How to Take Better Instagram Photos

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Instagram is one of the most widely used forms of social media out there. We can all agree to that right? BeyoncĂ© uses it, I use it, you use it, even Obama has time for Instagram. Why do we really use it though? Business purposes, build our self-esteem up with how many likes we get, demonstrate how artsy we are with our iPhone cameras? There are a lot of reasons as to why we use it, but could we make it better? Absolutely! 

1. You need to have different poses.
You know how we all freeze when we're given the perfect opportunity to take a photo. Someone is there with your camera holding it for you about to press the button and boom. You blank. Nothing comes to mind except for that stupid face you do in every photo. Try one of these next time.

2. Remember to use the square feature on your camera app.
Our photos always come out less than spectacular when we have to crop out our spectacular background to fit Instagram's "square policy." (Since this post-Instagram has updated and we no longer need to have square photos. Way to go INSTA!)

3. Utilize the filter and editing features!
I know Instagram has impeccable filters, but we've all seen them! As much as I advocate for making your photo look as good as possible I encourage you to use other apps for filters. I think everyone should have one solid camera app with a lot of features. You want to make our pictures better right? Duh, that's why you're reading this. Photoshop Express and VSCO are two of my personal favorites because they let you knit pick your photo and edit almost every detail, otherwise these are fun additions as well:

Space Effects
I like this app because it adds crazy swirls and patterns to your picture that you might think look dumb until you overlay it over the photo. It can make something sparkly look galactic or something plain look a little more interesting.

One of my favorites! It'll set you back 1.99 but it'll be worth it. You can make your photos clearer and cleaner. Great for those nightlife photos with no natural light to work off of.

4. Use natural lighting.
This will make your blue eyes look like crystals and your skin will glow! Obviously, at night we don't have too many options, under a street light or in front of a restaurant are your best bets. Always use the flash! Utilize the brightness feature in the Instagram app as well!

5. Do a background check.
We might love to see your selfie but we'll be distracted by the dirty underwear on the floor behind you. Choose a simple background, something that's not too distracting. Unless you want your background to be your focus, choose something that's clean. It will make your focal point stand out more. Standing in front of a while wall will help brighten your face and give off a simple snap.

6. No Mirrors
I have a strict "No Mirrors" policy. That includes taking pictures in your bathroom, a public bathroom, at a museum, in a hall of mirrors, in your car mirror, and basically anywhere where you can see yourself. Typically, the phone gets forced into the picture and they never really turn out that great. This is so middle school y'all. Find a new outlet. And guys, you think your safe but you all are notorious for this. Flexing while in the gym? We're on to you.

7. Be confident!
Ain't nobody judging you because you're taking a selfie! Chances are, they've probably taken one too! Let your freak flag fly sweetie. Taking photos is a common thing in today's society. Within being confident, try different angles and take a lot of pictures! We all like options. You can't expect to nail the photo for the first time. 

8. Use variety! 
As much as we love seeing pictures of your dog or your face, we like to see what else's is going on in your life. Unless you're doing some expose on the daily changes of your face, but then I might start to question how you use your free time. Take a picture of your food, the company around you, something that strikes an emotion inside of you.

Some "Rule of Thumb" tips

  • Make your eyes sparkle and not look like the devil by looking directly at a light right before the picture is taken. Your pupils will become smaller making red-eye take a hike.
  • Grab something- Having something in your hand adds a little relaxation to your pose and effects to the photo (stray from a solo cup though please- its a little tacky)
  • If you're taller than the person taking the photo, take a seat.
  • Put your tongue behind your teeth to avoid too big of a smile for the occasion. A little bit of teeth is good sometimes.
  • Avoid double chins! Elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit. 

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