5 Things Every Great Instagram Photo Needs

More than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile a day, and 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram[1]. With that in mind, it’s vital that you’re showcasing your brand with the best possible photos. Here are 5 things that each Instagram business photo post needs.

(A Lack of) Text

Unless your photo is meant to tickle someone’s funny bone, your image shouldn’t contain almost any text – that’s what the captions and locations are for. It’s fine to include small logos or small titles, but avoid posters or text-heavy images, as those will be lost in a sea of beautiful photos.

In this example, only a small logo is visible, and Visit Loudon tagged the brand so users can easily learn more.

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A post shared by Visit Loudoun (@visitloudoun) on


Nearly 50% of smartphones in the US are full 1080p HD[2], so quality is undoubtedly important to users, especially those on a platform designed to share photography. Images that highlight attractions should be attractive!

You should always ask yourself: is this photo high enough quality for Instagram? Aim for properly focused and appropriately sharp pictures without any graininess, with good lighting and color that enhances subject. Check out our blog for tips on taking a good photo.

This image from Indiana Dunes is very high quality, and uses light excellently. Just look at those ears!

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A post shared by Indiana Dunes Tourism (@indianadunes) on


Composition is the difference between a picture of a seemingly isolated band calmly a playing 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!

In this photo, there’s no need to imagine what it would be like to paddle board in Ogden, as it’s in the photo, with rocky cliffs in the foreground and stunning greenery in the background completing the scene.

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A post shared by Visit Ogden (@visitogden) on


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 in the affirmative to these questions about the picture, consider holding off on posting it.

This picture is valuable simply due to how enticing it is. It’s easy to imagine yourself grabbing coffee or tea, and strolling through falling leaves in downtown Kalamazoo to shop.

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A post shared by Discover Kalamazoo (@discoverkzoo) on


Users are constantly being bombarded for their attention, so one of the only ways to make an impact is to tell 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 are you going to use caption, location, and hashtags to compliment the story, rather than repeating it?

This photo encapsulates every point skillfully. Further, it tells a story of what you can expect from NYE in downtown Ludington: a considerable crowd, confetti, fireworks, and a ball drop.

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A post shared by Pure Ludington (@pureludington) on

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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