand. Focus on learning, growing, and being inspired. You will reach your goals!


To your success,

Kalina Neely


Lexington PR