Welcome to my first post of 2019! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post on IG stories that I want to write one blog post per week in 2019. This may sound like a pretty easy goal, but for someone like myself (A.D.D. as heck, gets distracted easily, etc.) it is a struggle.
I love the quick and easy gratification of Instagram. It’s visual… it’s instant… it’s my cup of tea. So, that’s naturally where I put most of my energy and creativity. But when I was younger I loved to write, and I want to find that love again. So I’m pushing myself to write one blog post a week this year! Feel free to hold me accountable, my friends.
Speaking of Instagram… that brings me to this week’s topic! I want to dive into five tips that I feel have helped me create better photos on Instagram. Whether you are a blogger, a business, or just a regular gal or guy that loves the ‘gram, it’s fun and satisfying to create visual content and then share it with the world! I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface on Instagram/photography tips here, so I can definitely go further into details on specific topics if you guys want! These are just some quick and easy tips I feel are a great starting place for everyone.
Try Different Angles
This simple tip can make a world of a difference in your shot! If you want to create a dramatic, larger than life feel, shoot from the ground level. Or if you want an above-the-subject shot, don’t be scared to stand on a chair, or park bench, or whatever is accessible to you! Simply playing around with the angle will help you better achieve the mood you want with your photo.
For the photo below, my boyfriend was squatted down on the ground to make my lil 5’4 (and a half!) self appear taller. And this can definitely give your photo more of a “dramatic” vibe if that’s what you are going for!
How many times have you gone to take a photo and you have a Will Ferrell moment where you’re like, “I don’t know what to do with my hands.” (Please tell me you’ve seen Talladega Nights??)
Anyway, you can avoid this problem by using a prop! And I don’t mean like the goofy mustache-on-a-stick props you find at an event photo booth.
You can hold a cup of coffee, or your sunglasses, or even your dog! If it’s Christmas time, hold some string lights to create a whimsical winter photo. Or if it’s summertime, hold a beach ball! There’s so many things you can incorporate into your photo that will give you something to do with your hands AND add visual interest to the pic.
I obviously love any excuse to use my puppy, Hazel, in a pic 😉
Another element that can make your photo more interesting is to create movement. This can be a hair flip, acting like you’re walking up some stairs, making your skirt “swish,” letting your scarf blow in the wind, etc. It gives your photo an element of life, and we as people are drawn to that!
In the picture below, I was playing with my hair and stepping forward. I can’t give the exact scientific reasoning why people tend to really like the photos with movement, but these always tend to get the most audience engagement and likes on my Instagram!
Use Editing Apps
The Instagram app does have built-in editing tools which are pretty helpful, but I find my best editing work is done in other apps! Some of my favorite apps to use are Afterlight (for general coloring and lighting), Facetune (for skin smoothing), and A Design Kit (for adding artsy graphic details like brush strokes or stars). Other apps I hear people recommend are VSCO and Snapseed! So definitely play around in different apps to see what works for you and your style.
The paint splatters on the photo below were added with A Design Kit! I use this app more sparingly, though.
Take Vertical Photos
Now this isn’t a “must” but it’s the rule I try to follow more often than not. When you are taking your photo, hold your camera (or iPhone) in the vertical position so that your photo is portrait rather than landscape. When you post a photo that is vertical, you automatically take up more space on the Instagram feed, which means you have a better chance of grabbing your audience’s attention! The more real estate you can take up on the viewer’s screen, the better.
If the way I worded this is kind of confusing, look at these screenshots so you visualize what I’m talking about!
Obviously both of these photos make me happy, but I just wanted to show the difference in how much of the screen that a portrait (aka vertical) photo and a landscape (aka horizontal) photo take up on Instagram. The one on the left is larger and more likely to grab the viewer’s attention!
Okay, there ya have it! I hope these five tips helped you out or gave you some ideas for your next Instagram pic 🙂 If you like these kind of posts and want me to dive more into Instagram or photography tips, let me know!