I had a coffee date with one of my friends the other day and she asked “How do your photos on Instagram always look so good?” My first thought was "They do?" Then I started to think about all the steps I follow when posting a picture on Instagram. There are tons of tips on the web about how to perfect your photos, but here are the steps I follow in order to make my photos seem a bit dreamy.
It's all about Perspective.
Don’t be too harsh on your photos. Since the pictures are taken through your eyes, you will not always find them spectacular. You need to keep in mind that because you have taken the photo a sense of familiarity develops. Your picture is good enough. Regardless.
Don’t use the Instagram App to Take Photos.
If I want to post a picture on Instagram I switch to using my phone’s camera. I know it defeats the whole purpose of the insta-gram notion, but Instagram always crashes on me, so I prefer to use my phone’s camera and then upload it on Instagram. Also, Instagram only lets you take one picture at a time. Sometimes in order to get the perfect shot you will need to take multiple pictures.
Use Square Mode.
When in square mode, I am not at risk of cropping parts of my photo. If you forget to switch to square mode you are maximizing the chances of your photo not looking so great. If you do not want to use the square mode, I find it helpful to turn my phone horizontally. This allows you to frame your photo easily later on if you decide to upload the picture. There are times though that your photos are more aesthetically pleasing if you refrain from using the square mode. Sometimes your photo may be so beautiful that it has to expand beyond the instagram scope of the square
Avoid Bad Lightening.
Nothing can save your photo from bad lightening, and I mean nothing. Not even filters. Especially if photos are taken during a gloomy day or during night-time (unless that’s the theme of your Instagram theme). Natural light is the best not only for displaying your subjects, but also for optimizing your filter options. Turning your photo to black and white may be the only way you can salvage the damages of bad lightening, so try it out.
Try and find the right angle, move around and put yourself in position until you have the perfect shot. I used to be very shy about whipping my phone out and leaning above the table to get the perfect shot of my food at restaurants. I am over it, and now I shamelessly get up and snap pictures any chance I get. Chances are no one cares. We live in a digital picture frenzy era, everyone is doing it! Find your creative angle.
Filter the world.
There are a couple of editing apps that I love to use, but not very often. Filters are wonderful for enhancing your photos, but you have to be cautious not to overuse them because your picture will end up looking unnatural. I opt for using Instagram’s brightening tool instead of filters. I love the way this tool preserves the photo's original colours and it doesn't make the photos look fake. Sometimes I add a little bit of contrast depending on the colours of the picture to give it a little finishing touch. What you are aiming for when posting pictures is a state of question. You want people to look at your photo and not be able to tell whether or not you used a filter.
We are crossing a visual culture. Images are important, Instagram has become a must, but before you capture that special moment, keep in mind not to ruin the moment.