DISCLAIMER: Guest Post
Who wouldn’t want to be Insta-famous? Taking beautiful photos that make people happy is the goal in life, or at least so it seems nowadays. From the filter play several years ago, Instagrammers have seriously upped their game and you can see amazing shots on an everyday basis. And you would think that living in the perfect backdrop that is Australia makes the job easier, but that’s unfortunately not true! The most exciting fact though? Not many of those gorgeous feeds you follow are taken by professional photographers. Meaning, if they can do it, so can you! If you feel stuck in what you’ve been doing so far, Instagram-wise, take a look at our tips and tricks for taking photos that will speak to people and elicit their double taps!
1. Think Big
You don’t just want to please your followers with gorgeous photos – you want to make new people want to follow you too. And you’ll do that by not losing focus of the big picture, or in this case, your overall feed. Your Instagram feed is composed of individual images that have to be beautiful in themselves, but when they’re put together, they need to create a somewhat cohesive appearance or vibe. So think about what you want to achieve with your feed, what kind of message you want to send and what image you want to keep.
Stick to a theme, and by theme, we mean a lot of different things, actually – as long as it’s cohesive in away. You can opt for a color palette, or do mainly food photos and play around with them. Or you can do seasonal feeds, where one look at your feed reveals the season – lots of bright blue for summer, earthy and nude tones for autumn, etc.
2. Preparation is the Key
Good Insta photos look as if the photographer had a combination of a great eye and a perfect moment that just happened to him or her. But this is a deliberate lie. There is some luck involved, but most of the time, the photographers have invested time in preparing the perfect shot. Maybe they had to buy props for the photos and arrange them. Or they spent hours scouting an ideal location. Perhaps they had to find models for their photos, or convince friends to take up this endeavor! Consider these things and think about whether you need to do any of the above. If you do, take your time and prepare well!
3. Know Photography – Really
Yes, we did say that you don’t need to be a professional photographer. But you do need to understand the basics of photography if you want to take better photos. For starters, consider composition – how subjects or placed within your picture and how they interact with each other. The most common rule and the easiest for beginners is the rule of thirds – split your image into thirds and place your focal points in the bottom third or any other third of the photo.
Consider different perspectives for your subjects, and try to come at it from different angles. Google what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are and try to devote at least one weekend to understand it. If you think you would benefit from a tutor or someone explaining the basics of photography, why not consider a course? Australian Centre for Photography will teach you the basics in a way you’ll wonder how you’d ever lived without them! Learning from professionals who will share their extensive knowledge with you will surely improve your photography skills.
4. Understand Your Camera
Again, just like you don’t need to be a professional photographer, you really don’t need to invest in expensive equipment. While there are obvious advantages to a professional or semi-professional camera over a smartphone, you’ve probably noticed that smartphones are getting more and more detailed when it comes to their cameras. Some will allow you to set features such as aperture and shutter speed. Others will have options for adjusting focus. Of course, this will vary significantly between specific phones. Search a tutorial for the one you own. If it’s more common, such as an iPhone, chances are you’ll find hundreds! Whatever the phone though, you’ll probably find a fellow amateur photographer happy to help others willing to learn.
5. Use Natural Light
This cannot be emphasized enough. Natural light is the best bet when it comes to photography. But not all natural light is equally good! For a sort of nature’s own Instagram filter, shoot during the golden hour early in the morning or right before the dusk. If you need to shoot during the day, try doing it when there are some clouds in the sky because they will smooth out the sharp shadows direct sunlight can cause. If indoors, try positioning your subject next to a window. Remember: natural light is your friend, and if you haven’t seen it as such before, you’ll soon notice the difference.
6. Edit Wisely
Long is gone the time when the more filters equaled the better photo. Don’t overdo it – but editing a bit, and knowing what to edit, can enhance an already great photo. Instagram has built-in editing tools, but there are third-party apps as well that you can try out, and that will give you more options. Explore VSCO, Snapseed, Afterlight, Camera+. Give yourself time to explore what they are likely to offer – you might find something amazing for the look and feel of your feed.
Instagram can be serious business, but it should first and foremost be fun! If you like capturing photos and creating beautiful memories, don’t forget that before you start chasing likes. We’re lucky to be able to carry our phones with good cameras all the time. Use that, and have fun! Happy snapping!
I hope you have found this post helpful. Don’t forget to share your views with me on my Instagram. 😍
Have a Good Day! 😇