If you’re anything like us, you’ll be on a never ending quest to snap that perfect Insta shot that the bloggers and celebs make look so easy!
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together are a few tips and tools to help you enhance your pictures without the need for an experienced photographer - or better yet - without spending a fortune on equipment!
Top tip #1 - Lighting
Amazing lighting really is the key to a quality photo, and perfecting the lighting in your photo is an art form in itself. Just the right amount of light is vital as too much can overexpose your picture, so try to avoid taking pictures against the sun, instead make sure that the sun is facing you to avoid dark silhouettes and shadows.
If you’re taking a photo of a product or smaller item, it’s sometimes worth investing in a light box – which you can pick up on Amazon or Ebay for around a tenner. This will give you a ready made background and optimises the lighting around the object, giving you a perfectly lit image from the start.
Top Tip #2 – Angles
The angle of the camera plays a large part in the quality of a picture. Figuring out the best angles can seem tricky at first, but with practice these will become easy to capture.
Before you start snapping, think about exactly what you want in the frame and how this changes the position of the camera. Do you want to capture a certain part of the background, a head-to-toe outfit, a close-up or a ‘long leg’ picture? Practice which angles work best for you and don’t be afraid to experiment.
If you’re photographing someone else, avoid the common mistake of holding your phone at face or eye level. Instead, try holding the camera at hip level, which makes for a much more realistic and flattering image.
Top Tip #3 – The Filter
Everyone loves a filter! No matter how bad you think you look, sticking a filter on top of your image will instantly make you feel better. We’re so used to using filters that we can tell a mile away when a photo hasn’t got a filter on it, and it just doesn’t look as good as it could!
Whilst Instagram has some standard filters designed for ease and speed, the majority are centred around fun and interactive features or designed as a ‘one size fits all’ solution which aren’t great if you’re looking for a seriously stylish snap. We’ve found some apps which can take your filtering game to the next level, so you can smooth out those lines and give yourself a summer glow – without the bunny ears!
FaceTune is a portrait editor which has multiple editing tools that are ideal for smoothing out skin and giving teeth that polished white yet subtle glow. There is not much that this app doesn’t offer, with its own set of filters which can be applied to the full picture or ‘wiped’ so that the filter only covers part of the image, which is perfect for creating a brighter sky or background. This app can also patch over undesirable marks or features in the image, such as an address or unwanted detail in the picture. There is a free version available via the Apple app store, with limited features which gives you a great introduction to the app whilst you decide if you need the advanced app.
The paid app that is available on Apple and Android is 100% worth investing in for high quality editing features.
Airbrush is an editing app that is very similar to FaceTune with its neverending selection of retouching tools and features. It is a good ‘budget version’ of FaceTune and has many of the same editing tools, but this actually has far better filter features, with more choice and loads of realistic, useable filters that come in different styled categories to suit your style of picture.
Adobe Lightroom is far more professional and very popular with bloggers who share high quality content. The app offers in-depth editing tools to adjust many features of the image such as the exposure, shadows, lighting, brightness and colour levels. There are also useful tools that allow you to control the level of grain in the image, which is a current Instagram trend circulating at the moment where images look like they have been captured on a film camera. The mobile version of this app is free to download, allowing pictures to be edited professionally with the added option of in-app premium purchases. This app takes a little getting used to, but if you really want those perfect Insta snaps, this is our go-to!
It’s important to remember that for every one amazing Instagram snap, there are probably over 100 ‘not quite perfect’ versions. We recently did an Insta only photo shoot using just an iPhone and were surprised to find that we’d taken close to 2,000 snaps on the day, with only 20-25 images making the cut! The key is practice, and don’t expect to get things right the first time!
We’d love to see your snaps! Make sure to tag #GDO2018 in your perfect Insta pictures – you never know, we might even have some prizes for the best pics!