Resize a Photo for Instagram: The Ultimate Guide

Social media is a powerful tool for any business in the digital age. Meeting your potential customers where they are helps you to grow your base, perhaps exponentially if you catch the eyes of the right people. However, simply having an account is not enough. A poorly curated account may hurt your company more than it helps, so it's important to know how your followers will interact with your content. Instagram offers different types of posts for creators that vary in dimension, and knowing how to use each may be the difference between failing and flourishing.

Resizing photos for Instagram posts

When Instagram appeared on our devices in 2012, users could only post square photos. The app has since branched out to allow portrait and landscape photos and stories in addition to video posts and IGTV.

Photo posts

The original Instagram posts were forced into a 1:1 aspect ratio. That sometimes meant losing content if you were using default camera settings. To maintain your photo quality, it is recommended that you not exceed the 1080 x 1080 dimensions so Instagram does not have to compress your image.

Square photos don't offer the best experience in every case. If you're posting scenery, using a landscape orientation to share the landscape with your followers is instinctual. The maximum recommended size for landscape photos is 1080 pixels wide by 566 pixels high. That may be a lot smaller than your photo's actual size, so be sure to preview your content thoroughly before posting to make sure nothing gets cut out. The aspect ratio of landscape posts on Instagram is 1.91:1, so if you do upload a larger photo at this ratio, check the result for clarity.

Similarly, portrait photos may work better for human subjects, as in the case of a fashion account. The recommended width of portrait photos is 1080 pixels, while the height should be 1350 pixels. This is the maximum recommended size, but as long as your image has a 4:5 aspect ratio, the entire photo should be visible.


Following in fellow social media app Snapchat's footsteps, Instagram added the story functionality in 2016. While the standard photo post is good for spreading information, stories can boost brand engagement. Your followers know that your post will only be up for 24 hours, so you can share things that may not warrant a long-lived photo post, like a promotion or a behind-the-scenes look at your current creative process.

To avoid surprises when uploading, use an aspect ratio of 9:16, or a minimum of 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high, for your Instagram story posts. At this size, your photo fills the viewing window. Stories are intended to be viewed in portrait layout, but Instagram will allow you to upload photos with other aspect ratios.

Cutting your photos down to size

Most devices offer basic cropping functionality in their photo editors, but if you're looking to go a step further, Corel PHOTO-PAINT can help you edit your photo for any type of Instagram content. The photo editing program is included in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Once you've resized your photos for the best viewing experience, there is a variety of effects at your disposal to bring your artistic vision to life.

Putting out polished content

Corel PHOTO-PAINT brings together all the tools you need for the perfect post. From basic resizing to special effects, the combination of the photo editor with Instagram's native options can only make your post that much more unique. If you're looking to take your Instagram posts to the next level, try the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite today.

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