Do you ever scroll through instagram and notice a really great photo but realize there’s something a little “off” about it? The colors are eye-catching, the subject draws you in, but for some reason it’s just a tad fuzzy? I’ve been noticing this recently and realize some people probably aren’t sure of the best way to upload images to Instagram from their computers. I know taking a screen shot of an image in your email may sound convenient, but it’s resulting in poor image quality. If you’re using Instagram to drive traffic to your website, a poor quality image could be taking away from engagement on your posts which results in less traffic to your site.
If you’re like me and you take photos with a camera that’s not your phone, it’s important to know the correct size in which to export the images depending on where the images are being posted. The whole reason you’re shooting with an actual camera is for better quality photos, so it would be a waste of time if you’re just posting screen shots. I edit in Lightroom and export from there, but if you’re using Photoshop or something else to edit the images, you can still benefit from this info.
Since the Instagram update last year where they started allowing for portrait and landscape images instead of only squares, there are different image sizes depending on the aspect ratio of the image you’re posting.
Square photo (aspect ratio 1:1): 1080px in width x 1080px in height
Portrait (vertical) photo (aspect ratio up to 4:5): 1080px in width x 1350px in height
Landscape (horizontal) photo (aspect ratio up to 1.91:1): 1080px in width x 566px in height
Here are the steps I take to ensure crisp instagram photos:
1. After editing my image in Lightroom, I save it to Dropbox. I made an export preset so I don’t have to change the setting each time I export the file. With just one click, my photo is sent straight to my Dropbox folder. In the images below you can see the export settings are different for landscape and portrait images. (I made the same export option for portrait and square since the shortest edge is still 1080px for each. I also don’t export images as squares since you can just crop it to a square in the instagram app if you want to.)
2. I created a specific folder in Dropbox to store the images I’ll be posting to Instagram. Since the Dropbox app syncs to my iPhone, I can find it easily through the app. This is way more convenient than saving a file to your computer and emailing it to yourself.
3. Once you find the image in Dropbox, the easy thing to do would be to screen shot the photo, but this is where you make the mistake of losing image quality. If you have an iPhone, click the share button on the top right. It’ll pull up options to share. Click on the Open In… option and it’ll bring up Instagram in the row of apps for sharing. It opens the image right in Instagram without any extra steps!
And that’s it! With just a few extra steps to ensure sharp instagram photos, you could be driving more traffic to your site and gaining more clients. If you have any tips on getting extra sharp photos for instagram, share them in the comments below!