Tips for Taking Better Instagram Photos
If you want to have a “worthy” insta these days you’re basically expected to be a professional photographer with ZERO experience! Well, here I am, sharing my tips on how to cheat the system and look like you’re super professional when really you’re just a girl in sweatpants holding an iPhone.
Tip 1. First, lets just get it out of the way, obviously a professional camera is going to take the best looking photos. They’re very expensive though and we don’t all want to invest in one (I know I don’t!) which is why I’ve stuck to my iPhone and it has done me great so far. I recently have upgraded to an iPhone X, which has a better camera than other models and photography features like portrait mode, before that though I was using my iPhone 6 and getting by just fine. So you can work with what you‘ve got, and if you want to upgrade down the road it will just make it that much easier for you!
Tip 2. LIGHTING! If you’re going to take away anything from this post, take this! Lighting is the most important thing when it comes to taking your photos. Natural lighting is always best, so if you can take your photos of a well lit room with lots of windows (avoid direct sunlight as it casts too many shadows). Don’t shoot at night...just don’t. Even if you think “I can just edit the brightness after” it still will never look as good as shooting in natural light. I am currently cursed with tiny windows in my apartment so I don’t get a ton of natural light, but I make sure to take advantage of it when I can. If you’re in the same boat you can purchase some umbrella lighting or a ring light on amazon to help you out as needed!
Tip 3. If you want to put yourself in your posts and don’t have someone to take the photos for you (or are too embarrassed to ask) invest in a tripod that can hold your phone. It makes it much easier to adjust the height and move it wherever you need instead of trying to build a tower of random objects to balance your phone on.
Tip 3.5. Get the app Whistle Cam on your phone so you don’t have to keep running back and taking the photo. Just whistle and it takes the shot (instantly or in 3 seconds to avoid “whistle face”). If you can’t whistle I can’t help you ... sorry.
Tip 4. Spend the time to edit your photos. Mine usually look horrible when I first take them and I’m super bummed, until I edit them and it’s night and day! I use the app Snapseed and it’s definitely the best one out there (in my opinion) for the fine-tuning editing. I like to make sure my photos are super bright and clear and think that’s what makes them look more professional. Check out this before and after to see what I mean:
I also have a blog post dedicated to my favourite photo editing apps! Go check it out for more tips!
Tip 5. Try styling your photos, get ideas and inspiration on how to do so by looking at other Instagram feeds. There are also tons of classes online that can help you with styling, product shots, how to take flat lays, and really anything you would want to know. My favourite resource for this is Skillshare! I’ve taken many courses on skillshare about photography (I’ll list the ones I enjoyed below) and found this the best way to learn from people who actually know what they’re doing. If you haven’t heard of skillshare yet, you’re missing out! I’ve been subscribed for a year now and basically you can take a professional class on any skill you want right from your own home! There’s tons of art classes, cooking classes, gardening classes, photoshop classes, calligraphy, social media, business ... I could go on forever. I highly suggest going to check it out! You can use this link to get two months of free premium membership, in which you can take an unlimited amount of classes: https://skl.sh/2Hbo5yD. Afterwards it is a monthly subscription if you decide to continue, but I have definitely found it worth it!
Here are the photography classes I took on skillshare and recommend checking out:
-Mobile Photography Basics for Instagram Success by Tyson Wheatley
-Still Life Photography by Mariya Popandopulo
-DIY Backdrops by Tabitha Park
-Mobile Flatlay by Myriad Frisano
-Donut Flatlay: Tips for better Overhead Photos by Tabitha Park
I hope some of these tips helped you and you take a second to go check out Skillshare! I may or may not be planning some macrame classes for the website (hint: I am!)
Also just a reminder that I am in zero ways a professional and have no training or knowledge in actual photography! This is just what works for me :)
Happy photo taking!!