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12 Local Businesses That Take Amazing Instagram Photos (& How To Do The Same For Free)

Exciting, efficient, quality photo skills are an integral part of a business’s look and presence on social media. If you are a business owner looking to take your own great photos for your page, this article is for you!

Step Out Buffalo asked some local businesses we think do an awesome job at taking their own photos for helpful tips they could give other business owners, social media managers, and photographers.

The number one most mentioned tip? Having good, natural lighting.

Other tips that were mentioned:

  • Backgrounds
  • Subject matter
  • Intention
  • Presentation
  • Authenticity

Check out all 12 local businesses we interviewed and get their full tips below!

Alana Adetola Arts Photography


“Photography is all about light. Your light source is key! Once you take the time to truly understand this concept, you have the ability to take excellent quality photos…anytime, anywhere. When you start to pay extra attention to where your light source is coming from, you’ll want to start training your eyes to look for the source always. And the more you practice doing so, the easier it will be for you to go from “just taking a picture” to “capturing a moment”.”

At Home On Heath


“My number one tip for great photos is natural light! It makes all the difference – helps with clarity + in my case, often cohesion. Perfect with a simple background to highlight any item✨”

Big Mood


“For us it’s all about the edit. Achieving the right vibe with your edit sets the whole “mood,” feel, and association of your brand. We opt for deeply warm hues that gives the impression that everything is sun-kissed and warm. We love going for backgrounds that are graphics or sweet spots around our space, or focus on white or wood tones consistently so the edit is always uniform and cohesive.”

Buffalo Barkery


“Take time to set a scene to encourage photos in a specific area. For example, one thing that we have found helpful is having an ever changing backdrop behind our purple couch. This allows people to bring their pets in for a special pic of their pet or their family. It also helps that our subjects are super adorable!”

Fairy Cakes Cupcakery


“We’re lucky because our subject matter is pretty varied and fun. Even when we only have time to take a quick snap as things are in a box going out the door, we can usually still post it. Our favorite pictures are closeups that let people see the details of our baked goods, whether it’s a particular aspect of decoration, or a bite of cupcake, frosting, and sprinkles that basically demands the viewer’s attention. We spend a lot of thought and time on how our baked goods taste and look, and we want people scrolling through Instagram and Facebook to see it, practically be able to taste it, and think, “oh my god, I have to have that right now!””

I Am Magick 


“I’d say, above all, be intentional with your photos and your words. Don’t post because you post everyday—post because you have something to tell your following. That’s how you build an authentic audience.”

New York Beer Project


“I love using natural light in my photos. I’ve found it shows off the food/beer in the most realistic and appetizing way!”

Oak & Iron Salon and Tattoo


“I would say the best suggestion we can give would be to research other brands that inspire your look and try your best to combine those aspects into your own style of photography.”

Peace Love & Little Donuts


“We take lots of pictures from different angles and I use natural light, nothing fancy. I move around the store a lot to find the perfect light. 😆 Presentation and different colors are really important for me. The way we arrange the donuts in the box or a plate, they have to be neat and colorful. We want the viewers to want to eat them. 🤤”

Remedy House


“One tip is to be as authentic as possible. Present yourself or subject matter in the best possible way but in a way that feels natural to you. No one wants to like what they see on social media but then be let down once they walk through the door.”

Squeeze Juicery


“My number 1 tip is natural lighting. Bring your subject near a window and turn off the flash.”

Sun Cuisines


“Showcase customer favorites with an enticing, unique and well-plated presentation.”

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Step Out Buffalo Business

Step Out Buffalo Business is a business focused publication featuring tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and small business people in Buffalo & Western New York. We write what we know and when we don't know, we ask an expert in the field. We've gained our knowledge through experience growing businesses in various industries.

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