In a world where having an Instagram is becoming a business and people are more and more concerned with how good their photos look, it can be easy to feel like you are being left behind in the photography game. It seems like everybody either has insane photo skills or their own personal photographer shooting for them and it’s easy to get disheartened when you look at your own efforts. This was definitely me six months ago – I knew how I wanted my photos to look but I just couldn’t capture it with my phone’s camera. Half a year on and I’m by no means an expert AT ALL but I do feel like I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to help you get a better shot than you were before.
I’m sad to say it but no matter how much I love my iPhone 7 Plus, it just simply doesn’t compare to a ‘proper’ camera and the biggest tip I can give you before we even start is, if possible, to invest in a camera that suits you. There’s, of course, loads on the market – including the stunning 4K Compact System Camera Panasonic that I’m hanging my nose over – and the key is to shop around and find one that fits both your budget and your skills.
So without further ado, here’s 5 of my top tips:
- Shoot in natural light
As I’ve said, I’m no pro photographer, so I feel the best way to get the light and bright sort of photos I want on my feed is to shoot in natural light. I just find it so much easier to edit them afterwards and, ultimately, it means you may spend less time tweaking them too. If you’re shooting products or flatlays, use the brightest room in your house and shoot next to the window. Unfortunately, sometimes the light just doesn’t play ball and you may need to abandon taking photos altogether on a particularly gloomy winter day.
- Use cheap backdrops
Don’t have a marble table for your flatlay? Is your wallpaper a little bit dark? Don’t worry. I have loads and loads of offshoots of vinyl and wallpaper I’ve either bought or collected as samples from the likes of B&Q and Homebase. A lot of the tables in my house are glass or beech and they don’t really go with my look on Instagram, so I simply place a square of marble vinyl down and use that for my background instead. You can do exactly the same with the walls too – glue a piece of pretty wallpaper onto a bit of card and you automatically have a nice backdrop for your photos. Another top tip of mine is to buy two white LACK table tops from IKEA. They’re £5 each and you can use them to create a little white corner of your room by using one flat and one propped up.
- Use props
I used to think the cleaner the better with photos and while I do still like a simple shot, I’ve moved past the days of just placing a lipstick in the middle of the frame and having nothing else around it. These days, I love to experiment with extra things in the photo, especially when I shooting flatlays. Grab an open book, your iPhone, a clutch bag and a faux fur scarf and place them carefully at different angles and before you know it you have all the elements for a luxe looking photo.
- Edit afterwards
I never manage to get the absolutely perfect shot that I feel comfortable uploading straight to Instagram. Every time, I use editing apps on my phone (I’m not sophisticated enough to use the likes of Lightroom on my laptop!) to tweak the photo – whether it’s making it a bit lighter or sharpening up an area. I love to use Facetune to make whites whiter and ColourStory is great for improving the overall brightness of the photo with the ‘curves’ tool.
- Use the same filter
If you want your Instagram to look cohesive then always make sure you use the same filter! I use VSCO as I really love the filter in there and always use the same one so my grid has some consistency. If you choose a different one each time, it’ll show on your feed.
What are some of your top tips for photography? Which editing apps are your favourite?
This post is sponsored by Panasonic.