April 13, 2020

How to take the perfect Instagram photo

We have always shared our love for photography. But we weren’t really good at it the beginning. In fact, we had no idea what the hell we were doing. Few years later, we are now making a living out of it. Below we are sharing our top tips on how to take that perfect Instagram photo and rock your social media channels, whether you use a smart phone or dslr. Enjoy!

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR LIGHTING

We cringe when it’s a super sunny day and someone says “It’s a great day to take some photos!” Um, no it’s not – this is our nightmare. You can still make some corrections later in the editing process, but remember that daylight harsh shot will never be the same as the golden-hour shot – aka. money shot. The only time that mid-day shots are great is when you are shooting the ocean or taking the underwater photos. Otherwise, the ideal times for shooting are sunrise, sunset and overcast/hazy days. It is what separates a great shot from »just okay« shot. And if you’re shooting inside, get near the window – natural light is everything. 

CLEAN YOUR LENS

This might seem obvious, but if you take photos with your phone, it is crucial that you always wipe off your lens. Same with camera – make sure it’s cleaned. Photos must be crisp and clear.

AIM FOR A GREAT VIEW/LOCATION

This means you will need to scout the location. There are endless possibilities, so make sure you keep in mind you are trying to captivate your audience and make them wish they could be there.

TAKE YOUR PHOTOS YOURSELF

Set your own framing, check and redo. Use the tripod and put it on continuous shutter. That way you can take multiple shots within just a few seconds. By doing this you capture movement in fragments of a second and have a number of images to choose from. Which brings us to …

… DONT HESITATE TO TAKE PLENTY OF PICTURES

The more you’ll take the sooner you will understand your own poses. You’ll get to know your angles and quickly learn what works for you. This means you’ll get faster at taking the perfect photo each time.

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS

– such as having no other person in the photo, not cropping your limbs or head off, adding movement to make the shots more exciting and natural, and so on.

LEARN THE BASICS OF THE COMPOSITION AND FRAMING

When it comes to composition, there are some very helpful rules, although we like to think of them more as guidelines rather than strict rules. The first one is the rule of thirds. Imagine if you divide your photo into nine equal parts, you’ll get two vertical lines, two horizontal lines, and four intersections. Rule of thirds says that you should place the elements that you want to draw focus to along these lines or intersections. Doing so adds more interest and balance to a photo! 

The other rule is the rule of space. Don’t be afraid to use negative space, i.e. creating empty space around your subject. Depending on the story you’re trying to tell, negative space can help convey a mood or perspective.

Then central composition is the simplest one of all. While most of the photographers avoid it and it is believed to be less, in some cases turns out to be more. We find it works well when we compose ourselves in the center when there are basically “mirrored” surrounding on left and right (like on the photo below).

MAKE SURE YOUR OUTFIT IS ON POINT

Consider the scenery and plan your outfits upfront. For example, if you’re in Paris a beret hat or stripes would be appropriate. Keep in mind it is always welcomed to add punches of colors to the photo – a great way of captivating someone’s attention. Also, make sure you wear something you feel comfortable and confident in, otherwise self-conscioussnes will show. If unsure, think of styling as telling a coherent visual story. 

USE PROPS

Props can add SO much to the photo. They will also make you feel more comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. Some examples of props: coffee, newspaper, flowers, balloons, food, lights… Always select props that are of the right color palette or theme. For example: pizza in Rome, croissants in Paris, lights during Christmas, or just creating a unique atmosphere, like putting up a hammock in Slovenia’s most photographed location (see below).

GET CREATIVE

Try to find new angles. Get higher, step on the bench, or lie on the ground. Get resourceful, play around with different perspectives, zoom in and out, explore different angles and just keep practicing! 🙂 

HAVE FUN WHILE SHOOTING

It will translate into the photo. Try to let loose, get goofy and not overstress about it. Posed photos often come off cheesy and stiff. The best photographs capture moments and emotions and they tell a story. Just be real – show emotion on your face, natural movements and a variety of poses.

EDIT LIKE A PRO

Now this, right here, is huge. Editing is a must, especially if like us, you’re a blogger and you really want your photos to be aesthetically pleasing. We always edit our photos using Lightroom and Photoshop. We also have our own presets/photo filters available that can help whether you’re a pro or just starting out! Click here to see them.

Always remember that every style is different and that perfect is very subjective. So make your own magic. Develop a style that is diverse and varied, but is still uniquely you.

We hope we were able to provide some useful tips on how you can make Instagram photos for best results.

Want to save our photography tips for later? Click to Pin!

Have any questions for us or want to share any lessons you’ve learned about photography? Let us know in the comments below!

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