I have to confess, I love Instagram. I love beautiful images. I love looking at them, I love creating them and I love sharing them. Do you love sharing images on Instagram, but just can’t quite capture on camera what you see with your eye? I have loved photography for as long as I can remember! I love learning photography tips and tricks. The more I learn the better my pictures get and the more control I have over how they turn out. Surprisingly creating beautiful images for Instagram has strengthened my photography skills.
I have 7 Killer Tips to Take Fabulous Instagram Photos that will have you shooting Instaworthy pictures today!
Tip One: Take advantage of Natural Lighting as often as possible:
Lighting is the key to beautiful photography.
Lighting is everything in photography. It dictates the entire mood and the vibrancy of your image. For stand out Instagram photos make sure you are taking your pictures in an area well lit with natural light. Find that spot in your home, yard, office that has great indirect sunlight. If you can’t find a good spot create one by opening a door for extra lighting in your house. Look for a window in your home that brings in great light and temporarily move a table there to take your photos. I moved a tray over to a window in my living room to take this picture:
I didn’t want direct sunlight shining on this image because that would be too bright and too harsh. Instead with natural, but indirect, light streaming in through my window this image is well lit and has excellent white balance.
Turn off the other lights in the room to take full advantage of the natural light. To see the difference try taking a photo with the lights on and then with just your source of natural light. To have your image equally lit from both sides use a white poster or foam board to bounce light off of. If you are worried that your photo is too underexposed with just the natural light, that ‘s okay. In step two I will teach you how to edit your image. Sometimes the key is the tone of light. Indoor lights cast a yellow hue over your image giving you an unnatural white balance.
Tip Two: Edit your Photos:
Take the time to carefully edit your photos. Adjust brightness, exposure and contrast. Crop and use rotation if needed. Don’t over edit though. Keep from unnatural edits, like over saturating for example. I often adjust the brightness of my photos, even though I am using natural light to shoot in. Compare the two images below. Do you see a difference? Because I shot this photo in beautiful, natural, morning light I already had a great photo to work with. It’s subtle but a little brightening and slightly rotating this photo really made it pop.
When editing don’t be afraid to crop. I like to take a few different shots to work with. Compare this image 👇🏻 with the one above 👆🏻Both images are great, but I decided to go with a cropped version! So shoot at a few different heights to give yourself options.
Here’s an example of the potential of editing:
Unfortunately the original image was shot in poor lighting giving a blue temperature to the whole picture. I needed to brighten it up and adjust the temperature of the image to find a better white balance. With a lot of editing I ended up with a much better version! However, to be honest, even after editing this photo didn’t meet my posting standards because it wasn’t cohesive with the other photos in my feed (which we will talk about in tip four). Always aim for good lighting because it will save you a lot of editing work.
Tip Three: Think about your Composition:
This is one of the most important aspects of photography. It’s so important that you think through the composition of your image. No matter what you are shooting if you compose your image well it can make a world of difference. I like to “shoot with my eye” first. Frame your photo with your eye before looking at the screen of your phone or camera. Look for things that will be a distraction in your photo and wait for the right moment. Think about how things are lining up and find an interesting focal point.
Good composition is about finding balance.
Follow the rule of thirds. This simple principle will lead to a beautifully balanced image. Try turning the grid feature on if you need help with this. You’ll now see your image broken into 9 compartments with four intersections. Each of those intersections becomes a possible point of focus: your focal point! Try taking objects out or adding objects in until you find that balance. Take the time to adjust things as you go. I like to group things in odd numbers, for example I find that three elements look better together than two, like in the image below.
Tip Four: Keep them Cohesive:
Think about your feed as a whole. When people look at your feed they are going to see a collection of images. A color theme or consistent filter (or combination of both) will tie all your images together.
You want your images to flow together when viewed at the same time.
You can also take a series of photos in the same spot so that your photos have the same lighting, background and feel to them.
These nine, from my Instagram feed, flow well together with nice warm orange and wood tones, natural greens and pops of pink and purple tying them all together. This unity is achieved by creating a unified theme, using color consistently, shooting with natural light and editing the images.
Tip Five: Create Inviting Images:
People want to see crisp, clear, and sharp images.
Check your photo after you take it and make sure it’s in focus. If it isn’t scratch it and take it again. If it’s blurry you definitely don’t want to post it. Be attentive to background clutter, poor lighting or glares. Ask yourself, “Does this images draw my viewer in?” Think about the vibe of your image. Is it warm? Does it excite them? Are you telling a story with it? Aim to create images people will connect to.
Tip Six: Get above it, below it… Try out a new perspective:
Do you always shoot straight on? No more point, click and done for you! From time to time it’s fun to mix it up. Try shooting from above or underneath. Try changing angles or even moving items themselves. Get closer or further away. Look around you. Are you standing on a pretty tile floor? Wearing super cute shoes? Is there a gorgeous palm tree or blossoming blooms above you? Find a unique viewpoint for a more captivating image.
Tip Seven: Be selective about what you post:
Instagram is a visual content social media. People want to see beautiful images. Take the time to think about what type of images you want to share on your account. What kind of vibe are you going for? Is it going to be light and airy, or how about bright and bold. Can your feed be themed around where you live or your lifestyle? Share local love by posting iconic landmarks and give people a wonderful window into your world.
Have any great tips if your own? Share them in the comments below.
Let’s connect on Instagram! You can find me under @naomikandrews. Leave your handle in the comments so I can check you out too!