5 Things Every Great Instagram Photo Needs

Updated: June 29, 2022

More than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile a day, and 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram. With that in mind, it’s vital that you’re showcasing your brand with the best possible media. Here are five things that your Instagram needs to be successful.

(A Lack of) Text

Unless you’re posting a video with closed captions, your image should not contain any overlay text. Using text in your photos can create busy photos and cause a lack of interest in your users. Specifically, try to avoid photos of posters or text-heavy images, as those will be lost in a season of beautiful destination photos. Your post captions and locations are the optimal place to describe your post. Short and sweet is optimal, and be sure to include related hashtags and emojis!


Quality photos are undoubtedly important to users, especially those on a platform designed to share photography. Images that highlight attractions, activities, and destinations should be attractive! Before posting on Instagram, make sure you’re using a high-quality photo. Aim for properly focused and appropriately sharp pictures without any graininess, with good lighting and color that enhances the subject.


Composition is the difference between a picture of a seemingly isolated band calmly playing a song and a photo of an impassioned singer, animated drummer, and shredding guitarist performing to a visibly excited crowd. It’s the arrangement of “ingredients,” separate from the main subject. If elements in the image subtract from its worth, then crop away!


Ask yourself, does the photo have value for your desired audience? Does it provide more context, or is it a preview? Is it interesting or inviting? Would you comment on the post or want to investigate further?

As you’ll typically post less on Instagram than other social platforms, you want to make sure the image isn’t just “good enough.” If you don’t answer these questions about the picture in the affirmative, consider holding off on posting it.


Users are constantly being bombarded for their attention, so one of the only ways to impact is by telling a story. What story does your image tell? Is it one that you want to be told? Does it have substance?

It’s important to consider how you’ll tell the story as well. How will you use caption, location, and hashtags to compliment the story rather than repeat it?

If your Instagram photo has each of these 5 things, then post away! If not, make sure you’re taking time to check through your post to make sure it’s high quality before moving forward. If you aren’t sure if your photo is meant for your main feed, consider adding it to your story. If this is the case, be sure to check out our guide to creating the perfect Instagram story here!

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