Screw the Square: Photographers Love New Instagram Changes!


OK – let’s just get it out there, being limited to a square aspect ratio sucks!  You know what else sucks…having to use a 3rd party app to post a photo in a portrait or landscape orientation.  Well folks…the Instagram camp finally listened to you and us photographers are no longer limited to posting square photos when using the Instagram app!

Photographers rejoice!

According to Instagram, only 20% of all photos uploaded from their 300 million monthly users are left as a square crop.

So what’s the issue with the square anyway?

As a photographer, especially with any photos you are taking with only your phone, photo composition is just about as important as your lighting.  Composition is everything.  As soon as you are forced to only post in a square format, the options you have for great photo composition are greatly diminished.

Instagram-landscape photo 1 Instagram-landscape trey

In fact, if you fall into the “anti-square” camp…you are not alone.  According to Instagram, only 20% of all photos uploaded from their 300 million monthly users are left as a square crop. While the other 80% of users are using an outside app to adjust their photos.  While that is great for the 3rd party app developers, it’s not good at all for Instagram.

How many times have you taken an amazing photo, go into Instagram to share it and realize…that amazing photo lost all it’s “amazing-ness” when forced into a square?

I know I’ve been there.

Ready to post to Instagram that rad landscape (or video) you took?

Here’s how:

When you access your photo gallery from within the updated Instagram app, you’ll be able to see a “format” button above the camera roll.   This is the button you will want to use to be able to toggle between square & full-size images.  This goes for video too! If you want to keep the native aspect ratio (portrait or landscape) than you’ll want to use the “full-size” image option.  From there, you can zoom in and out to choose the best crop for your photos.

Reasons to LOVE the Square

For many who have embraced the square crop, the primary reason to post only square cropped photos has been for a very uniform look to your Instagram “feed” that displays all of your posted photos.  This naturally creates a very nice and clean matrix look for all of your photos whereas if you mix up your photo posting with square, portrait and landscape photos your feed doesn’t quite look as nice and tidy.

“Feed” below from Cole’s Classroom Instagram

Many Instagrammers who have build massive followings have sworn by the importance of having a very attractive and good looking “feed” to garner more Instagram followers and I totally understand why.

You’ll ultimately have to weigh out the pros and cons and decide which is more important to you – posting with more creative composition or sticking with square crops to have a clean and attractive feed.

So what do YOU think?  Are you excited for this change and looking to ditch the square crop or are you sticking it out with the square?

Let me know in the comments below!


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