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Briena Sash

Briena Sash


4 Photo Mistakes That Are Sabotaging Your Instagram (and how to fix them)

by Briena Sash of Wellness Stock Shop

You’ve probably heard from a few Instagram gurus that the key to success is to post, consistently. In fact, most experts recommend posting 1-3 times per day.

But when you’re trying to grow your following, not just any photos work in your favor.

Here’s the fact:

Stunning photos are essential for Instagram success.

Even if you’re posting 50 times a day, low-quality photos will never grow your following.

Not only does the quality of your photos influence whether a fellow grammer double taps the screen, but it can influence your reach as well.

Here’s the deal… Instagram has some pretty savvy technology to calculate whether or not your photos have “popularity potential”. It all has to do with image quality

This means, if you’re posting low-quality photos, Instagram robots can tell and they treat your photos accordingly, based on these four main factors:

– Grainy

– Blurry

– Overly Dark

– Poor Composition

If Instagram detects any of these “poor quality photo” features, your photos may be penalized with less exposure.

And exposure is exactly what you want in order to get your brand in front of more eyes and to attract more of your dream followers.

Perhaps something to take into even deeper consideration – posting poor-quality photos can really hurt the trustability and perceived value of your brand.

So, as tempting as it might be to settle for a quick snapshot just to get something posted in those hurried moments, think twice about whether your photo is helping or hurting your business.

Here’s how to detect whether your photo meets Instagram’s “quality” standards…


Let’s dissect these four red-flags of Instagram in order to learn how you can avoid them…


Graininess in photos is often caused by:

  • A poor-quality camera
  • Stretching a too-small photo in order to fit a larger sized design
  • Taking photos in dark spaces

How to avoid graininess:

  • Use a high-quality camera (this could even be your iPhone) or use photos taken by a professional photographer (stock photos are an inexpensive way to tap into thousands of Instagram-ready images).
  • Make sure the photo used for a design is as big, or larger than, the size of your template
  • Only take photos in natural light during the day

Blurriness in photos is often caused by:

  • A poor-quality camera
  • Not focusing on your subject
  • Photo shake in dark settings

How to avoid graininess:

  • Be sure to use proper focus on your camera. If you’re using a smartphone, this could be as simple as tapping the area on the screen that you wish to be in focus.
  • Only take photos in natural light during the day or use a tripod to be sure your camera is completely still while using a longer shutter.
  • Overly dark photos are often caused by:
  • Taking photos indoors
  • Taking photos at night

How to avoid overly dark photos:

  • Never take photos indoors using overhead light or lamp lighting (i.e. in your kitchen in the evening with the lights turned on).
  • Never take photos at night (especially with flash, which produces low quality results).
  • Make a commitment to only take photos during the daytime when there’s plenty of natural light.
  • When indoors, take photos close to windows and use the natural light.


Poor Composition is often caused by:

  • Simply not knowing the rules of composition
  • Poorly cropped photos

How to avoid poor composition:

  • Use the “rule of thirds”. Imagine dividing lines cutting your photo into 3 equal parts (two lines vertically and two lines horizontally.) Place your object of focus where the lines intersect.
  • Play it safe by keeping the main focal point in the center of your photo
  • Use professionally curated photos, like these beautiful stock photos that are expertly composed and pre-cropped perfectly for instagram.


You can visit Briena’s site and download a free sample of wellness themed photos at wellnessstockshop.com and join her Facebook Group – Wellness Brand Collective – for more tips on photography, branding and social media.



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