If you’re like me and the other one billion people on Instagram, you love a great photo.

Your photos are basically your life’s moments packed into tiny boxes for your friends and family to see. So why not make them great?

I love working at Heartbeat because I’ve learned so much about content creation through our ambassadors. With a toolkit that typically consists of a phone and a friend, we love seeing how our ambassadors create such eye catching content for the brands Heartbeat works with. But with Instagram constantly changing, we could all use a few new ideas to add to our Instagram toolkit!

STEP 1: PLAN YOUR GRID

Planning your post out ahead can help get ideas flowing for how you want it to look and feel. Take the time to pull ideas, set the tone and think about the location for your post. Doing these little things before will make post-processing a breeze. Our favorite app that we use to plan and achieve a cohesive aesthetic is called Later! If you want to try Later and incorporate it into your Instagram strategy, you find out more about it here.

STEP 2: FIND YOUR IG WING WOMAN/MAN

Ask someone you’re really comfortable with to take your photos. Usually this is a good friend or significant other. Sometimes it ends up being an unwilling boyfriend, poor guy! When you’re confident, your photos come out better and that means having someone behind the camera who lifts you up and actually enjoys doing it. If you’re able to take the photo yourself, even better.

STEP 3: FIND THE LIGHT

Natural lighting illuminates photos making them clear and bright. This is essential when posting a photo of a product so your followers can read the label and see the packaging or design clearly. Sunrise, sunset, afternoon and shaded lighting are my personal favorites because I don’t have to worry about harsh sunlight. Test out some shots on your phone or camera to see where the perfect lighting is.

STEP 4: DON’T STRIKE A POSE

Someone once told me that the best photos are never forced. Looking at the camera and smiling is great but we all love a good action shot. Something about an unposed photo makes it feel more real. Start by doing something natural like brushing your hair out of your face or telling your friend a joke and with the help of your Instagram wing person, you’ll end up with a series of candidly cute moments.

STEP 5: WAIT IT OUT 

New content, so exciting! Don’t jump the gun and post too soon, you might regret it later. Wait until you’re in a place where you can sit down in good lighting and look through all your photos. Pick the ones you like the most, add them to a folder on your phone or mark them as a favorite. This will help organize them for editing.

STEP 6: EDIT AWAY

Use your favorite editing tool. Our two favorite photo app tools are VSCO and ColorStory. Remember try not to over saturate your photos with too many filters. They key is to make a photo look natural and highlight what it already has going on. Sometimes even adjusting the contrast, highlights or saturation does the trick. Apps like FaceTune are great for removing a pimple or fixing a stray hair but it’s important to not get carried away.

STEP 7: ADD TO YOUR STORY

Sometimes your followers won’t see your photos on their feed so adding one or two of them to your story can be a good idea. You can then make those a highlight to view on your feed anytime!

So what do you think? Will you give any of these tips a try? If yes, we want to know! Take a screenshot of this blog post and pop it into your IG Stories and tag us so we can say, “Hey” and thanks for reading!