How to Capture Instagram and Snapchat Stories Like a Social Media Pro

Step up your Stories and Boomerang game with these tips and easy-to-use apps.
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In today's social media landscape, posting just photos and quick videos are no longer enough to keep your friends or followers updated. With the advent and ever-growing popularity of Snapchat's and Instagram's Stories, sharing videos and slideshows have become the norm. Instead of taking a short clip or a snapshot and calling it a day, here are a few cheats and tips to make your videos and photos in Stories look like they were curated by a true social media artist.

Master video editing apps.
Instagram, like Snapchat, has recently released face filters. To add a cinematic feel to your videos with decent transitions and filters, go the extra mile and use a video editing app. One of the easiest video editing apps to use right now is GoPro's Quik (iOS, Android). It offers all the basics like cropping and rotating clips, but its killer feature is its ability to do the editing work for you. You can export your video in vertical format using the “grammy” preset. Another similar and easy-to-use app is Carve Video Editor (iOS) which works like VSCO Cam for video with its great-looking filters, and Splice (iOS) which is technically a souped-up version of its sister app, Quik, as it gives you more editing controls.

Use the basic elements of typography to elevate your captions.
While many opt for quick, straightforward captions, having a basic understanding of typography adds flair to your Stories. Style your caption by combining big and small letters of varying colors. Look for interesting spots to place your caption, such as lines and empty spaces so clearer and more visually appealing.


Make use of the built-in stickers, but do not overpopulate your photos and videos with them, so they don't look gimmicky. If Instagram's type tool doesn't cut it for you, opt for third-party typography apps for better control and customization such as Phonto (iOS, Android), Over (iOS, Android), and PathOn (iOS).

Learn to forego the 24-hour gallery limit.
When you have a great photo or video you want to share in Stories but are already past the 24-hour limit, there's always a work around it. For old photos, open and view the file on full screen, then take a screenshot and it will be recognized by Instagram as a new photo. For videos, open, trim, and resave it using Google Photos, or any other video editing app. This is especially helpful if you are the type to plan content ahead of time.

Get creative with Boomerang.
Boomerang clips are arguably the most entertaining content on Instagram Stories. They're amusing to watch, and almost hypnotic. While GIFs still rule the internet, Boomerang videos remarkably fall under the same umbrella. How to make your Boomerang videos stand out? For starters, keep them simple. Even the smallest movements like sticking a fork into molten chocolate cake or pouring wine into a wine glass can give you a polished outcome. If it's a slow day and there are no Boomerang moments to capture, experiment with a staged one. But it requires a bit of planning, effort, and time. Always record a few takes to be safe, then post the best one.

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John Patrick Meneses
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