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9 Tips for the perfect Instagram pictures & editing

Who am I to give tips on photography & editing? I am not a professional photographer, I’m not a huge online influencer, but I do love social media and taking pictures, I have built my own brand, website and marketing company the past 2 years and have nearly 64K dedicated followers on Instagram and almost 70K followers on social media in total.

Next to that I am a marketeer who has worked with several brands, companies and hotels for online & offline marketing consultancy, to help build and promote their brands and am very passionate about visual concepts and photography.

Read more about my work and partners on this page: Work With Me.

As mentioned before I am a highly visual person, so Instagram is my favourite social medium and preferred marketing tool, but what's the reason that Instagram is so important for you?

With over 700 million active worldwide users today, 100 million more than nearly 4 months ago, the highest engagement and conversion rates of all social media platforms, and double the reach of Twitter, this is THE platform to build your brand!

As one of the fastest growing social media apps with already 200 million daily users on the new Instagram Stories feature, more than Snapchat’s entire user base, the competition is growing rapidly and it’s more important than ever to stand out here!

How to do this? By taking and posting the perfect pictures to create a unique gallery!

I receive many compliments on my pictures and put a lot of thought in creating the right content, selecting my pics and editing them to fit my concept and the @AuthenticChica brand. Therefore I decided to write this blog to share my tips with you as well.

Next to the technical part of taking and editing pictures I do feel that a lot also depends on styling and selecting the right pics to create a consistent and appealing brand. So that's what I based my 9 tips on, here goes:

1. The right styling goes a long way

Of course a white beach is always photogenic, but research has shown that on Instagram in general pictures with people on it generate much more engagement. Therefore I mostly use myself as ''model'' and try to dress appropriately. On a white beach white dresses work perfectly but a bright pop of color as well, therefore I color coordinate to the setting.

I try to think of the tones of my destination and outfit colors that will match well with that when I pack my suitcase.

It might sound silly but it does make the pictures just a little more interesting and sometimes it's more appealing to blend into the surroundings for a picture.

2. Explore more and dress the occasion

I love exploring cities and every destination I visit, so I always wear comfortable clothes. But when we go on an exploring day with lots of sights, I will always wear my most photogenic outfit so I can use those pics well. And naturally the more you explore, the more subjects for pics you will have to create interesting content for your account.

3. Stay alert and focus on niche

Interesting things happen in the spur of the moment but usually make the best pics. For example this pastel sunset does not occur every evening, so when it does make sure to catch it, especially if your followers love sunsets (and hey who doesn't right)?!

4. Take lots of pics

Always make sure you have enough content and options to choose from.

5. Be creative and spontaneous

There is a lot of curated content out there already, and professional photographers who are highly trained, skilled and much better at editing than you are. So make sure to stand out in other ways, authenticity for example appeals to people!

Jump around if you feel like it and express yourself. People respond to this and are looking for real inspiration, so make it genuine.

6. Choose interesting angles and subjects

Many people are doing the same things already on Instagram, make it different by choosing interesting angles, subjects and themes, find your own style and showcase your destination in a way which will keep your audience interested and will make you stand out from the rest.

7. Use good equipment

Of course a good lense and the right equipment is essential to taking good pictures. This can be a system camera or a DSLR, but can also be a good phone with an up to date camera, as long as the lense is good and you know how to handle it!

I have used my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone camera for many of these pics, as it takes very fresh pics with great colors, because it's one of the newest models with an up to date lense.

8. Be picky and look at the total gallery

Similar to point nr.6, but try to brand your account by only posting your best pics and stay true to a color scheme or theme. This will keep your account consistent and will make it stand out as a whole.

A few websites and apps that can be used for planning and scheduling your posts to see the total gallery overview in advance are:, Preview and Unum.

9. Always adjust and EDIT!

Although my partner and I have quite a good eye for composition and usually know how to take a good shot (if I might say so myself😊) I always adjust the horizon to keep the image straight and cut off subjects that might disturb the pic or make it look cluttered.

Although I never use Instagram filters, as they seem to reduce the picture's quality, I do always edit my pics in advance to make them look as good as possible and fit with my personal taste and style.

For this I use the phone apps YouCam Perfect for removals, great overlays and other creative filters, and Snapseed to light up my pictures and create a dreamy effect.

And of course next to Photoshop and Lightroom, VSCO also has really nice filters to create your own style.

Next to this I always make sure the picture looks fresh by using the following basic editing steps:

  • enhance the brightness,

  • adjust the contrast and atmosphere a bit,

  • and sometimes add warmth if this looks better in my total gallery overview,

  • for sunset pics it is essential to enhance the saturation and warmth to make the colors pop, but make sure to keep it natural and don’t overdo it!

See how many pics it takes to create the right content for the perfect picture and as you can see it really does need editing to get above result:

A few fun before and after picture examples of our latest trips to Gili Trawangan and the Maldives:

Before and After

Before and After

Before and After

Before and After

What do you think of the differences and do you prefer the before or after versions?

Always love to hear what you think, just leave a comment below or find me on one of the social media platforms, where I post daily pics, by following the links at the bottom of this page.

Curious to hear if you love photography, social media and Instagram as much as I do and edit your pics or follow my steps as well! If you have any other tips I haven't mentioned do let me know!

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