Get the free app for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone

Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.


howishoot, tips, user feature, average cam pro,

How I Shoot: @TonyCross’s Tips for Capturing Movement with AverageCamPro

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about the set-up and process behind their photos and videos. This week, @TonyCross shares how he captures moving water with Average Camera Pro. To see more Average Cam photos, browse the #AvgCamPro hashtag!

"I use Average Cam for two things: photographing water and shooting in low light," says photographer Tony Cross (@tonycross). “For low light photography, its primary function is to achieve the sharpness you can’t get with a normal iPhone photo.” But Average Cam’s ability to quickly take multiple photos and layer them on top of one another means you can capture beautiful images of moving water.

Want to try your hand at capturing moving water? Tony offers up some tips:

Vantage Point

"I mostly use Average Cam for photos of the ocean, and I always try to find something that will give context to the water – rock formations or groups of rocks, carefully placed people, and the like. But essentially I’d compose it the same as I would a normal photo. I tend to take wider shots."


"You need a tripod. Also, make sure your ringer and any vibrating alerts are off. This can interrupt the averaging process or shake the phone when it needs to be still. Average Cam allows you to lock exposure/focus (the little L button), and I recommend doing this, particularly in low light. If you don’t, the camera will keep auto-exposing as it shoots. Most importantly, when photographing water, experiment with the number of shots you’re taking and see the different outcomes you can get. Depending on the conditions, you can get anywhere from slightly-smoother-than-normal looking water all the way to smooth as glass. Try different increments and see what you like. I always use the timer for at least a second or two, so whatever movement I create by clicking the shutter has time die down.”


"I use VSCO and Snapseed (Apple/Android) to edit all my photos, and there’s nothing I do differently in particular for Average Cam shots. However, the total size/resolution output from Average Camera Pro is less than a normal iPhone photo, so be careful about running your photo through any editing process that degrades the image or resolution.”

Additional Thoughts

Try using Average Camera for all sorts of situations, says Tony. “While I mostly take photos of the ocean, I’ve seen tons of amazing shots of streams, waterfalls, really any type of water. Play around with exposure and number of shots. You can get a lot of different effects out of it.”


user feature, danny clinch, concert photography, tips, howishoot,

How I Shoot: Danny Clinch’s Concert Photography

Want to view more photos from Bonnaroo? Visit the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival location page and the #trueroo hashtag.

Danny Clinch (@dannybones64) has photographed musicians and documented their performances since the mid-1980s when he was an intern for Annie Leibovitz. Along the way, Danny has captured Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur and Björk in his signature unobtrusive style. He posts some of those intimate, modest moments on Instagram and even shared a few of his concert photography tips with us:

  • Try to find a point of view that is different from the people around you.
  • The most interesting photograph is not always of the lead singer at the microphone.
  • Watch what happens between songs.
  • Try different angles. The view from the furthest seat in the house can be as rewarding as the front row.
  • Develop relationships with people in the music industry—both venue employees and band members—for behind-the-scenes photo opportunities.

Starting tomorrow, Danny will be photographing the four-day Bonnaroo festival (@bonnaroo) in Manchester, Tennessee. Follow him and performers like The XX (@the_xx_), Reggie Watts (@reggiewatts), Porter Robinson (@porterrobinson), Alana Haim (@babyhaim) and The National (@ntnl) for a behind-the-scenes look at the music and comedy festival.


howishoot, user feature, indonesia,

How I Shoot: Levitating with @JunantoHerdiawan

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about the set-up and process behind their photos. This week, @JunantoHerdiawan shares how he takes photos where he appears to be levitating.

Camera: iPhone & iPad.

Vantage Point: “Levitation is like philosophy. It’s not just a jump shot; it is a floating moment. I like to travel and see many interesting places in the world. My idea is to levitate in any interesting place or interesting moment. By doing that, I feel like I can float or fly in any place in the world.”

Shooting: Using an application that takes multiple photos at a time while you jump makes it easier to capture the perfect levitation photo. “I use the Fast Camera application on iPhone or iPad to capture the moment. It is a continuous-shoot application that can capture every second of my levitation.”

Editing: While Junanto may touch up the lighting or tones in his photos, there are no special apps or programs used to create the levitation effect. “I don’t use editing for my levitation photos, no special application. I only adjust for lighting and other effects.”

Follow Junanto’s levitating adventures in Jakarta, Indonesia, and throughout the world at


macro, nature photography, tips, user feature, howishoot,

How I Shoot: Macro Nature Photos with @rickyohead

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @rickyohead shares his tips for taking up-close photos of nature with a mobile macro lens.

Camera: iPhone 4, with Olloclip macro lens

Vantage Point: Bug’s-eye view, very close to the subject. Crawling in the grass, peeking under a leaf, on my tippy toes to reach a flower — whatever it takes to capture a unique perspective.

Shooting: Public parks and preserves are best, but nature is everywhere if you look carefully. Lighting is key. Early morning is great because of the strong, warm colors and opportunity to get a sharp, backlit shot. For bugs, be patient and don’t be afraid of the critters you find. If they fly away when you approach, they usually land close by. To create depth, try shooting from the side, as opposed to straight down.

Editing: I don’t like to alter a macro nature photo after it’s been taken. All the details and imperfections make it real. The square 1:1 Instagram crop is a great opportunity to frame creatively. On rare occasions, I’ll apply the Instagram Lux filter to add vibrancy and contrast.

For more iPhone macro tips from Ricky, visit his website. @rickyohead would also like to especially acknowledge his friend and macro mentor, @eyefor.


howishoot, user feature, jumpstagram, tips,

How I Shoot: @daveedgamboa’s Jumpstagrams

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @daveedgamboa shares his tips for taking & editing his one-man #jumpstagrams.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy Note

Vantage Point: My action shots require a unique setup since I usually go out and shoot alone. I use a normal tripod and attach my Samsung Galaxy Note running Android 4.0. I attach my phone using 3 or 4 rubber bands. I then simply wrap the rubber bands around the galaxy note and the tripod and then voila.

Shooting: I do not use the stock camera on Android, I instead use an app called Camera FV-5 (free “lite” version here). It is a unique app that gives you control over the exposure and white balance and bracketing and loads of other cool stuff that makes your phone almost like a mobile DSLR. I use the 10 second timer on the camera and then run off to jump in the distance.

Editing: Due to the camera I use (and the lack of editing apps on Android) I don’t do any kind of intricate editing processes. I simply assure to get good natural lighting so that editing becomes an easy process and I only use Instagram effects on my photos.

Want to see more? Check out David’s #jumpstagram video tutorial on YouTube. And in case you missed it, check out our own #jumpstagram how-to.

How I Shoot: Dodging and Burning, by Finn Beales

featured, User Feature, howishoot,

How I Shoot How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. In this post, Finn Beales (@finn) explains “dodging and burning,” a  photo-editing technique popularized by American photographer Ansel Adams.

Vantage Point: I generally look for a strong central focal point. A roadway, tree or something else that sits smack in the center of the frame.

Shooting: I shoot with the iPhone native camera app and usually expose my pictures to a mid-tone, bringing back areas that I want to highlight during processing. There’s often a lot of detail in the sky, as well as the shadows, and it’s a shame to lose this. Double tap an area on the screen that is closest to the midpoint between black and white (i.e gray). This will give you the best exposure for all the elements in the frame. 

Editing: For this photo, I made edits using Snapseed. First, use Tune image > Ambiance at about 30% to put some life back into the picture. Next, choose the selective adjust tool and add points to areas of the image that you want to enhance. I generally work with the light already in the picture. It’s a simple process of brightening the highlights and darkening the shadows, always working to isolate the subject at the center of the frame. This technique is called dodging and burning, and the legendary Ansel Adams was a master of it (although he used chemicals to get the effect as opposed to a swipe of the finger!).

When you’re finished editing in Snapseed, save the photo and then apply an Instagram filter that tones the image according to your preference. In this case, I used Sierra.

How I Shoot: Photos of People Taking Photos, by Rebecca Silus

howishoot, featured, user feature,

With the Worldwide InstaMeet just around the corner, many of you will join up with other Instagrammers in your area for a photowalk, which is a great time to snap photos of your fellow Instagrammers in action. To help you prepare, Rebecca Silus (@fieldoffice) shares her tips for shooting photos of other people shooting photos!

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes.

Camera: iPhone 4S

Vantage Point: Getting close enough to see the other shooterʼs camera, but far away enough to create a larger story.

For this photo, I wanted to show the cat that @anthonygeorgis was filming as well as the location. Because both figures were contrasted against the background, I was able to back up and take a fairly wide shot without losing the moment. This allowed me to show the detail Anthony was shooting, the building his subject lives in, and the landscape the building belongs to.

Shooting: Telling a story—how will this image fit into the narrative of my stream?

I think a lot about how my Instagram stream reads—as a collection of thumbnails and as images that pop up individually in someone elseʼs stream. So I try to make my photos work together and get as much information into each image as possible. This helps me choose what to photograph next and was on my mind when I shot this.

I shoot with the native camera app and lean towards shooting darker because I brighten things up and add contrast during the editing process. The final crop is always a top consideration when framing the image, so I compose my shots with the square format in mind. Often this means physically backing up so that there is extra room on all sides to crop the image down later on.

Editing: Keeping it fast and simple.

Instagramming in real time is important to me, so a simple and fast editing process that I can complete in one app is key. PhotoForge2 has a great collection of precise tools for adding brightness and contrast, two steps that I take with almost every image.

With this photo I went to the exposure option and bumped it up to 1.40. Next I added a little bit of warmth by going to color balance and moving the midtones cyan/red slider to .50.

After bringing the color-corrected image into Instagram, I made the final decisions about the cropping. In this case, I drastically changed the original photograph by completely cropping out a part of the buildingʼs shadow that I found distracting. The final step to this edit was applying the Rise filter.

Want to share your advice for taking photos? Reblog this post and let us know in the comments! Or include a tip in the caption on your Instagram photo and use the tag #howishoot

How I Shoot: Reflection Photos, with @dylanisbell

featured, howishoot, reflections, user feature,

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @dylanisbell shares his tips for taking reflection photos.

Camera: iPhone 4S

Vantage Point: For me, New York City is like one big fun house of reflections. My attention is constantly drawn to all the storefront windows with the dynamic ways the light bounces off buildings or spills through alleyways. Windows give you a lot of options, but as a starting point I find that if I like the scene behind me (the scene that’s being reflected) and the scene on the other side of the window, then I start to move my camera and body around to knock out certain elements that I want to reveal or hide. So think of your phone and body as a layer mask that can either hide or reveal an element.

Shooting: As far as what catches my eye, I would say New York City does. I’m pretty lucky  I guess, with all that’s going on in the city with people, light, reflections. I just try to pay attention and hone it all in and capture as much of it in one frame as I can.  When I approach these reflections, I do so with a motivation of what I think is possible, but what also attracts me to these reflections is the unknown. I am just as surprised by what I find as I hope others are. Without waxing too philosophical, for me these reflections resemble a bending of the rules of what is known to my basic visual perception of life. It’s kind like I’m trying to figure out or communicate with all these elements. 

Editing: I always use the built-in camera app to take my pictures. After I take the picture, I have a few apps that I might use to edit it. I usually use Camera+ to bring out features in the image, and I use Lux to bring out elements in the photo that otherwise might get lost. Finally, I choose an Instagram filter and then share the photo.

Want to share your advice for taking photos? Reblog this post and let us know in the comments! Or include a tip in the caption on your Instagram photo and use the tag #howishoot.

How I Shoot: Tips for Photographing Cars, with @drsmoothdeath

featured, howishoot, cars, photography, user feature,

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @drsmoothdeath shares his tips for finding and photographing beautiful classic cars, which he’s collected in his #morninautos series.

Camera: iPhone 4

Vantage Point: Obviously I’m always across the street from my subjects, but the question is whether I can get the whole car in the frame without leaning on someone else’s car too excessively or stomping someone’s garden to a withered mess.

Shooting: I always use my iPhone camera and do most of my shooting on my bike. I generally have a planned route in my head of neighborhoods I want to explore — either areas I haven’t shot yet, or where there is a regular turnaround of parked cars. I have the advantage of living in one of the best cities for older model cars (thank you, Portland!), which gives me a lot of beautiful subjects to choose from.

While riding, I’ll slow through every intersection looking down as far as I can see on either side of the street, scanning for older cars or just a fin or headlight sticking out. Once I find a car, I’ll look directly across the street to see if I have room to get the entire vehicle in the frame. If all looks good, I’ll head down the street and set myself up. If I can’t center-up, or the shot looks funny somehow, I move on and find something else in hopes of finding the car again sometime (I’ve waited months to see a car again!). And if I climbed a hill or had to pedal hard through traffic, I may need to slow my heart rate down first by breathing slowly in and out to get the “shake” out of my hands and arms (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, run in place for a couple minutes and try holding your phone steady. Not easy eh?). I like the pic to feel as quiet and calm as possible, so I try and pass on any cars with too much going on in the background, like other parked cars.

Editing: No real editing secrets here, just good ol’ fashioned cropping, and I usually end up using the Rise filter. The only other thing before posting is finding out what the car is and what year it might be to include in my caption.

Want to share your advice for taking photos? Reblog this post and let us know in the comments! Or include a tip in the caption on your Instagram photo and use the tag #howishoot

How I Shoot: Jeera’s Tips for Shooting in Traffic

howishoot, user feature,

Camera: iPhone 4

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @jeera shares his tips for shooting photos in London traffic!

Vantage Point: I’d been wandering through the streets around Trafalgar Square in London, searching for interesting views while dodging traffic. Whitehall Street with Big Ben against the dawn horizon was an obvious target. When the traffic cleared, I tried a few shots, but then I realized the shot would be sort of unreal if I tried to get as many buses and cars into the frame as possible while still keeping Big Ben clearly visible in the background.

Shooting: While shooting in heavy traffic, I usually take a series of shots, as I’m not always able to keep an eye on all aspects of the photo, such as composition and focus. In addition, since the traffic itself changes continuously, sometimes it’s better to wait for lanes to stop or just try a few more shots so that later you can choose the one you like best. In the shot I chose to share, three double-deckers contributed quite well to the color scheme.


  • Snapseed: Using the Tune Image function, I increased Brightness (30%) and Ambiance (50%), then I used the Drama function to increase contrast of middle tones slightly (30%) while preserving color saturation (50%).
  • Camera+: After editing in Snapseed, I used Camera+ to crop the photo into a square format, then I added 70% of the Magic Hour effect to emphasize the beige tones of the morning sun and added a round white border to preserve my composition. This border is actually the only one in Camera+ that can be fully covered by the EarlyBird border in Instagram.
  • Instagram: I’m a hardcore EarlyBird lover, so before sharing the photo on Instagram, I applied the Earlybird filter.

Want to share your advice for taking photos? Reblog this post and let us know in the comments! Or include a tip in the caption on your Instagram photo and use the tag #howishoot