Doing it for the ‘gram: How to craft the perfect city snap

A portrait of the Tokyo skyline during the blue hour. Source: Shutterstock

A RECENT study found on average, two-fifths (40 percent) of millennials choose where to go on holiday based on how “Instagrammable” a destination is.

The top three most Instagrammed cities in the world, according to a report last year by UK-based airport transfer company Hoppa, are none other than New York, London and Paris.

New York, it said, was tagged in more than 50 million images on the photo-sharing platform while London was tagged in 47 million images and Paris in 41 million. Considering the fact these are global business centers, it’s no big surprise they’re topping the charts.

SEE ALSO: For millennials, ‘instagrammability’ most important factor in travel decisions

According to Hoppa, Asian cities are also popular among avid travel “‘grammers”. Cities like Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, Beijing, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are up there in the top 30 and it’s unsurprising given they are home to some of the world’s most impressive skylines.


The combination of 30-storey buildings, downtown houses, botanical gardens, and of course, scrumptious eats like chicken rice make Singapore one the most Instagrammed places in Asia, coming in at 12 on Hoppa’s list.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions and people. The colorful markets and the illuminated city skyline mean you’ll have very little editing to do before the big Insta upload.


Coming in a little later on the list at 34 is Phuket, but it doesn’t mean this vibrant Thai coastal city is any less Instagrammable than its Southeast Asian rivals. The blessedly undeveloped beach of Mai Khao- Beach on the northwest of Phuket is a particular favorite.

SEE ALSO: Lauren Bath on creating meaningful connections through Instagram

As picture-perfect as these locations may be, their stunning natural beauty alone won’t be enough to help you step up your Instagram game. So how do you grow your followers so those likes roll up faster than you can type “Throwback Thursday”?

Let’s hear it from the experts.

Always look up

A key tip from Instagram sensation Paul Octavious is that you should try and see things in a different way. Instead of taking a picture of what is right in front of you, try looking up to capture the clouds cascading over high-rise buildings, or a cat leaping from one sun-soaked ledge to another.

Take multiple photos

Don’t take 300 selfies and spend the rest of the night deciding which one accentuates your best assets, but take multiple photos of everything that catches your eye. Colors and surroundings change so quickly and not every shot is going to be “the one”.

As photographer Anthony Danielle explains, “Not every shot is going to be good. This is especially true when you’re first starting out, but with practice and patience, you can find your own style that works best for you”.

Look out for symmetry

Although edits can be made after, the true hallmark of a good photographer is getting the angles right.

Pei Ketron explains: “In order to capture the symmetry in a scene, you have to center yourself, make sure all your lines are straight and be a perfectionist when it comes to your square crop”. The human eye is most attracted to symmetry, so it’s a surefire way to see those love hearts ping in.