We Asked 5 Instagram Queens For Their Best Photo Tips
These girls are pros.
We all want the perfect Instagram shot, whether we've got 100 followers or 1 million. We consulted our own feeds to find our favorite 'grammers capturing their best looks, adventures, and all around fun. These ladies spilled on their tips and tricks for impressive pics. Check out their advice below and prepare yourself for a feed lift.
The way I usually approach photography is as a way to study light. I love walking around anywhere and noticing how the sun or street lights affect its nearby landscape; maybe the low sunlight creates a glimmer on a street facade, or the high noon's sun casts dramatic shadows behind people or myself on a sidewalk.
I use Instagram as a platform to meditate on what I've seen and felt during the day, or to share an image I just really love — but not usually to show literal events of what I'm doing or where I physically am or who I'm with, which is probably its more popular use. When I'm creating a post, I ask myself: "What kind of story have I experienced today, what have I felt that I want to share with others? How can I communicate that in the most cohesive, honest, engaging way?"
The Edit Step
The logistics: I most often take my photos in natural daylight with my iPhone 5 (assuming I have enough storage space). When I'm going on trips, I sometimes shoot with my Nikon D5000. I use VSCO as my primary tool for photo editing; my favorite filters are A6, G3, HB2. I'm usually of the party that is hashtag yes filter, because I find that an unedited photo rarely looks as vivid as I found it in real life.
Contrast and Crop
I usually up the contrast a few notches, sharpen the edges, and adjust the horizontal and vertical perspective to get the angle more even and level. I crop out as many unnecessary or protruding objects that might distract from the main image, but also try to frame the image to give it some space and air to breathe. I play around with temperature and color tinting to bring out as much of the ideal colors as in real life. I'm also really interested in moving images right now, so I use Instagram's app Boomerang, and take videos to create moving portraits of a space.
Lighting is key. No subject is cool enough for a grainy 'gram. Outdoor pictures and art galleries tend to have the best outcome, and parties and concerts are the trickiest.
Color on color
I find color on color always gets the most likes, same goes for full body and outfit shots, and I like to make sure I take these against a somewhat plain background. I wish my real life was as junk-free as my Insta feed.
Avoid the overdone
Pictures that someone else has taken of you versus a selfie is always more interesting to people. The classic shots are fine, but keep in mind your perfect cappuccino foam or sunset shot is going to look the same as any one else's. If I truly must share one of these images I will sometimes post it to Facebook
Tune up, but not too much
As for apps, I love a good FaceTune just as much as the next Kardashian but don't get too crazy, or you might end up on a meme.
For more essential life advise, why not like Wheretoget on Facebook?
I generally use a GoPro or an iPhone 6, but having a camera that suits your style and that you know how to use is crucial. I love the GoPro because of the wide lens which is perfect for any outdoor shot. It's small and easy to use.
Warning: Filter fails
Never over filter a photo. The main editing app I use is Instagram but I rarely add filters. I find the photo stays a lot more realistic just using the edit section and increasing the saturation for bolder colors and using the brightness or shadows setting to lighten.
Go off center
Experiment with different angles. Take the shot from a high or low angle to see what looks better, sometimes you can get a completely different viewpoint. I'm also a big fan of off-centered photos. Another benefit of using a GoPro is capturing so much and being able to crop the angle you prefer.
Watch the sun
Outdoor photography can be completely changed by the sunlight. Shooting at dusk and dawn can add a lot of colors to a landscape photo. Directly facing the sun can also distort a great shot, but sometimes that is just unavoidable.
Give yourself modelesque legs by shifting your shooting angle. Ask (or more likely bribe or beg) your photo taking friend to kneel when snapping your picture. This lower angle is particularly suited for outfit shots and will give your pic some editorial flair.
Find the light
There is a reason why most of the gorgeous shots you find on Instagram are outdoors. Natural light increases your odds of getting a bright, colorful and high quality image — especially when using a mobile phone. After all, no one likes a grainy photo.
When taking photos for Instagram, keep your subject well-lit and don't be afraid to up your exposure settings (if using a professional camera) or increase the picture's brightness on your phone. Research suggests that lighter photos perform better than dark photos by 24%.
When a scene catches your eye, wait for a passerby or a bicycle — something that will give it movement and energy. Be patient, I have waited 15 to 20 minutes sometimes for exactly the shot I wanted. Most likely it will come.
Find the frame
Think about your framing. Perhaps by moving around a little bit, you'll position yourself in such a way to add a few features to your shot, giving it a naturally occurring frame.
Think about the way your shot can be different from what you often see. It might take a few minutes to analyze a situation, but then you'll find a unique aspect and make it more central to your shot.
So there you have it. 18 tips on how to up your Instagram game. Now, if you're looking to get your edit on, you're going to need these apps.