With the myriad of beautifully-taken, aesthetic photographs plastered all over social media, Instagram has easily influenced not only me, but many others to take an interest in capturing good photos and learning the know-hows of editing. Over the years of taking and editing photos for fun, photography has almost become a therapeutic thing for me. I really enjoy playing around with photography and seeing how the photograph comes to life with the power of editing. I’m not an expert at photography but I’ve taken and edited enough photos to know a few tips and tricks to taking and editing a good photo. Coupled with tips from professionals, here are some tips and tricks to taking the perfect Instagram photo!
How to Take and Edit the Perfect Instagram Photo
No matter how much editing you do, sometimes one cannot save a badly-taken photo. There are various factors that you have to take note of when taking photographs of different subjects, be it people, scenery or aesthetic flat lays.
- Lighting is KEY
Whenever possible, always take pictures outdoors or facing a window, where there is natural lighting. Always make sure you are facing the light source, and not back facing it. If not, it will cast a shadow and the picture will look dark. If you have studio lights, depending on the angle of where the light is placed, lighting can give a totally different effect to a picture.
- Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is basic tool that can help you compose a well-balance photo with your subject. The rule works on the basis that if you align the subject of the photo near the intersections of the grid (the circle points as seen below), the photo will come out more dynamic. The next time you’re taking a photo, try this rule out and see how it turns out!
- Lines, diagonals, patterns, textures
When you’re taking pictures of scenery or landscapes, try to look for “lines” or “diagonals” to add structure to your photos and get a more interesting and eye-catching end product. Patterns and textures can also add an interesting element to your photos.
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Symmetry can be very pleasing to the eyes. While there is the ‘Rule of Thirds’, sometimes breaking that rule can get you a really good photo. Placing the subject in the centre of your photo can also work well so don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different shots!
- Editing Apps
Anything can be done with the power of editing. Editing is such a powerful tool that can instantly change a photography, be it the colour, hues, brightness, sharpness of the photo. These little details make all the difference when editing a photo.
One of the most popular photo editing app is VSCO. It is the most basic, easy-to-use editing app that I recommend for anyone starting out. Even if you’re not, this is a great app that encompasses all the basic features you need to edit photos, and it’s still my go-to app now! The best way to learn how to edit is to really try it out for yourself and play around with the features and see what looks best in your eyes. My most-used filters in VSCO are A6 and HB2. I tend to increase the contrast, cool and sharpen my photos in general. I also adjust the exposure depending on how bright/dark the photo is.
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These two apps have more advanced features, such as the brush tool (which is magical btw). Using the brush tool, you can select specific areas you want to brighten, saturate etc. They also have face tools which can help you edit facial features- whether you want to blur that pimple or slim down your face 😆 All this editing requires you to play around with the features to get used to it so it’s okay if it’s overwhelming at the start!
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to take a photo. So, your photos should express your style and personality! Everything takes time and practice so continue snapping away and one day maybe you’ll find YOUR perfect Instagram photo 😉
What are your favourite photo styles and editing apps?