This article is now about how to make better pictures or how to improve you Photoshop skills. It’s about what I think you should begin with.
1. Look at many good photos.
That will improve your taste. To take nicely framed photos your eye should be well trained.
2. Get out and make photos.
By doing many mistakes with composition you sharpen your skills. And that is the only way. No shortcuts here. By 20 000 photos you are going to be really good. Magic of math, you know. Begin with what surrounds you. Is it city — learn how to photograph architecture. In village you can start with landscapes.
I know instagram is all about making photos with smartphone. But why not to start thinking out of the box. And take all advantages a decent DSLR offers? In fact I believe that’s exactly what you should do. Advantages of this approach are many. You get that shallow depth of field (nicely blurred background). It’s easier to get really good results in post, specially if you shoot RAW.
Yes, you’ll need a mechanism for getting your photos back to phone. OneDrive or Dropbox are your friends.
4. Become good at Photoshop.
There are lots of absolutely free educational videos on YouTube. Yes, it takes time. Yes, you’ll have to learn some theoretical stuff. No shortcut here either. Get your lazy butt off the sofa.
5. Learn how instagram works.
Publishing time, hashtags, who to follow, how to drive attention to you account… You better understand these before.
Here is some example of how I do it. I live on the edge of the big city. Today I went out for an hour in the morning and took some frosty photos. To the left is before and to the right is my instagram version.