While we’re flabbergasted at how much money professional Instagrammers make, we have to salute them as taking the perfect shot doesn’t often come easy and requires some special know-how. Here’s the ultimate guide to go about curating a wow-inducing feed and bump up the number of your followers. It’ll come in very useful during your summer holidays!
1. Search websites for some inspiration: Don’t be afraid to pursue social media for creativeness. Take a look at websites like Pinterest and copy the construction or pose, but infuse the picture with your own twist.
2. Get snap happy: Take many, many photos of your subject in different angles. When you rifle through them later, you’ll probably find some hidden gems between the more planned out pictures. Then all you need to do is delete the ones you didn’t like.
3. Embrace spontaneity: Go with the flow and take pictures of anything that tickles your fancy, as the best shots are sometimes unplanned. Being spontaneous means diving into the ins-and-outs of great photography and opening your eyes up to the photographic opportunities around you. By improvising and thinking on your feet, you can create more interesting photos and improve your photography skills.
4. Natural lighting is key: Keep in mind how to place things when you’re indoors so you make the most of natural lighting, which is your most useful tool. Try and stay near a window and away from any artificial light. Filtering or app editing just won’t save a photo that’s poorly lit.
5. Consider getting close and cropping when people are involved: People tend to look more flattering when their pictures are cropped above the knee, it also allows for more details to show. Or better yet, get physically close to whomever it is you’re capturing as it creates intimacy and feeling in your work.
6. Choose prime times to shoot outdoors: If you want to take a picture outdoors, consider doing it in the early morning and late afternoon (golden hour), when there’s a soft back lighting, or on overcast days. Plus, taking photos at dawn or dusk means you’ll have some soft shadows and light contrasts.
7. Move around to watch the sun’s position: Stay aware of where the sun is positioned and keep moving around until you can catch where the best light is coming out from behind whatever it is you want to shoot. Top tips: when rays of light become visible on your lens, it adds an enchanted touch to your images, plus something mundane can look amazing if shot from a completely different perspective.
8. Look out for great interesting moments: Natural moments, whether emotional or thrilling, always produce interesting pictures. However, you have to keep the focus on your subject or subjects and avoid details that detract. That’s unless they add something to the picture.
9. Feature bold colours and distinct lines: For a powerful image, always try and incorporate strong colours and defined shapes and lines. A good way is to find an element that will stand out in your frame and attract people into the photograph.
10. Use burst mode for moving subjects: Burst mode is a fantastic tool to help you capture moving targets. For detail, choose somewhere with enough light for fast shutter speed. Plus, don’t forget to tap the screen so you can manually find a focus on your subject and get the best exposure with the slide bar before the action starts.
11. Include lots of white space: The best Instagrammers adore white space, which makes a picture look so chic and avoids things looking too busy or chaotic. If you want to snap someone, get them to stand in front of a white wall, or when it comes to objects, a white windowsill is a great background.
12. Let your photo tell a story: Successful composition relies on finding a way to get your viewers looking at the subject while capturing a story or emotion. No one can deny that nature, whether it’s the sea, mountains or fjords, is amazingly beautiful, but try to find ways to pick up emotion or a story to landscapes. Objects can enrich your photo so that it’s alive with a tale as well as being stunning.
13. Keep your camera handy in bad weather and at night: It doesn’t have to be sunny for you to take some great photos. Make peace with snow, fog or rain, as cloudy days equal great shots. That’s because the light spreads out everywhere and you’re able to play around a lot more post-production. Get out there even at night; our eyes may not catch details in the dark, but today’s cameras can. It’s a different universe at night and it can make for fascinating photography.
14. Switch on the grid tool: The rule of thirds, the golden rule of photography, calls for aligning all the elements as perfectly as possible, with their intersection points made into squares to allow an image to flow from section to section and create dynamism and curiosity. Thankfully, phones have an amazing grid tool that does it for you. To get your subjects perfectly centred, just turn on the “grid” setting in your phone’s camera settings.
15. Make your photos uniform: If you’re really serious about upping the Instagram stakes, create a unique style for your feed. This will help you stand out as you’ll be known for a certain kind of work, which viewers will come to expect from you. So plan your Instagram feed with a whole concept in mind, sticking to a certain colour palette, whether warm, cold or neutral, and theme. Sticking to a couple of filters you love will also keep your feed consistent.