How to Crush Instagram

By Yeti Jan 3, 2018
Unlock the power of your smart phone's camera and share your vacay on Instagram.
How to Crush Instagram

Unlock the power of your smart phone's camera and share your vacay on Instagram. 

The best camera is the one that’s with you.” This old adage is so true. Luckily, the camera in your pocket has optically grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Jay Dash is a Salt Lake City–based professional photographer who hears the call of the mountains every day. He offered us his best tips on how to capture your snowy adventures on Instagram.


Disconnect and just be present

Activate your phone’s airplane mode often. “Disconnect and just be present in the mountains,” Jay says. “It’ll help you see better shots.” You will have less distractions and will let you focus on the task at hand—like breathing fresh air in the mountains with your friends.


Use the rule of thirds. This rule can be applied to almost all photos but works exceptionally well for bold landscape images. When cropping your photos on your phone, you want to place the subject at the grid’s intersection. Leave a little space for the sky and put your peaks close to the top of the frame. Leave a bit of foreground to help lead the Instagram gawker into the image.


Make your buddies ski close to where you are set up. Follow the skier with your phone to keep the subject in focus. Shoot with the sun at your back. Burst mode is your best friend. Continuously hold down the photo button and you’ll likely capture every phase of that powder turn.


We’ve all pulled our phone out of our jacket pockets on the hill only to find a dead battery. So frustrating. Your best bet is to connect your phone to a small external battery charger. Mophie has great affordable options starting at $25. Airplane mode also saves battery life.


For nailing landscape images, always shoot away from the sun. If you have a DSLR camera then this rull will not be as relevant. 


Every image needs some editing love. Jay’s two favorite mobile editing apps are Snapseed and Lightroom Mobile. He also uses Instagram’s LUX slider tool. While Jay confesses that he doesn’t know exactly how it works, he knows the LUX tool dramatically improves images.


"Of course, no one truly knows the secret sauce in cracking Facebook, I mean, Instagram's algorithm."—Jay says. 

With that said, Instagram stories are part of this equation and shouldn't be ignored. When posting to Insta stories, don't worry about all of the technical photography rules above, but instead, be a real human being and let that bleed through. Additionally, if people watch your entire story then supposedly Instagram rewards your page because it means that you're creating content that people like to watch. 4-6 posts within one story usually seems to be the sweet spot. 


Once you’ve captured that hero shot, it’s time to post to Instagram to draw some serious envy from your friends. Using hashtags will greatly up your reach. While you’re visiting us here in Utah, use #wasatchmountains, #skiutah, #visitutah, #utahisrad and the resort tag where the magic came together. There is no need to be shy; have fun with hashtags. It also helps to tag the location of the image. And, Ski Utah's Insta account is a go-to source for all things sliding on The Greatest Snow on Earth.