3 Easy Ways to Make Your Amateur Photos Look Professional

Where (and Why) to Start

Hiring a professional photographer isn’t the only path to great content. An expert is ideal for more formal marketing campaigns or special events, but what about the other 99% of the time? 

Often the best shareable moments happen spontaneously throughout the workday – a fun staff party, new product demo, or business travel. These are perfect opportunities to showcase a more casual and relatable side of the business. It also allows for a large amount of content to be shared on a very regular basis. 

The first step is the most important: taking a photo. Lots of photos. They don’t have to be perfect, but you can’t possibly share photos if you don’t have any! When you have a few minutes to spare, delete the ones that are horrible (we all take them) and edit the ones you like. Below are a few key features that will instantly improve and optimize the photos for sharing on social media.

Important Photo Tools

Rotate & Crop

If you use only one tool to improve your photo, make it rotate! Once you begin using this feature, you’ll start noticing how many social media photos overlook it. A beautiful scene of boats in a harbor is overshadowed by a horizon line set at a 20-degree angle. It’s distracting for the brain to work harder righting a crooked view, instead of just enjoying a great photo. 

While you’re already there rotating your photo, have a look at your cropping options. Is there an unsightly trash can in the background? Stacks of clutter on a desk? Half of a random man’s head? This is another chance to frame the photo to focus only on the parts you want the viewer to see.


This feature is available in your cell phone’s photo software or photo editing software. This magic wand will automatically improve the quality of your photo (lighting, color, etc.) without any work on your part. It’s a great feature and should be used every time.

Filters & Style Tools

Depending on the photo editing software you use, there may be an option to choose a filter to modify the coloring of the overall photo. Instagram allows filters to be added to the photo within the app before posting, along with a few other easy styling tools that are worth getting to know. When using filters on social media photos, choose one or two similar filters that you like and use them exclusively. Sticking to a consistent “look” keeps the social feed cohesive rather than confusing.   


The first photo below is a crooked and dark untouched photo taken in Miami Beach. To get the second photo, I hit the auto-enhance button (this lightened it significantly), straightened the image, and added a slight vignette to darken the outer edges and draw your eye to the center of the photo. A quick and easy edit with great results!






Use It or Lose It

These tools take only a small amount of time to learn but they can work wonders for improving the look of your photos. Get to know them well as you practice taking and sharing more photos. I’ve found that working on editing and enhancing my photos has taught me how to improve the photos I take to begin with. The more photos you take, the better photos you will capture, and the best social media feeds you will have!