The Photo Quality-Preserving Instagram Hack You Wish You’d Known About Sooner

Like a lot of college students, I’m pretty obsessed with Instagram.  It’s a source of inspiration as well as an outlet with which to broadcast the best parts of my life.  However, I acknowledge that Instagram is not without it’s flaws. One of the most annoying being it’s propensity to seriously degrading the quality of your images.  As someone who primarily takes portrait-style photos, I know this struggle all too well. Thankfully, though, there’s a solution to this problem that’s been flying under the radar for years: square-fitting images.

Square-fitting (sometimes called square-cropping) is the act of putting a border around a photo so that the image itself is square, but the photo itself retains its dimensions and does not become distorted in any way.  There are several ways to do this, but I find using a white border in the PicsArt app works best.

To do this, first download the PicsArt app for free from the App Store, if you haven’t already.  Then, open your portrait or landscape image and select the square fit option from the bottom menu.  You’ll notice that there will be a border on either side of your image, but that the image itself will be unchanged--this function doesn’t stretch the photo or cut parts of it off to change the dimensions, it simply puts it in a square-shaped frame.  

You can change the color of the frame, but I like to keep it the default white as it blends in to the instagram app background.  Downloading an app and running every photo through it before posting it to instagram may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it if you want your instagram feed to appear as polished as possible.