Unless you're a YouTube star or a Justin Bieber fan club, getting thousands of followers on Instagram isn't a cakewalk. It takes a mixture of compelling content, a photographer's keen eye, the the help of a few camera apps to really achieve Instagram-sensation status.
However, you don't actually need to be a professional photographer to take gorgeous photos — you just need a few shooting tips and editing tools to take your pics to the next level (and to score you that coveted POP! icon on your pic). To prove our point, we asked a few of our Instagram buddies as well as our own Instagram helmswoman, Piera Gelardi (follow her personal account at @pieraluisa) who all know a little thing or two about the artform. Yes, artform — these tips will take your photos from amateur hour to gallery-worthy.