Every time I post an Instagram picture, I always see comments asking what filter I use or how I got the lighting just right. Instagram is no doubt my favorite program. But the truth is—as any avid Instagrammer knows—it often requires about 10 attempts to get the right photograph. There are also a number of trusty tricks I turn to when I go to post an Instagram picture. I will be giving these tips for the first time with all of you. Without further ado, here are few tips for shooting the perfect Instagram picture…
1. Get the correct crop.
Certainly one of the best things is that Instagram don’t constantly have to be square. I do believe some photos can seem much better when they are flat or perpendicular. While I favor most of mine to be squared off, you can find many apps out there to assist you to size a horizontal picture appropriately for Instagram while keeping the background clean. Try using Afterlight or Whitagram.
2. Get it right.
The straightening tool is certainly one of my favored Instagram features that many people simply skip over. But after you discover it, it can become your new best friend. I use the straightening tool when there exists a horizon line through the picture, like the base of a wall, a sunset, or a shore. A picture with a straight horizon seems so much better. And once you’ve straightened a photo yourself, you may start to take notice when other photos look somewhat crooked.
3. Get the proper lighting.
In regards to shooting a photo, there’s nothing more amazing than natural light. I rarely ever use the flash on my phone, and I discover that my photos turn out better with soft natural light. One of the best tricks for getting the lighting right in a picture is playing around with where your camera is focusing. For instance, when you’re setting up your shot, if you tap on the screen, you will monitor that the mark you tap or touch on your hand is where the lens focuses. Patting on the darkest region of the photograph will add the most light into your lens. Try patting on different regions until the focus and your lighting are right.
4. Get the correct composition.
I occasionally find that my pictures may become more interesting when the subject is not put right in the center. I use the lines on the display after I open the camera up because they break up the display into thirds both horizontally and vertically to find the right composition. I have used it ever since and learned in my high school photography class about the “rule of thirds”! The rule of thirds simply means your pictures will create more energy and interest if you set your subject or at their intersections.
5. Get the right filter.
I regularly take a step back and see if I even need a filter whatsoever. I get asked frequently by people what kind of filter I use- truth is nothing. But the not so alluring truth is that there isn’t any one-button way to make an image lovely. I have a few editing programs that I like to use on my phone (specifically one called Snap-seed) but I do not use much filters. You would be shocked at how modest changes in contrast, temperature, and saturation can go. I like to keep things simple and stick to Valencia or Nashville once if I do choose to use an Instagram filter.
6. Get the background that is correct.
If I’m going to be Instagramming an object, I like to try to find simple, neutral backdrops. I like this because they allow the subject to become the focus of the image. Backgrounds that are a soft color or white are the best. Think of yourself as an artist painting a still life: if you wanted a bouquet of flowers to stand out you would not paint an active background. As in most things in life, keep it straightforward.
The greatest Instagram pictures on my feed normally don’t need much thought to determine what’s occurring in the picture. This advice might seem like a lot to consider, but when it comes down to it, only do what signifies your individual fashion and what you think is true to your personal aesthetic.