4 Photo Mistakes On Instagram (And How To Fix Them)

quality attracts quality quote for Twitter

Here's one of my top secrets for getting more exposure on Instagram. This one is big, because if you don't get it down, you may actually be penalized by Instagram without knowing it. 

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 four main factors.

So... what happens if your photo doesn't make it into the "popularity potential" posse? It means your photo hides away on your feed and doesn't get exposure. 


  • Low Quality Photos = Less Exposure/Clicks/Potential Followers + Clients
  • High Quality Photos = More Exposure/Clicks/Potential Followers + Clients

Exposure is exactly what you want in order to get your brand in front of more eyes and to attract more of your dream following. So, here's how to get more exposure by making sure your photos are high quality and have "popularity potential".

4 Signs of Low-Quality Photos

Avoid these things when choosing photos to post to your Insta feed...

1. Grainy

2. Blurry

3. Overly Dark

4. Poor Composition

A mistake many wellness entrepreneurs make with their Instagram account is assuming they can just snap photos of their daily lives and inspire people. The reality is - it's not that easy. Any ol' snapshot doesn't just work on Instagram. The photo must be quality, must somehow tell a story, and should add to the overall storyline of your feed.

So let's dissect these four no-no's a little in order to learn how you can avoid them...

1. Grainy

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 settings

How to avoid graininess:

  1. Use a high quality camera or use photos taken by professional photographers
  2. Make sure the photo used for a design is as big, or larger than, the size of your design
  3. Only take photos in natural light during the day

2. Blurry

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:

  1. Use a high quality camera or use photos taken by a professional photographer.
  2. 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 in which you wish to be in focus.
  3. 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.

3. Overly Dark

Overly dark photos are often caused by:

  • Taking photos indoors
  • Taking photos at night

How to avoid overly dark photos:

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

3. Poor Composition

Poor Composition is often caused by:

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

How to avoid poor composition:

  1. Use professionally curated photos, like these beautiful stock photos pre-cropped for Instagram
  2. Learn the ins-and-outs of composition.
  3. Play it safe by keeping the main focal point in the center of your photo.

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Was this post helpful for you? Please show some love by letting me know in the comments below!


  1. Marla Golden on September 12, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you

  2. Marla Golden on September 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Thank you for all this information, I have been reading and studying it. Hope it works, using a digital camera on tripod for next few pictures.

    • Briena Sash on September 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

      You’re so welcome, Marla… glad these tips are helpful!

  3. Julie Davenport on September 15, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information on instagram photos

    • Briena Sash on September 15, 2017 at 8:25 am

      You’re so very welcome, Julie!

  4. Tshepang on April 26, 2020 at 2:15 am

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Pending Moderation”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “123@” in “author_email” *]
    Very helpful! Basic things I didnt know. Instagram has been such a mission because I’ve just been clueless! Thank you ❤️

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