Instagram is THE place to post that expensive bowl of ramen you had for dinner last Friday or that cup of coffee with pretty latte art. There was a time in the not so distant past when #nofilter was the top hashtag used on Instagram. While presenting photos as crisp and clear as possible has some perks (aka getting bragging rights to having a DSLR or a high-end phone), the times have changed.
Enter photo filters. Yes, yes—they’ve been here a while. But you can have a stronger filter game resulting in more likes and followers if you pay attention to the kinds of filter that get attention for you. A lot of factors go into getting more engagement—but let’s focus on making viewers have that love at first sight moment with your photo. Naks!
Image from Jean-Daniel Charpentier (@exa_photographie on Instagram)
Lure your viewers’ eyeballs by adding warmth and contrast to your pictures. Instead of just slapping a filter that would make your photo look washed out or old (which still appeals to some), consider using filters which improve contrast and warmth. I’m no pro when it comes to photo editing but there has actually been a study about the use of filters and that’s where I got this insight from.
With the exception of Amaro and Hudson which have cool tones to them, (I think) most of the Instagram filters bring out the warmth of pictures you upload. Strengthen your filter game by knowing how to correct raw photo “errors” like looking pale or clammy by selecting the filter which makes you look just the right amount of warm and alive. Food looks a bit more mouthwatering with Ludwig or a dash of Lo-Fi. Mayfair and Juno can make cheesecakes look particularly sumptuous!
For a bit of drama and contrast correction, experimenting with the black and white filters Willow and Inkwell can do the trick. I find that Inkwell helps brighten up badly-lit shots while Willow can tone down overexposed—usually outdoor photos while improving contrast and texture. I’ve had a teensy bit of success getting some of my black and white photos noticed so… I kinda swear by this scientific “bring-on-the-contrast-for-more-likes” finding.
Outside Instagram, there are a bunch of other photo editing apps offering a wide range of filters to choose from. Have fun and experiment until you find your “go-to filters”. Couple your filter game with the wise use of relevant and popular hashtags and you can get more love and red hearts for your Instagram posts!