Hello beautiful ones!

I’m currently working on revamping the blog and working hard on reinventing my Instagram, which has been taking some considerable time away from blog posts.

This has given me the time though, to think about a break-down on what really makes a good Instagram photo. So here you are; a highly requested post… How To Make Your Instagram Photos Look Better!

The Proper Lighting

Probably one of the single most important aspects of taking a good photos is the lighting you take it in. Ideally, you would be taking your picture in a natural light setting; placing yourself or your subject matter facing toward the light will produce the best result, especially for taking a selfie.

If you’re having difficulties with lighting and you’re shooting from your iPhone’s built-in camera, simply hold your finger on a focus point where the lighting adjusts to your liking for 3 seconds, and the AE/AF Lock will take over. Easy-breezy!

Staging The Shot

Make sure you begin by having a clean area or surface you are taking your photo in. No one wants to see your messy room, dirty dishes, or random photobombers. I like to use various different textures in my photos; anything that will create variation and interest. I like to have one predominant primary color in every photo, even if it’s only in a small portion of the overall frame.

I use all sorts of things for backdrops, but try to keep them all contrasting to whatever it is I’m placing on and/or in front of it. If your subject is very bright, you might consider shooting against a dark background, and vice versa.

Above all though, be creative. Look for interesting colors and textures that will give your photos exciting contrast. I use anything from pieces of crisp white paper, to slabs of marble I found at the hardware store for my backgrounds. If it looks good in the frame, go for it.

Composition

I’m not sure why, but people seem to really enjoy oddly cropped photos on Instagram. I think they make the photo more interesting. However, if you find yourself doubting your ability to compose a good photo on the fly, I suggest turning on your iPhone camera’s built-in grid feature, and following the Rule Of Thirds.

To make life easier, if I’m shooting a photo specifically for Instagram I take it in Square mode—this saves time as it eliminates the need for cropping.

All About The Apps

Every really good Instagram photo has probably had at least a little bit of editing done to it, be it in professional software such as Adobe Lightroom, or a simple iPhone app.
(Confession: I’m a cheater with the iPhone editing game, so I edit all of my photos on my iPad Mini 4.)

A few of the apps I use consistently to create a streamlined appearance in my Instagram feed are Google Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and Faded. This is my app trinity.

Snapped VSCO FADED
SNAPSEED is the app that I begin with. I use it to brighten, add saturation, knock out too-warm or too-cool tones, and bump up contrast.

VSCO is the app that I do the bulk of the color adjustments and editing in. This is the fun part in my opinion, where you get to work on developing your own style. I consistently use the HB1 filter (I can’t remember if this one is free or not, but in all honesty I’ve purchased all of the VSCO preset packs, and I am not sorry with my ‘investment’). I generally brighten the image, and make a few other adjustments after I set the HB1 filter.

FADED is the final step before my photo makes its way to Instagram and beyond; I use this app exclusively to add a white border, which I think creates a nice overall look to my Instagram gallery.

Here is a look at the results in my editing process: the difference is pretty significant from start to finish.

Original image, default iPhone 5s camera

Original image, default iPhone 5s camera

Edited in Snapped & VSCO apps

Edited in Snapped & VSCO apps

Frame added in Faded

Frame added in Faded

I hope this little tutorial was helpful, and that you will soon be on your way to creating better Instagrams for your feed!

xo
Ashley