Animals are always popular photographic subjects on Instagram.

Animals are always popular photographic subjects on Instagram.

Instagram is great fun for sharing and finding photographs but it takes a bit of effort to get the most out of the app.

While you can just take a photo, choose a filter and then tap “share”, you’ll get more out of it from these tips and tricks.

Use these filters

Digital design company Canva looked at one million Instagram images to find which filters get the most likes. The most popular filter is Clarendon, which deepens shadows and makes colours more intense. For food shots, Canva suggests using Skyline but if you are posting a selfie, then the company suggests not using a filter at it shows authenticity. However, if you are posting a landscape or nature photo, try Valencia and if you take fashion pictures give Kelvin a go.

Edit your filter

Once you’ve chosen a filter, try toning it down a bit so your picture doesn’t look too “Instagrammed”. To do this, use the symbol that looks like a sun that appears when you are editing a photo. Drag the slider left or right to adjust the instensity of the filter so it doesn’t overpower the image.

Post at 6am or 5pm

An analysis by Latergramme, a service that lets users manage and schedule Instagram posts, showed 6am and 5pm were when photos got the most likes. The theory is that people check Instagram just after waking up and just before finishing work. The worst times are 9am and 6pm. Also, the best day is Wednesday, though there’s not too much difference.

You don’t need to use a smartphone

Just because you have to use a smartphone to upload photos, it doesn’t mean you have to use one to take them. Many people on Instagram use expensive cameras to take their images along with time spend editing in Photoshop. So don’t hesitate to use a DSLR to capture images before moving them onto your phone to post.

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Hastags rule 

You may take a great photo and come up with a pithy caption but without good hashtags many people won’t see your beautiful creation. It’s OK to use your own made-up ones to get a laugh but they won’t attract eyeballs. Instead, try and use a range of hashtags relevent to the subject and also the city and country if its pertinent.

Be consistent

If you are trying to build up a following, you need to post regularly so your followers know when to expect new photos. If you post every day for a few weeks, then slow down to one a week, people will be disappointed.

Aim for quality

Beautiful pictures get lots of likes. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, a well-composed image with good light will wow your followers. Blurry, blah images won’t do well on Instagram.

Edit a caption after posting

If you notice a spelling mistake or you’ve missed out some information or a hashtag, it’s easy to go and fix it. Open the photo, and then tap on the three dots on the right underneath the image and select edit.

See every post you’ve ever liked

This can be handy if you want to go back to a photo later, or just to see some old favourites. Tap the person icon in the menu bar at the bottom of the screen which takes you to your profile page. Then, tap the cog in the top right corner and choose “Posts You’ve Liked” from the menu.

 - Stuff

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