The sun is shining
You’ve got your white table set up next to a window
You place a couple of props on it
You take one picture
And it’s perfect
Here is how it really goes:
The sun isn’t shining
So you have to set up studio lighting, if you have any. Or figure out how Photoshop works
OK, so this doesn’t look good
Neither does that
What else do I have here that I can use
Maybe I can steal my mom’s cacti
Cacti pictures always do well
No, wait, I got it
This will look good
After I move that lipstick 1 mm to the right
Yeah, this is it
Now I only have to take a gazillion pictures
And hope that one of them will look good
Man, now I need to clean up all this mess I’ve made
But, hey, this picture looks awesome
I think you’ve figured out where this is going. We’re talking about Instagram today!
Last year I fell in love with Instagram. Somewhere around October. I know that because I took my first “themed” photo somewhere around my graduation day. (You know, that day when you get a piece of paper that proves that you can write papers.) And basically I wanted to let you all know how I take Instagram pictures.
How To Take Pretty Instagram Pictures
With only about 300 followers I can’t say that I am popular or anything, but I simply love to take these pics for myself. I do it because it’s fun and I want my feed to look pretty. Plus, there is something really therapeutic about taking pictures.
Some people have asked me how I take pictures, whether I have a white table or not etc etc so let’s break down this whole Instagram picture taking process.
Pick a Theme
I’m sure that some people are sick of hearing this, but yeah pick a theme. By theme I don’t mean that you’re only limited to taking pictures of books or coffee (that’s seriously what I thought themed meant at first), which is an option of course. But theme can also mean a color theme or a white background or black and white images or a filter that you use every single time. You’ve got quite a lot of options here. Experiment a little and you’ll find something you like.
I’ve got this huge piece of white paper that I put on the ground so I can take flatlays. That way I don’t even need to use a tripod. I can just stand on top of the paper and take pictures. I take pictures of coffee, lipsticks, books, lollipops, strawberries and, well, you name it. But because all the colors go well together and it’s always a flatlay it kind of looks cool.
Find an angle that works for you! A picture taken from an unusual viewpoint can be amazing!
Your feed looks very well put together when you’ve got a theme and people really do like that. That way they also know what to expect from you. I don’t know what it is with being consistent, but we seem to like it in general.
Lighting is key. It doesn’t only determine whether you’re going to have a dark of light picture. Lighting determines the tone, mood and the atmosphere of the entire image. When you’ve got great lighting and know how to use it to your advantage your pictures can look very professional.
Most people wait for the sun to come out and take pictures next to a window, but I got fed up with that pretty quickly and invested in studio lighting. That doesn’t always mean that my lighting is always that great. You can still mess up the settings.
Natural lighting will always look better, in my opinion anyway.
I LOVE USING PROPS!
Objects can really enhance your photo. Anything can be a prop: a ring, bracelet, an apple, shoes, chocolate, tea, a notebook, a flower, a pen, a magazine, your glasses and so on.
Whenever I use props I do try to make sure that they complement the central object in the picture. Let’s say I have a bright pinkish book, then I use bright pinkish or pastel accessories.
Edit the Picture
Once you’ve got a picture you’re satisfied with, you can still edit it so it will be perfect. I love VSCO Cam, but I have to admit that the Instagram app has pretty good editing functions nowadays.
I usually play around with brightness, contrast, sharpen, and structure. I don’t like filters. It’s always a little bit too much. We don’t want to over-edit a picture. But some people make it work.
I use Adobe Photoshop whenever I want to remove objects from a picture or maybe my own reflection in a lipstick bullet haha. I like to take my pictures in RAW and JPG so I can easily edit it in Photoshop if I have to.
Get an EyeFi Card
This isn’t something that has to do with Instagram pictures in particular, but I wanted to share it with you all anyway. Some of us might find it interesting.
Once in a while you take a picture and it’s perfect. It only needs a little bit of editing in terms of brightness, which you can do in the Instagram app itself. I hate having to transfer my pictures to my computer and then back to my phone so I got an EyeFi Card. It’s a memory card that has WiFi so you can connect your camera with you phone! Best invention ever! It saves so much time!
Practice, Practice, Practice (Izzy said with a Russian accent)
You have to keep practicing. You can always improve your photography, you just need to experiment with certain moments, lighting, props, places, scenes. You have to play around with the composition to get the best possible results.
Now go my little grasshopper, take pictures and share your Instagram accounts below!