Better Instagram Photo Quality
Wrong settings or loss of quality? Either way: blurred images are a real no-go.

There are three possible scenarios in which you probably want to improve your Instagram photo quality:

  1. Your images lose quality when uploaded
  2. Your pictures look pixilated when printed
  3. You lack experience and basic techniques

In this blog article we will present solutions for all three scenarios.

Better Instagram photo quality:

Your images lose quality when uploaded

You just took a great photo and now you want to post it on Instagram. However, when you upload it, you notice that the quality has suffered. If you are familiar with this situation, you have come to the right place. We will explain how to upload your photos to Instagram without any loss of quality.

Why do my images lose quality?

The most common reason for loss of quality is image compression. For those of you who don’t know what image compression is, here is a brief overview: Basically, Instagram is all about reducing the image size to reduce the file size. After all, millions of photos are uploaded daily. If these were uploaded uncompressed, the Instagram server would possibly be overloaded within a few hours.

Reduce the file size

The larger the file, the more Instagram compresses your image. To avoid quality loss, it is best to reduce the file size yourself before uploading the image to Instagram.

You can reduce the file size in many ways:

Reduce the image size: If you take your photos at 4000 x 3000 pixels, they will be heavily compressed, as all Instagram photos are limited to 1080 x 1080 pixels. So, scale your photos down first. This saves a lot of disk space. But don’t forget that Instagram displays your photos in a certain format. The common formats are 1:1 (square photos), 1.91:1 (landscape photos) and 4:5 (portraits).

Adjust the camera settings: There are a number of settings you can adjust on your smartphone or camera to improve the quality of your Instagram photos. Most importantly, your camera should capture images at the maximum resolution. Afterwards, you can still resize them.

Camera settings for Instagram
Take photos in the best resolution and resize them manually.

Compress photos: You can improve the quality of your Instagram images by taking the compression into your own hands. Use compressor tools like Optimizilla, tinypng or Iloveimg to keep control over the quality of your images. However, you should only do this if the previous reduction of the image size did not achieve the desired effect.

Transfer images correctly to your smartphone

You took your photos with an expensive camera, cropped them on your laptop, compressed them and even added a nice filter. At this point, you shouldn’t make the mistake of sending the photo to your smartphone via WhatsApp or any other messenger. Your picture will be compressed as well, and that’s something you should avoid at all costs. The following methods are great for data transfers without loss of quality:

Operating system laptopOperating system smartphoneTransfer
MaciOSAirDrop
MacAndroidDropBox / WeTransfer
Windows / LinuxiOSVLC
WindowsAndroidUSB cable /

Update your Instagram App

Probably the easiest way to improve your Instagram photo quality is to update your Instagram app. Just go to the App Store and search for Instagram. Now all you have to do is click “Update”. The older your smartphone, the more likely it is that you won’t be able to use all the features on the Instagram app. Unfortunately, the only thing that helps is to buy a new device.

Better Instagram photo quality:

Your pictures look pixilated when printed

Sometimes you like your Instagram photos so much that you want to print them out. Unfortunately, Instagram compresses the pictures so much during upload that they only look good on your smartphone, but not when you want to print them. Here you can learn how to avoid this loss of quality.

Do not take photos via Instagram

While it may be convenient to take photos with the Instagram app and the filters are certainly a lot of fun, the camera app on your phone is much better. On Instagram’s camera the zoom function is disabled, and all your photos are automatically cropped to a square.

Most smartphones also come with an HDR function that allows you to take your photos with different pre-set exposures. This is a feature that Instagram filters simply cannot match.

Print directly from your smartphone

Never send your photos to your laptop via messenger service to print them. They will be heavily compressed, and the quality will suffer massively. Instead, find out if your printer supports wireless printing or check our list of methods to send your photos to your laptop without losing their quality.

Better Instagram photo quality:

You are still at the beginning

If you are just starting out with photography and Instagram, you don’t have to bury your head in the sand. It is quite normal that your pictures do not look perfect yet. In this section we have collected the most important tips and tricks that will make your pictures look better right away!

The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds belongs to the basics of photography. When you look at your subject through the camera lens, you should divide it horizontally and vertically into three equal sections and place the object where the imaginary lines cross.

Rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is one of the most important compositional rules in photography.

Rule of thirds made easy with the grid function

When you take photos with your smartphone, you have the option to turn on the grid function. The grid lines in the camera app help you follow the rule of thirds. You can find this feature on most smartphones: Settings > Camera > Grid.

By the way, if you’re planning to upload an image with an aspect ratio of 1:1, it can also look good if you place the desired object in the middle of the grid. The motto here is: The proof of the pudding is in the eating! With time, you will find the settings you like best and create your own style.

Make sure there is enough negative space

“Negative space” refers to the area surrounding a person or object in a photograph. Many novice photographers make the mistake of overloading the image with objects. Your goal should be to eliminate distractions and put the most important object in the foreground. You can do this by keeping the area around the object free. The viewer’s gaze will then automatically fall on the most important object.

Negative space photography
The negative space underlines the center of attention: the flowers!

Be your own tripod

If you want to take great photos, you need a steady hand. You don’t always have a three-way tripod at hand. In such cases, you must become a tripod yourself. Look around you and look for ways to lean or support your arm. Whether it’s a table, park bench, tree or a friend’s shoulder – there are no limits to your creativity. The main thing is that you can keep your camera steady.

Check the focus

Although camera technology in smartphones has improved over the years, you should not rely on your camera’s automatic focus. Especially in low light conditions, photos can often become very blurred. If you want to avoid this, you should definitely tap on the display of your smartphone to focus on the subject. If you press and hold, the words “AE/EF lock” will appear and the focus should no longer shift.

Strive for uneven numbers

If you want to present several objects on one image, there is a simple trick: Take an uneven number of objects. Your picture will automatically look better. The reason for this is simple: let’s say you see an image with two objects. Your brain must subconsciously decide which of the two objects it will focus on. If a third object is still visible, your gaze automatically moves to the center of the picture.

Uneven numbers in photography
Although the last piece of kiwi is “missing” here, the picture looks aesthetically pleasing.

Use filters skillfully

Filter: Yes or no? Photographers seem to disagree on this question. Our recommendation: Yes – but with caution. The fact is that photos with filters are more likely to be liked and commented on. Especially photos with warm filters, high brightness and good contrast are very popular. Saturated or artificially aged pictures, on the other hand, will make your followers simply scroll on. So, you should definitely keep your hands off these settings. Since excessively processed images lose sharpness, you should learn to find the right amount of editing.

Expand your equipment

You don’t need to own an expensive SLR camera to take good pictures for Instagram. There are even annual prizes for photographers who take great pictures with their smartphones. If you still want to invest a little money, you can buy cell phone accessories that take your photos to a new level:

Lenses: Whether macro, wide angle or fish eye, special smartphone lenses allow you to take great photos in any situation.

Tripods: This accessory is usually only suitable for large, heavy cameras. Instead, buy a mini tripod for your smartphone that you can place on even surfaces to eliminate shaky images once and for all. The great thing about tripods is that you can do wonderful selfies with them without having to worry about your phone flipping over or your arm being seen.

Get the most out of your smartphone: Before you invest in accessories, you should start cleaning your camera lens regularly. It’s hard to believe, but most amateur photographers prefer to get a new phone before thinking of wiping their camera lens. This little trick can immediately make for sharper images!

Be a Moth

Photography rule: "Be a moth"
In a magical way, moths are always drawn to the light. A characteristic you should learn from.

An unusual question, but think about it: What do moths love? Exactly! The light! Light is probably the most important requirement for great photos. Look for a light source in every situation and be careful not to take pictures against the light, unless you want to create a cool effect. Use the natural daylight as best you can. Artificial light, on the other hand, can be achieved wonderfully with a few light boxes. A small box is available from 35 Euros.

Conclusion: Better Instagram Photo Quality

As we have shown, there are several ways to improve the quality of your Instagram photos. Your approach depends on whether you want to upload your Instagram photos without loss of quality or hang them on the wall. Your photography skills should also be optimized to achieve great photos for Instagram.