How to Make the Most of Instagram Landscape Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Landscape and Portrait Modes

By: Ellen Bartolino

Instagram has become a dominant platform in the world of social media, offering users the ability to share their photos and videos in a variety of formats. One of the most essential aspects of Instagram is the ability to utilize both landscape and portrait modes effectively. Understanding how to make the most of these modes can significantly enhance your photography and video content, ensuring that your feed appears professional and engaging.

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or a seasoned Instagram user, knowing when to use landscape or portrait modes can make a substantial difference in the quality of your posts. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits and best practices for using Instagram’s landscape and portrait modes, how to switch between them seamlessly, and tips for optimizing your content to look its best.

How to make the most of instagram landscape mode

How to Use Instagram Landscape Mode

Instagram’s landscape mode allows you to capture and share photos and videos in a wider format, providing a more cinematic feel to your posts. This mode is perfect for landscape photos, group shots, and any content that benefits from a wider perspective.

Benefits of Landscape Mode

Using the landscape orientation can enhance the visual impact of your posts. Landscape photos are particularly effective for capturing expansive scenes, whether it’s a breathtaking sunset, a panoramic cityscape, or a wide-angle shot of a group of friends. The wider format allows more of the scene to be included, providing a richer context and more immersive experience for your followers.

During my recent vacation to the Grand Canyon, I realized the importance of using landscape mode on Instagram. The wide, breathtaking views were perfectly captured in this format, allowing me to share the vastness and beauty of the canyon with my followers. By using the landscape orientation, I could include more of the stunning scenery, making my posts more engaging and visually appealing.

Tips for Capturing Stunning Landscape Photos

  1. Enable Landscape Mode: On both Android and iPhone devices, you can switch to landscape mode by rotating your phone. Make sure your phone gallery is set to allow rotation.
  2. Use Landscape Instead of Portrait: When capturing wide scenes, remember to switch to landscape. This orientation is more suitable for panoramic shots and scenes that require a broader field of view.
  3. Edit Without Cropping: Use editing tools that allow you to maintain the full aspect ratio of your landscape photos. Apps like IGTV and other Android apps can help you keep the integrity of your wide shots without unnecessary cropping.
  4. Optimize Your Settings: Adjust the aspect ratio and resolution settings in your camera app to ensure you’re getting the best possible quality for your landscape photos.
  5. Use Filters and Effects: Enhance your landscape photos with Instagram’s built-in filters and editing tools. This can help to bring out the colors and details in your wide shots.

By mastering the use of landscape orientation, you can create posts that stand out in your Instagram feed. Sharing photos in this format can provide a more natural way to present your visual stories, ensuring they get cut through the noise on social media.

Making the Most of Instagram Portrait Mode

Portrait mode on Instagram is ideal for capturing vertical photos and videos, which naturally align with how we hold our phones. This mode is particularly effective for individual portraits, close-up shots, and any content that benefits from a more focused and intimate perspective.

Advantages of Portrait Mode

Portrait mode offers several benefits, especially for capturing detailed and vertical compositions. It allows for a closer and more personal connection with the subject, making it perfect for selfies, portraits, and detailed shots. This orientation fits perfectly with Instagram’s vertical feed, ensuring your content is displayed prominently without needing to be cropped.

As a freelance photographer, I often need to showcase my work on Instagram. I found that portrait mode is ideal for sharing professional headshots and close-up portraits of my clients. The vertical orientation helps to highlight the details and expressions, making each photo stand out in my feed. By combining the right lighting and Instagram’s editing tools, I ensure that each portrait looks professional and polished.

Best Practices for Portrait Photos

  1. Stay in Portrait Orientation: When taking pictures or videos, keep your phone in the vertical position to take full advantage of the portrait. This ensures that your content aligns with Instagram’s standard format.
  2. Use Instagram’s Filters: Enhance your portrait photos using Instagram’s built-in filters. These can add a professional touch to your images and help them stand out.
  3. Focus on the Subject: Portrait mode is designed to highlight your subject. Use features like the focus and depth effect to ensure your subject stands out against the background.
  4. Edit and Resize: Use editing tools to adjust the composition and aspect ratio of your portrait photos. This ensures that your images are perfectly framed and optimized for Instagram.
  5. Utilize Good Lighting: Lighting is crucial for portrait photography. Natural light can enhance the details and colors in your portrait photos, making them look more appealing.

By following these best practices, you can make the most of Instagram’s portrait mode, ensuring your vertical photos are both stunning and engaging. Whether you’re capturing selfies, detailed shots, or artistic portraits, the portrait helps you create visually appealing content that fits perfectly within Instagram’s vertical feed.

Use editing tools to adjust the composition and aspect ratio of your portrait photos

Combining Landscape and Portrait Modes for Video on Instagram

Creating videos for Instagram can be a bit challenging due to the varying aspect ratios, but mastering both landscape and portrait modes can make your videos more engaging and versatile. Here’s how to effectively use both modes for your video content.

How to Shoot and Upload Videos in Both Modes

  1. Shoot in Landscape and Portrait: Depending on the content, decide whether landscape or portrait mode is more suitable. Landscape videos work well for cinematic shots and scenes with a lot of horizontal action, while portrait videos are ideal for close-ups and vertical compositions.
  2. Enable Rotation: Make sure your device’s rotation setting is enabled. This allows you to easily switch between landscape and portrait while shooting.
  3. Use the Instagram App: You can shoot videos directly within the Instagram app, which allows you to switch between landscape and portrait orientations seamlessly.
  4. Edit and Crop: After shooting, use editing tools to crop and adjust your videos. Ensure that they fit the desired aspect ratio for Instagram without losing important content.

Tips for Seamless Rotation and Transition Between Modes

  1. Plan Your Shots: When combining both modes in a single video, plan your shots ahead of time. Consider how each scene will look in either landscape or portrait orientation.
  2. Use Smooth Transitions: Avoid abrupt changes between landscape and portrait options. Use smooth transitions to maintain a professional look.
  3. Maintain Consistent Quality: Ensure that both landscape and portrait shots have consistent quality in terms of lighting, resolution, and framing.
  4. Add Borders if Needed: If your video includes both landscape and portrait shots, adding borders can help blend the two formats. This ensures your video looks cohesive.

By mastering both landscape and portrait modes for videos, you can create dynamic and engaging content for your Instagram feed. This versatility allows you to capture a wider range of scenes and storytelling techniques, ensuring your videos stand out on social media.

Engagement Rates: According to a 2023 report, posts using both landscape and portrait formats on Instagram have seen a 15% higher engagement rate compared to those using only one format.


Mastering the use of both landscape and portrait modes on Instagram can significantly enhance the quality and versatility of your content. By understanding when and how to use each mode, you can ensure that your photos and videos are always optimized for the best visual impact.

Landscape mode is perfect for capturing wide, cinematic scenes that need to showcase a broader field of view, while portrait is ideal for detailed, close-up shots that focus on the subject. By combining these two modes effectively, you can create a dynamic and engaging Instagram feed that attracts and retains followers.

Mastering the use of both landscape and portrait modes on Instagram

Remember to leverage Instagram’s built-in tools for editing and optimizing your content, ensuring that every post looks professional and polished. Whether you’re sharing photos or videos, using the right orientation can make a significant difference in how your audience perceives and engages with your content.

By following the tips and best practices outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of Instagram’s landscape and portrait modes, creating a visually appealing and cohesive profile that stands out in the crowded world of social media.

National Geographic has been effectively utilizing both landscape and portrait modes on Instagram to engage their audience and showcase their stunning photography. In 2023, they reported a significant increase in follower engagement by adapting their posting strategies to include more diverse formats. By alternating between landscape photos for scenic landscapes and portrait formats for detailed wildlife shots, National Geographic has maintained a dynamic and visually captivating feed. This approach not only keeps their content fresh and varied but also maximizes the visual impact of each post.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose between portrait and landscape modes for my Instagram posts?

When deciding between portrait and landscape modes, consider the content you want to share. The portrait is ideal for close-ups and individual shots, while the landscape is better for wide, scenic views. You can switch modes by rotating your device before capturing the photo or video.

Can I upload photos in both portrait and landscape formats on Instagram?

Yes, you can upload photos in both formats. When you want to upload a photo, tap the icon that allows you to select the aspect ratio. You can choose between landscape and portrait formats to best suit your content.

Why hasn’t my Instagram profile picture updated?

If your Instagram profile picture hasn’t updated, try checking your internet connection and refreshing the page. Sometimes, it may take a few minutes for changes to reflect. If the issue persists, you might need to clear the app cache or restart your device.

How can I ensure my content in landscape mode doesn’t get cropped?

To ensure your content in landscape mode doesn’t get cropped, use the resize feature in Instagram’s editing tools. This helps you adjust the photo to fit Instagram’s dimensions without losing important details. Adding borders can also help maintain the full image.

What is the best way to orient my photos for Instagram on an iPad?

When using an iPad, you can orient your photos by rotating the device to either portrait or landscape mode. Ensure that the auto-rotation feature is enabled. This allows you to take advantage of the larger screen for editing and posting high-quality images.

Why do my landscape photos look pixelated on Instagram?

Pixelation in landscape photos can occur due to compression during the upload process. To minimize this, make sure your photos are high-resolution before uploading. Avoid over-editing and using filters that can reduce image quality.

How can I avoid cropping when I want to upload full-sized version photos?

To avoid cropping, you can use the square format or add borders to your photos before uploading. This ensures the full-sized version of your photo is displayed without losing any parts of the image.

What should I do if my Instagram notifications aren’t working?

If you’re not receiving notifications from Instagram, check your device settings to ensure notifications are enabled for the app. You might also need to update the app to the latest version or reinstall it to fix any bugs.

How can I share the photo in both portrait and landscape modes on Instagram?

You can share photos in both modes by using the carousel feature, which allows you to upload multiple images in different orientations in a single post. This way, your followers can swipe through and see your content in both portrait and landscape formats.

Can I use the Instagram mobile app to post without cropping my photos?

Yes, you can use the Instagram mobile app to post photos without cropping by using the resizing and editing tools provided within the app. These tools help you adjust your photos to fit Instagram’s dimensions while preserving the entire image.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.