Jen’s Tar-Pit: 5 Tips for an Awesome Instagram Post

Nov 18, 2014
The Reptile Report
by Jennifer Greene

The Reptile Report - Now, it’s all well and good for me to write general posts about the best practices for posting on Instagram for the general public.

“But Jen,”  you say.  “Jen, reptiles don’t sit still.  I’m pretty sure my favorite reptile pictures don’t include dressing up a dog in a dinosaur costume, or of those weird plants you like so much.  How do I make a good post about reptiles on Instagram?  I want to win that free Spider ball python!

Never fear, I’ll help you out!

5 tips instagram


1)      Take a Clear Picture!  

You may think you take good pictures, but let me tell you, after surfing Instagram lately, no, you do not.  A good photo is one that is crisp and in focus – there should be no blur at all.  If you can’t tell the difference between this picture:


and this picture:


maybe you should get your eyes checked.  Plain and simple, make sure that your photo is totally in focus.  At the very least, get the head and especially the eyes in focus.

2)      Crop or Center Your Photo Properly

Instagram posts in squares.  If your photo does not crop nicely into a square shape, then it probably won’t work well on Instagram.  You can download apps that will let you put in borders or have multiple images in frames, but the basic premise of Instagram is that the images are in squares.

long photo

A photo like this one is cool and all, but won’t crop in a visually appealing way for Instagram.

3)      Pick Your Filters Wisely

Some filters look better than others, and some work more easily for reptiles than others.  Often, for reptile owners, they want to highlight the bright colors of their pets, especially if the focus of the image is the animal’s eyes.  In this case, pick a filter that is going to increase contrast.  Don’t underestimate how cool reptiles can look as black and white images, either.  If you are trying to create a ‘brand’ for your reptile breeding business, or want to become distinct and easily recognized, try to stick to just 2 or 3 filters you use on all (or most) images.

4)      Pick Good Hashtags!

Hashtags can seem confusing if you’re not sure the purpose of them.  Believe it or not, while they are often abused to try and get more likes, they are best suited as a way to sort images so others can find them more easily.  #reptile is where you’d look if you want to see reptile images, and #beach is where you look for beach images.  Use hashtags that are relevant to your image if you want to get the most responses.  #TotallyTarPit is a great tag to get engaged not only with me, but with others participating in the contest.

5)      Post Images You’d Want to See

And of course, take pictures and share images that you’d want to see!  Would you really want to see a blurry, dark photo where you can’t even make out the pattern on a snake if it was Brian from Snakebytes posting it?  Of course not, you want to see the pattern on the animals, see a crisp, clear photo.  No one wants to try and see your blurry gecko through water drops all over your glass, but reptile lovers LOVE seeing a beautiful gecko with a nice, clean background.  Have fun, get creative, and post some cool pics!  Make sure to tag #TotallyTarPit and join the conversation!

square long tail

Your friendly neighborhood dinosaur in disguise,
Tyrannosaurus Jen

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