How To Crop Photos For Instagram

You probably never considered the importance of knowing how to crop photos for Instagram. But it is very important.

In this article, we’ll share which size photos to use to make the most of your Instagram photos!

How To Crop Photos

Well, there are many ways to crop Instagram photos.

First, you can use your phone’s own integrated editing system. On the other hand, you can use apps!

Crop Photos With iPhone

If you’re using your iPhone’s editing system, it’s very simple.

Select the photo you want to edit and then in the top right, click ‘Edit’.

Next, click the box and arrow icon in the bottom left.

Screenshot of iPhone Editing

To crop the photo, you can manually adjust using the white angles in the corner of the photo. Drag and drop to create your ideal crop.

However, you can also use the set ratios. Click the three rectangles in the bottom right.

Screenshot of iPhone Cropping

You will get a list of ratios to choose from. These are the most common ratios to crop photos. We’ll talk more about the best ones to use later!

Screenshot of iPhone Crop Ratios

Depending on whether the photo was taken in portrait or landscape, the iPhone will give you the options to use the ratios according to the photo’s existing ratio.

For example, if you took a photo like this (landscape):

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“I always marvel at the humans’ ability to keep going. They always manage to stagger on even with tears streaming down their faces.” -Marcus Zusak Well it has certainly been an interesting start to the year and I never intended for it to be without Instagram but I guess it’s funny the way the world works. A lot of changes have happened for me, one of them being that I am now alone in New Zealand. My family have moved back to the UK but I decided to stay. So life has been strange and emotional and the summer has been long and hot and beautiful. I got my license (finally!) so now I have more independence and through it all, this watch has been a constant reminder to be on time but also that the last few days with my family were spent helping me get photos of it. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am hosting a giveaway so please follow the link in my bio to go in to win a $100 gift card for @jordwatches #ad #sponsored #jordwatches #jordwatch I hope to resume my normal posting once the giveaway has ended and I have the chance to head out and take some photos. I miss you all.

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You won’t have the same ratio options as a photo taken like this (portrait):

Therefore, you’ll find you have more options to crop photos using an external app, such as VSCO.

💡 Related Post: A beginner’s Lightroom guide

Crop Photos With External App

VSCO lets you take a landscape photo and make it portrait, and vice versa. Be careful though, this can often adjust the quality of the image!

Using VSCO to crop photos is nice and simple. Once you’ve imported your photo, use the adjustment icon to access the editing tools.

VSCO Editing App

From there, you’ll find one called “Adjust”. This is how you will crop your photos.

VSCO gives you a list of the most commonly used ratios, including both portrait and landscape options.

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Simply click the ratio you want and it will adjust your photo for you.

💡 Related Post: Ingenious ways brands use Instagram multiple photos

How To Crop Photos For Instagram

Of course, you’re wondering which ratio is best for Instagram! Lucky for you, there are a few options.

Square Crop

Instagram started with only one option for cropping photos: the square.

The square crop had a good life, but it can be very limiting.

However, sometimes a photo looks wonderful in its simple square crop.

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Here’s the secret to winning my heart: rainy days and nights, a Harry Potter candle, pinecone and stacks of books✨ • Oh my, I can’t even remember when was the last time it rained☹️ hopefully the skies can hear my desire🙈 so it’s Valentine’s tomorrow (at least according to my time zone🙊) and I don’t know about it, we kinda don’t really celebrate it🙃 I’d rather avoid the crowds ad stay at home all snuggled up with books and fictional boyfriends HAHAHA (oops!!) • Here’s a burning question: what kind of reader are you – do you use a proper bookmark every single time or do you just grab anything that’s near to you?🙈 I’m definitely those who use a proper bookmark! • Featuring a rare copy of The Tales of Beddle the Bard with @frostbeardmpls Headmaster’s Office candle that smells of fireplace, cedar wood and lemon😍😍😍 you can also save 10% when you use “flippingchapters10” at checkout✨ #AD : : : : : : : : : : : : #booksofinstagram #readabook #becauseofreading #readersofinstagram #libraryofbookstagram #harrypotter #bookdragon #booksbooksbooks #readingnook #cozycorner #onmynightstand #readingismagic #booknerdigans #booklife #bookporn #openbook #hyggestyle #frostbeardstudio #frostbeardshare #booksandcandles #bookishcandles #bookaesthetic #aquietstyle #vscobooks #vscoreads #cozymood #mybeigelife #alwaysreading #allthebooksfeb19

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Crop photos in a square if you want the entirety of the photo to be seen from your Instagram feed. When you use anything other than square, not every inch of the photo can fit into the grid of your Instagram profile.

Square photos give a nice clean simple feel and take up enough space in your timeline to get noticed.

On VSCO, you can use the 1:1 ratio to get a square photo crop.

*insert photo*

From there, you can slide the box up and down to select which part of the photo you want to be in the crop.

In the iPhone’s editing tools, you get the option to actually crop the photo to a “Square”. This keeps it nice and simple; you don’t have to remember as many numbers!

Screenshot of Cropping Photos With iPhone

However, square photos aren’t right for every single picture. It’s certainly awesome that Instagram now allows more sizes!

Landscape Crop

If you take a nice landscape style photo, it’ll fit perfectly into Instagram now!

In simple terms, a landscape photo is where the bottom length of the photo is longer than the height of the photo, as pictured here.

Landscape photos are great for landscapes, obviously, selfies with friends, macro photos, flatlays and more.

Landscape crops look good on your Instagram feed, too, as the app will take the middle section of your photo to use as the thumbnail on your grid.

The aspect ratio that Instagram uses for landscape photos is anything up to 1.91:1.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a mainstream free app that will edit at this specific scale. The easiest way to do this is to type into Photoshop or Lightroom these exact dimensions.

However, don’t lose hope! You can still crop a photo to a great landscape ratio using your phone’s editing system or VSCO. It just won’t be as good quality as 1.91:1.

Luckily enough, these aspect ratios all fit Instagram: 3:2, 4:3, and 5:4.

For sure, try 5:4 so that you can fit as much of your photo into the frame as possible!

Tip: Use landscape ratios sparingly. Because the size is smaller, they take up less room on your follower’s timeline which means they are more likely to scroll past them.

Portrait Crop

A portrait crop seems to be the most popular way to crop photos for Instagram these days! This is for many reasons.

  1. When you take a photo on your smartphone the way you hold it, it automatically takes it in portrait dimensions. Therefore, it’s easier to work with portrait sized photos.
  2. You can put more into the photo because it is the biggest size Instagram allows.
  3. You can photograph anything in portrait size: people, landscapes, flatlays, food, selfies, and more.
  4. Finally, it takes up the most space on your Instagram feed because it is as long as Instagram allows, and goes from edge to edge of the screen, too. So, if you want to capture more people’s attention, use a portrait size!

Amazing Portrait Cropped Pictures

@byollieb used a portrait crop to have more space to create the distance between him and the girl pictured. Also, it allowed more space for the love heart at the top. Definitely, this ratio is great for getting more creative!

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smalls steps everyday – this has been my motto for the past few weeks 🌞🌿🌈 a reminder. don't be too hard on yourself. be grateful for every little task you finish. accept the ups and downs. accept that you cannot be productive from 9 to 7 for 2 weeks straight because you are.. human. you are not some crazy study machine and your worth is not measured by how fast you can work and finish all that stuff. oh, and don't compare yourself to others. which is easier said than done but so, so important. do things at your own pace. ❤️💭 . ja.. was soll ich sagen. mein kopf fühlt sich leer an, aber sobald ich ein paar worte getippt habe, kommt doch ganz viel raus. ⚡💭 in ein paar tagen ist hoffentlich erstmal alles für die uni geschafft. aber allein, wenn wir heute die hausarbeit abgeben, fühlt sich alles schon viel befreiter an. 🌞 ich hab so viele ideen für die zeit danach und ach.. einfach durchhalten ☺️ ihr lieben, die sich aktuell noch durch stress und klausuren und lernen und schreiben kämpfen – nehmt euch die worte da oben zu herzen. ☺️ ihr schafft das alles und das sage ich nicht nur so dahin wie man das halt so macht, sondern ich bin mir ganz sicher. 💪🏼❤️ . . . . . . . . #amsterdam#throwback#visitamsterdam#iamsterdam#prettylittleiinspo#mytinyatlas#wearetravelgirls#blondesandcookies#simplethingsmadebeautiful#postitfortheaesthetics#hairsandstyles#franziskaelea#carmushka#carmushkapresets#christinakli#anajohnson#blogger_de#bookstagramgermany#creativefolk#creativehappylife#createandcapture#kleinerfeinerfeed#feelfreefeed#lifestyleblogger_de#aseasonalshift#whimsicalwonderfulwild#livemoremagic

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@svenjasparkling used a portrait ration to feature tall lovely buildings, bikes and sky! This is a great use of space. Also, she placed the quote carefully so that it can still be seen in the square thumbnail on her profile.

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From my journal this week ✍🏼 I’ve been thinking a lot about my place in this city. Who do I want to become? Who am I now? How has this place grown and changed me for the better and the opposite? NYC finally feels like home and I feel like opportunity to grow, change, love, and experience is right at my fingertips. Finding kinship in others and finally having the time and bandwidth to figure out who I am and what I want has been such a gift recently, and I feel I’m finding clarity on where I want to be. And what a place to be discovering that in — this city is embroidered with such beauty in the midst of calamity and what @shelbypine describes as “questionable smells” on the subway. For a place so chaotic, it is so still. Just a little brain dump on my feelings here 🙈💌

A post shared by Ashley Ballard (@closetvomitfashion) on

Finally, @closetvomitfashion nailed the crop ratio on this photo! Of course, if she’d used a square or landscape crop, she wouldn’t have been able to fit the bench, herself and the lovely tiling job into the photo. So thank you, Instagram, for allowing more crop ratios!

The best ratio to use for these sizes is 4:5. It’s the largest size Instagram allows. Also, it’s available in most editing apps which makes it all the more useful.

Editing Photo of a Candle In 4:5 Ratio

It’s a little smaller than the ratio that your iPhone uses to shoot photos so you will have to sacrifice some of your shot to fit it into Instagram’s size, but it’s not much!

Crop Photos For Instagram Story

Of course, we wouldn’t leave you without telling you the size to use for Instagram stories!

The ratio for this is 9:16. You can use your iPhone editing tool for making this crop, too. VSCO and Lightroom also have this option!

Crop Photos at 9:16 For Instagram Stories

It’s great that you can now crop photos to exactly fit the Instagram story! It is a slim fit but it works well.

Book Shop Photo Cropped For Instagram Story

However, some things just look silly when cropped to 9:16. Specifically, close up images, because the crop can sometimes cut out important parts of your photo!

Tip: Use apps like Unfold, Over and Mojo to fit your photos into your Instagram story in a more functional and flexible way! These apps have minimalist feels and are all easy to use. Also, you can use your fingers to adjust a photo to its original size in your Instagram story, in order to fit the entire photo in.

That was definitely a lot of information about how to crop photos for Instagram! Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Upleap will be there to help you with any of your Instagram endeavors. With Upleap, you’ll get an account manager who is dedicated to growing your followers, build your brand and engage with your targeted audience. Click https://upleap.comhere for a free trial!

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By Beth McCallum

I'm Beth, a Scottish writer and bookworm. I'm currently agent hunting for my debut novel while running a candle business from my home. I obsess over dogs, Hamilton, chai lattes and recently, Harry Potter. I know, I'm decades late.

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