How to post the best Instagrams
By: The Hip Suburban
I've been blogging for just over a year and am always looking for ways to grow my following, particularly on Instagram. I've learned a lot in the past year about taking better photos, and wanted to share some of the best tricks that I've picked up along the way.
When possible, use a real camera. It's taken a lot of practice for Andrew and me to learn how to take good DSLR photos, but when we get them right, they really do look so much better than iPhone shots. In the photo below, my outfit is in focus, and the background is blurry, which is what I always aim for. I use a Nikon D5100 DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens for fashion photos.
Get the right background. Flat lay photos are a great way to break up your feed, but the background is important. Many bloggers keep a piece of white foam core around for this purpose, but I also like a cool, textured carpet, or my farmhouse dining table.
Straighten your photos. This one is important – a crooked shot just looks unprofessional. When you're straightening out your photos, also consider composition. Photos shouldn't always be centered – sometimes, shots are a lot more interesting when your focal point is along one of the two vertical gridlines below.
Don't use filters. When I first started blogging, I heavily over-filtered my photos to the point that they just didn't look natural. It's amazing what playing with brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness can do. The below shot uses no filters – I just upped the brightness, contrast, and sharpness. When I do use a filter, I keep it simple with Nashville or Valencia.
Have a mix of staged fashion photos and candid phone photos. For me, it's just not possible for all of my 'grams to be high quality, DSLR shots. Andrew takes most of my photos, and he works long hours. I also don't always tote my big camera with me when I'm out and want to share what I'm wearing or what I'm doing. One of my favorite things about following the bloggers that I look up to on Instagram is being able to see those shots of what their lives are really like outside of what they are posting on their blogs.
Mix in some non-fashion photos. Your feed should tell a story, and I love to include a few shots here and there that have nothing to do with what I'm wearing. Like this one of a cool outdoor bar where I ate dinner with my parents the last time they were in town.
Edit. I have a few favorite apps that I use to edit almost all of my photos before I post them. For shots of myself, I love Facetune. The red eye correcting feature is so much more natural looking than any other that I've used, and I've also blurred out a few visible bra straps, etc. that were blemishing my photos.
For objects or scenery, I was recently turned on to Snapseed. I love upping the saturation in certain parts of my images, like the flowers below.
Be yourself. At the end of the day, your feed should reflect who you are. I try to follow all of these rules, but I still post the (not so) occasional grainy selfie with my dog.
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