While Instagram can be a powerful tool used to make people fall in love with your brand, it can also have the opposite effect, steering potential customers clear of your company.

To illustrate this point, we’ve dug up some less-than-perfect brand posts on Instagram. It goes to show that even the best of us can fall prey to poor lighting and blurriness.

Fireball Whisky

Fireball Whisky is gambling on its audience being too distracted by these lovely “Fireballers” to notice the graininess of this photo, but it’s a losing bet. Dim lighting, red eyes, and a busy background make this a poor choice for the brand Instagram.

#Sturgis, our Fireballers are here! Who wants to party? #Sturgis2014 #Rally #Bikers

A photo posted by Fireball Whisky (@fireballwhisky) on Aug 6, 2014 at 10:37am PDT


When it comes to ‘gramming food, color and texture are tantamount. Pinkberry’s choice of filter has washed out the yogurt, making it indistinguishable from the background. Another no-no: applying the filter after running the photo through Whitagram. The borders on either side should be white to draw the eye and frame the yogurt.

Warning: May cause extreme need for immediate Pinkberry.

A photo posted by Pinkberry (@pinkberryswirl) on Aug 13, 2014 at 10:11am PDT


The three points of focus in this photo–the moon, the trail of balloons, and the popsicle–are too close together, creating an unbalanced composition. Elements of visual interest should be arranged so that the eye has space to travel, according to the Rule of Thirds.

Missing you already! #itsallgood @fruttarefruitbars

A photo posted by @coachella on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:12pm PDT


Always take photos in natural lighting. Domino’s demonstrates what happens when flash is introduced: the toppings in the foreground are thrown into harsh relief, while the last third of the pizza remains unfocused in the shadows.

We’re hoping your new year looks this good. #PizzaPics

A photo posted by Domino’s Pizza (@dominos) on Jan 2, 2015 at 11:10am PST

Martha Stewart

Believe it or not, homemaker and foodie extraordinaire Martha Stewart has an Achilles’ heel–food photography. Even Buzzfeed has picked up on the unappetizing posts flooding her Twitter account. Here, we see the food from an unflattering angle, and again poor lighting has sunk most of the detail into shadow.

Amazing Apple Pie with pecan strudel, Apple Sorbet, and pink Apple Sauce. All apples from farm. It’s delicious! -Martha

A photo posted by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart) on Oct 24, 2014 at 6:49pm PDT

Don’t want to fall victim to bad Instagram posts? Check out our tips for Instagram to build up your following!