5 Instagram Features That Bring Your Photos and Videos To Life

Instagram is making it increasingly easy to turn ho-hum photos into beautiful, creative photos that are more than worthy of sharing with the world. As a business there’s little reason not to give it a try. Let’s look at just five of the features that make Instagram a great way to market your business visually.

#1. Filters

At the heart of Instagram is it’s filter feature. The app offers 24 beautiful filters that can really make an ordinary photo pop, just with the click of a button.
Here you see an unedited photo I took for a client using my iPhone.

Unedited photo pre-filter


With one click I’ve added the Clarendon filter to this same photo in Instagram and just like that my rather dull photo is now looking quite dazzling!

Photo using the Clarendon filter on Instagram

#2 Tools

Not everyone wants to apply a filter though, in fact some resources will tell you that photos without filters perform better. In that case perhaps you just want to tweak your photo with one of the great tools Instagram offers including adjustments to saturation, contrast, shadows, sharpen and more.

Here’s a client photo taken in their showroom. The lighting isn’t the greatest in there!

Unedited Photo Uploaded to Instagram

Here’s that same photo after I adjusted the brightness.

Photo adjusted by the Brightness tool in Instagram

#3 Video

Another great feature is the ability to add video. Again, Instagram makes this even better by allowing users to apply all the same filters and tools to your videos as well. Here’s a video I took of the Spirit & Light Fountain at the Convent of The Sisters of St. Margaret. Take a moment to watch, it’s ridiculously relaxing!

#4 Orientation

A new update just announced yesterday is the ability to now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation. This is a big deal for Instagrammers! Now you can watch those great videos in widescreen and don’t have to worry about friends being cropped from the periphery of photos. When you choose a photo or video to upload you can make one tap on the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square.

#5 Layout App

Finally there’s one more feature that I want to mention. It’s an additional Instagram app called Layout. The layout app for Instagram allows you to very quickly and easily organize multiple photos into a collage. This is great for when you want to share multiple photos but you don’t want to post multiple photos. The app offers several layouts to choose from as well as the ability to flip individual photos or create a mirror image.

Here’s an image I created for my husband with our new puppy Jasper!

Photo collage created with the Instagram Layout app

The beauty of Instagram is that it can all be done right on our phone. It’s quick and simple for people on the go. As a business owner it doesn’t get much easier to share a visual representation of your storefront, products or brand. While I don’t always recommend it, you can in fact connect Instagram to your other social media platforms to have your photos and videos post directly to Twitter or Facebook for instance.

If you’re new to Instagram and need assistance, contact me to help you get started, and if you’re an avid Instagrammer be sure to follow me at @aprilmerrillcmc. I’d love to follow you back!