Nowadays, seemingly everyone is on Instagram and more and more people are coming into the spotlight as Instagram models. Some even simply just share their travel photos and all of a sudden they have thousands of followers and are being sent on these free trips. Being able to make a living from just sharing Instagram photos seems like a pretty sweet deal, right? While I can’t promise these tips will make you a successful Instagram model or traveler (but you never know), they will definitely take your Instagram game to the next level. Below are 20 tips to improve your Instagram photos:
You may be thinking to yourself, how am I supposed to move for a picture? Well, allow myself to clarify. By move, I don’t mean run around or do crazy big movements with your arms or legs. What I mean by move is try things like take a few steps, allow your arm to swing naturally, shift your body from one side to another, put a hand in your hair or on your face – just simple little movements like that can help you find a good angle on yourself, as well as make the photo look more natural and less posed.
2. Wear Flowy Clothing
This ties into my first tip. Wearing flowy clothes can really help with the movement. A top with a cute little bell sleeve or a loose-fitted dress can greatly enhance the movement and help the photo look even more natural. Bonus: flowy tops are cute and flattering on pretty much everybody.
3. Rotate Your Pelvis To Elongate Your Legs
If you’re on the shorter side (like me), you’ve probably had moments where you wished your legs were a little longer. Well, lucky there’s an easy way to make your legs look longer in pictures. Simply push your butt back (but not too much, remember we want this to look natural) and give a little hip action by popping a hip. You’d be surprised at how much longer your legs will look.
4. Show Emotion
I love candid-type photos where the subject is simply being themselves and having fun. Sure, a serious photo may be appropriate sometimes in certain settings, but the majority of the time, there’s no need to give the camera bitch face. Smile, laugh, have fun. The camera will love it and so will your followers.
5. Look For Bright Colored Walls
Bright, fun colored walls are a great way to give your photo a pop of color. The most difficult part is figuring out what to do in front of the wall. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered. Try throwing your hands up in the air and smile (get that movement in and show emotion) or get a prop and use it. Simply holding a coffee or an ice cream cone can make for a great photo.
6. Use A Photographer
Now, I’m not saying you need to hire a professional photographer every time you want to shoot an Instagram photo. You can simply grab a friend or a family member and ask them to take a few pictures for you. Having a photographer will just be another set of eyes to get a great photo and it will also allow you to show more of the background in the photo.
7. Make Sure The Camera Lens You Are Using Is Clean
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how a little dirt or fingerprints on a camera lens can ruin a photo. By simply wiping off the lens can save your photographer a lot of frustration when they are shooting.
8. Utilize Your Town
Even if you have lived in your town your whole life, you might just be surprised at how many great places there are to have a photo-shoot when you know what to look for. You can look some places up or simply driving around your town you can find a ton of great spots to snap a photo (in front of a coffee shop, at a park, etc.)
9. Take Photos In The Shade
You may be inclined to take photos in the sun for the best lighting, however this is not always the case. There won’t be any harsh shadows and the overall lighting will be even. Test it out and you will see what a difference it makes.
10. Wear Something Colorful
Now, if you are going to be taking photos in front of a brightly colored wall, then you may want to wear something more neutral colored because too much color can be distracting for the viewer and overall won’t make for the best photo. But, if you are just shooting in front of a coffee shop or out and about in your town, wearing something brightly colored will add that perfect pop of color and enhance your photo.
11. Mess Around With Different Angles
Have your photographer take a few pictures from a few different angles (straight on, angled down, and angled up). This can help you find your best angle and sometimes a photo just looks better taken from an angle other than straight on. It’s really just a way to spice up a picture, especially if every photo you have on Instagram is the same angle.
12. Edit Your Photo
Now, I’m not saying go crazy on the editing to the point where you have created an entirely different photo and have made yourself look nothing like yourself. Sometimes adding a simple, natural-looking filter can enhance colors within the photo, making it look really awesome. However, you choose to edit your photo, just make sure it is natural looking and brings out want you want to be noticed the most in the photo.
13. Plan It Out
Decide what you want your Instagram to be about and go with that. If you want it to be a documentary of your life, get a lot of pictures of yourself, your friends, your pets, your family, things that are important to you and staples in your life. If you love to travel and want it to document your trips, focus on that and post the best photos from every trip you take. Spontaneity can be great sometimes, but when it comes to improving your Instagram, it’s usually best to plan out your photos.
14. Don’t Get Hung Up On Likes
Worrying too much about your following and the amount of likes you get on a picture can absolutely ruin everything. Just focus on taking great photos that fit your theme and go from there. When you’re posting and sharing what you love, the followers and the likes will come. It’s not going to happen overnight, though, so be patient. Side note: buying your likes will not get you there any faster. Do it the real way and you just may be surprised at how quickly the followers and the likes will come.
15. Use Your Eyes Before The Lens
This is why it’s great to have a photographer. They can see the whole shot before the camera does, which is very important. If their eyes don’t like it, the camera won’t either. Let them take a few minutes to observe what’s in front of them and think of alternate ways to take a photo.
16. Have A Clear Focus Object
It’s important that your photo focuses on and enhances what you want the viewers to notice. If you want yourself to be the focus of the photo, have the photographer blur the background a bit. That will distract the viewers’ eye from the background and have their eye focus on you. If you want the background to be the focus of the photo, try standing off to the side or have your photographer take a few steps back to get more of the background in and less of you. It’s important that a focus point draws in the viewer right away. If they don’t know what to look at first, the photo will likely turn them off.
17. Embrace Bad Weather
Unfortunately, no one can control the weather, so you won’t always have a beautiful sunny day to shoot photos. Don’t get discouraged by this, though. Use it to your advantage. You’d be surprised at just how great a photo showing bad weather can turn out.
18. Don’t Be Afraid Of White Space
White space can make for a great photo if you do it right. Just wear bright colored clothes and this is a time where a serious face may be appropriate. Perhaps you’ve used all the bright colored walls and have gone to all the picturesque places your town has to offer and now all you’re left with is white backgrounds. Work with that you’ve got. White space every once in a while can be a nice change of pace for your feed.
19. Use Portrait Mode
If you are taking photos on a new iPhone, definitely take advantage of portrait mode when shooting a single subject. It gives the photo an awesome effect and makes for an amazing picture.
20. Use A Waterproof Case or Camera
Getting photos in the water can make for really cool photos. If your Instagram is about your life, go to the beach or a pool in a super cute swimsuit and get awesome photos in the water. If you’re a traveler and are somewhere tropical, getting in the water and capturing photos that way is a great way to spice things up instead of a typical beach or town shot.
I hope you all found these tips to improve your Instagram photos helpful! Try them out and watch how it changes your Instagram for the better.