The Best Method for Exporting Photos to Instagram

For most photographers, social media is the area where fans and potential clients will see our work most often. Here is how to make sure your photos look great on Instagram.

Years ago, one of my clients posted their photos from one of our recent sessions to social media, and the upload destroyed the images. They looked terrible. It was bad enough that I called the client and asked them to remove them until I sent them the photos in a different size specifically for social media. To protect my brand, I have continued this practice since that day, giving my clients files for social media that will still look great when uploaded to Facebook and Instagram. The issue is that most platforms have a limit for a photo’s size that is significantly smaller than what a professional camera is producing. When a website adjusts an image to match its specifications, it compresses the image, which damages its original quality.

To learn about this in greater detail, Nemanja Sekulic explains in this video the best practices for uploading photos to Instagram. He covers everything from export settings to why vertical or square images are often better for Instagram than horizontal photos. If you look enough, Instagram will tell you what size it will limit the longest side of an image to, but Sekulic explains in detail why you also need to reduce the quality of the image to keep Instagram from doing it for you. This video gives several excellent tips for maintaining the quality of your Instagram portfolio, and it is worth watching for any photographer who uses this platform.

Lead image by Pixabay user freestocks, used under Creative Commons.

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1 Comment

Michael Kuszla's picture

Nice tips to prepare your files for Instagram.
By the way, to upload files with keeping quality you can also use clever app such as Flume on mac or the LR/Instagram Lightroom plugin to manage the export to IG.
I do prefer Flume because I can manage my profile, take a look to the people I follow, send message, and easily manage/upload my photos based on the High Res photogaphies.