Around 80 million posts are shared on Instagram daily. It’s one of the fastest growing social media channels, and its appeal is undeniable. Most of us are visual creatures, and Instagram is full of pictures. But what is it about some accounts that makes us green with envy—both for the beauty of their content and their number of followers—whiles others fail to even get noticed? The secrets are contained in the 5 tips for Instagram photos that I’m going to reveal in this post. Follow them, and you’ll be posting better Instagram photos than your competitors and inciting guest-envy among travellers online. You’ll probably be making other hoteliers a tad bit jealous, too.

TIP #1: Use a camera, not the Instagram app
photography equipment

Ever wonder why some Instagram photos are clean and crisp while others are blurry, yellowed, or grainy? Here’s why: The quality of images taken on a phone is completely dependent on the lighting. No matter how talented the photographer, poor or low light is unforgiving when it comes to indoor pictures. So, kicking off these 5 tips for Instagram photos is this little-known fact: the best photos are rarely taken with a phone.

To give your Instagram feed a boost, try using a stand-alone digital camera. It will not only yield higher-quality images, it will also further enable you to edit them afterwards, to adjust the lighting and contrast.

TIP #2: Use an editing app – but not Instagram’s

 A well edited photo of a chef preparing food

Filters are not your friend. Instagram’s in-app editing tool is helpful for simple, quick fixes, but it won’t give you any enviable images. To produce envy-worthy photos of your establishment, you’ll need to scrap dated and trendy filters and opt for clean editing. Save money and edit your Instagram photos like a pro with affordable and intuitive apps such as Aviary and Snap Seed. 

Do you have some amateur photography and editing skills? Take your post-production game to the next level with the Lightroom app by Adobe (the photographer who took the above image used Lightroom).

TIP #3: Make sure all your images are bright or well-lit

a scenic shot from Four Seasons ResortsThe best Instagram photos all have one thing in common: excellent lighting. Of all the elements mentioned in these 5 tips for Instagram photos, lighting is the only one that alone can make or break a photo. To create an Instagram feed that truly and consistently attracts attention and incites guest-envy, the lighting in every image must be balanced. Light can draw the viewer’s eye to an important area of your image and enhance the subject of the photo.

You don’t need cumbersome or costly lighting gear to accomplish this, either. Instead, use natural lighting. Shoot your images just after sunrise or right before sunset. If you want to achieve an atmospheric quality, take your Instagram photos right after it rains. Once you’ve played around with lighting to see what works best with the camera, try various editing techniques to further define your style.

TIP #4: Have a distinct focal point

A lakeside town surrounded by mountainsLike any art form, photos need to have a specific point of interest. This gives structure to the image and will guide the attention of the viewer to the subject. Having a focal point will add depth to your visuals, making them more aesthetically pleasing. Photos without a clear point of interest fail to resonate with viewers. The curators behind the best and most enviable Instagram accounts know this. For them, each of their Instagram photos is akin to a Renaissance painting in that it follows the golden ratio.

Use this artistic principle to make your images stand out more than your competitors’.

TIP #5: Bring a personal element into your images

A traveller takes the plunge off a jetty at sunsetInstagram describes itself as a place to ”see photos and videos from your friends” and ”for sharing everyday moments.” It’s not merely a collection of millions of images, but rather, a social media channel full of moments that connect people to one another socially. Great bloggers and hotel managers realise this. Instead of stagnant accounts with mundane photos, leading Instagrammers bring a personal element to their accounts.

Look at the image above from Scandic Hotels. It’s not the cabin that stands out. The sunset isn’t telling the story here either. Instead, it’s the image of the traveller, living the carefree lifestyle that many a European-weekender leads—and countless others dream of leading. It tells us a story; it makes us smile, and it gets noticed. Take note, and make your feed personal to tell your story and resonate with your audience.

Think you’ve got what it takes to make other hoteliers jealous of your hotel’s Instagram feed—and travellers envious of your guests? Let us know by sharing your Instagram handle (URL) below and we’ll let you know which of these 5 tips for Instagram photos your account can benefit from most.

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trivago Hotel Manager Blog

A dedicated group of industry researchers and journalists make up the team behind trivago’s blog for hoteliers. Covering key topics in the hospitality industry, they publish articles on hotel technology and marketing, trends, events, and expert insights to help keep hoteliers up to speed and equipped with the knowledge they need to compete online.

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