How to Take Fabulous Fall Instagrams

Four of Boston's top Instagramers share their tips and tricks.

Photo courtesy of Sukrit Srisakulchawla

It’s that time of year again, when your social media feeds are blown up with pictures of New England’s riotous fall foliage, apple picking, and latte art.

Thanks to the ever-improving smartphone camera, snapping a shot on the fly is now a simple matter of pressing a button. However, there’s more to the art of taking a good photo than high-quality hardware.

Whether you’re looking to build a following on Instagram or simply up your game for the family’s digital photo frame, we corralled four prominent members of Boston’s Instagram community to share a few of their insights on how to get the best out of your seasonal ’grams.

A photo posted by Brayan (@brayanmess) on

1. Check your photo on the spot.

“If the picture doesn’t look good when you take it, it’s not going to look good when you edit it,” says Steven Fingar (@stevenfingar). Don’t be afraid to retake. And yes, of course the best fall pics are edited (see number 4). It’s pretty common knowledge at this point, but taking a little extra time on your photos can make a world of difference.

2. Work with everything you’ve got.

Use Instagram’s full aspect ratio to show off your photos.

“It’s a personal preference, but I prefer to see a full-size picture rather than one with a white border,” says Sukrit Srisakulchawla (@sukrits_25). Since Instagram updated the aspect ratios in August 2015, you can now fill a lot more of your followers’ phone screens with a photo.

3. Head for the hills.

Brayan Mesa (@brayanmess) and Victoria Romulo (@victoriaromulo) both recommend Beacon Hill for essential seasonal shots. Boston’s oldest neighborhood is a hotbed for photographers of all levels thanks to its deep, rich colors. “The changing trees are great in contrast to the brick homes they have,” Mesa says.

Quiet days on Acorn street. Happy Friday everyone!

A post shared by Brayan Mesa (@brayanmess) on

4. Fix it in post.

As for editing pictures, all the snappers said they used VSCO or Snapseed, a free Google editing software which Srisakulchawla says is far more powerful than Adobe’s mobile editions of Photoshop or Lightroom.

Srisakulchawla even uses an app to plan what his Instagram feed will look like.

“My philosophy is that each picture should be the best it can be, but you very much have to curate your entire gallery,” he says. People base their decision to follow you off your whole feed rather than one photo, so you should consider what that looks like. “Being able to put things together is an art,” Srisakulchawla says.

5. Find your #aesthetic.

Play around with editing tools to find your style, Mesa suggests. “Once you find it, stick to it. Consistency plays a big part,” he says. “If you want to attract more people to follow or enjoy your photos, they’ll most likely follow you if they know what you’re going to post.”

Not everybody is on Instagram to build a following, but if you are, Romulo suggests showing you have an eye for a certain thing—whatever that may be. “I like looking at someone’s account and seeing their—I hate to use this word, but—aesthetic,” she says.

6. It’s called social media for a reason.

One of the other things Romulo likes about the app is that she’s made friends through it. “Everyone should be a little more social on social media,” she says. “Reach out and connect with the people liking and commenting on your photos. Meet up and shoot or get coffee. We have a great community in Boston.”


A post shared by Victoria Romulo (@victoriaromulo) on

7. Embrace the season, but avoid clichés.

Email from Romulo: “Someone just posted a picture of their first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte of the season, and every ounce of my body cringed.” She says she’s bored of seeing the cliché beverage, people’s feet, and boots. “I don’t know why everybody takes pictures of their feet.”

If you simply cannot help yourself, Fingar says there’s a better way to ’gram your PSL.

“If you want to step up your game, take a step back and think about [the shot] for two seconds,” he says. He suggests taking it in context as a part of a framed scene, rather than simply snapping a picture of the drink in your hand.

Quiet mornings on Martha's Vineyard at my favorite local café ☕️

A post shared by Steven Fingar (@stevenfingar) on

8. Don’t take it too seriously.

Then again, it’s only social media. Remember, “Don’t be afraid of what other people think about you,” Fingar says. “You’re just taking pictures of you enjoying what you like.”

9. Happy shooting.

“Enjoy the weather while it lasts,” says Romulo. “Enjoy being able to go outside and take photos while you can!”