In this article you are going to learn how not to crop your portrait or landscape photos in Instagram. Let’s say I want to post the following photo to Instagram. This photo was taken in Glasgow Necropolis, a must-see place for anyone visiting the city.
Since Instagram only accepts square photos and the photo above is a 3 by 4 landscape, I will be asked to crop it before I can upload it to Instagram. I will see the following window in which any non-square image must be cropped to a square aspect ratio.
The built-in image cropping tool is a convenient way to turn your photos into square Instagrams. The only problem is that some compositions, like the one above, don’t really fit into square aspect ratios.
The best solution to this problem is using a free app called SquareReady (they also have a paid version if you don’t want ads). This app can be used to add white margins on the top and bottom of landscape photos, or on both sides of portrait photos. That way the photo will already be square before you open it with Instagram, and you won’t be asked to crop it.
The first step is to open your photo by selecting the folder icon in SquareReady, which is marked by number one in screenshot below.
After you have selected your photo from the library, your screen should look like this.
Do you see the row of icons at the bottom of the screen? To add white margins on the sides of your photo, simply select the third option on the bottom row of icons. Your screen should now look like this, which is exactly what we need.
There are a few more options in this app such as changing the background color and adding margins along all sides of the photo, but I don’t recommend using them. If you change the background to anything but white, the photo will look really strange on Instagram. I also wouldn’t try adding margins on all four sides of the photo. Your photo is already very small on most smartphone screens, so why make it even smaller?
Once you’ve created the perfect layout for your Instagram, click on the export arrow on the top right corner. Here you can save your composition to Camera Roll, or even better, send it straight to Instagram by choosing “Send in Instagram Format” option. Select the largest resolution, and then choose Instagram from the list of apps you see on your screen.
This will launch Instagram with your photo already selected, and you won’t be asked to crop it since it’s already square. After you add a description and upload your photo, it will look like this on your Instagram feed.
You can follow me on Instagram to see my best iPhone photography.