How to take good Instagram photos requires practice and patience, first and foremost. I saw a meme the other day and it was honestly just too perfect: “If I ask you to take a pic of me, I mean take THE pic. Take 15 photos, get on the floor, climb a tree, try flash and no flash, use snap, order a drone… do whatever it takes until you get THE pic.” I read it and was like “YAS GIRL!” I’m that girl on the ground, taking 100 shots when someone asks me for a photo because I know what it’s like.
I’m also that girl to think “yes bitch, work it” when I see other girls getting their photos taken in front of a cute cafe, on the beach, etc. Am I the only one who gets irked when I see the judgmental eye rolls, or point and stares when a person is being judged for taking a photo in public? I get it often so I know what it feels like. I’ve learned overtime though to stop caring. Now I’ll stand in front of everyone to get THE shot. So I guess what I’m saying is, my first tip: Don’t worry about other people.
*You can’t see but this photo was taken in front of, maybe, 30 people.
1. Worry less, be yourself. Sure, it’s somewhat embarrassing to stand in front of a bunch of people at a cafe or in the street with 15,000 cars driving by, but I’ve found the less you care, the less stiff you’ll be in your pics, and you’ll eventually nail it. Sometimes, in order to get good shots, you’ll need to be brave. Own it!
2. Lighting is everything. When you’re shooting against the light, your photos will likely be you looking like a silhouette. Try out different spots. The other day the sun was almost directly above us and we [my husband and I] were shooting on one side of the street but I noticed the photos were quite dark so we did a 180 and stood in the other direction and it completely changed the lighting. See below:
3. Take 1375930 pictures. I typically take what feels like 50 different shots before I find THE one. Sometimes I’ll move around, other times I’ll just switch up the standing angels, either way, getting a bunch of different shots is key.
4. iPhone. I use my iPhone for 99.9% of all my photos. At one point I tried the professional style shots but stopped for 2 reasons: 1) They didn’t preform as well for me- my audience prefers iPhone shots because they’re IRL [in real life] and personable. I can share in real time, where as a professional camera requires downloading and editing before posting. 2) Lugging around a professional camera is annoying af. Don’t get me wrong, love a professional camera for special occasions, videos, etc. but everyday photos are just more “me”.
5. Plan out your shot before hand. What I mean by this is: scope out the spot and line it up by looking through your phone’s lens, then tell/show the person taking your photo, “This is the shot I want”. Whenever I’m getting a random person to take my photos I always show them the exact angle of where they need to stand/ hold the phone for THE shot. It doesn’t always come out great but sometimes it works! Getting randoms to take your photos is usually a gamble in how they’ll turn out but doing this heightens your chances of getting a good shot.
6. Take the photos at eye level. Too high or too low has never really panned out well, well it hasn’t for me at least. I prefer my photos at eye level, except when it comes to food or product shots.
If you’re looking to up your Instagram game, I hope these tips helped. Depending on your idea of “good”, these are my tips on how to take good Instagram photos. You’ll learn over time what works best for you, what angles you like most, and you’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera as time goes on. Just practice and enjoy the journey!