How to Take Pictures for Instagram – Background
When Instagram first launched in 2010, smartphone cameras were still behind about features and quality.
Back then, Instagram photos were taken using the in-app camera, and on today’s smartphones, those old photos look blurry and pixilated.
Currently, the Instagram feed is a blend of smartphone and professionally processed photos.
However, the present smartphone camera is so good that you can use it on the go, and some can’t distinguish its photos from those taken with pro cameras.
So if you’re looking to enhance your photography skills so that you can take better Instagram photos regardless of the resources you have at hand, then this review is for you.
As a sole creator, you might not be able to hire a pro photographer every time, so the next best thing is to learn some basic photography rules and what drives engagement on Instagram.
1. Understand Lighting
Light is one of the biggest dynamics in photography. When there’s too much light, subjects will appear washed out; on the other hand, when the light is too little, the photo will be dark and won’t capture your audience’s attention.
You should learn how light impacts the setting you normally shoot in if you’re doing brand photography. For instance, note where and when the sun rays come in if you’re in a restaurant.
Sunrise and sunsets tend to have the softest light glow; afternoon sun, on the other hand, has harsh sun rays which blow out photo’s white sections.
Therefore if you know how lights and the sun behave in a space, it will be easier to plan a photo shoot.
When it comes to smartphones, you need to be patient with the camera. Take a couple of minutes to click on various focus points and see how light and shadows vary.
What’s more, you can use the slider in the camera app to adjust brightness.
2. Include Layers to Create Appeal
While a minimalistic and plain look is always en vogue, switch up your photos by including layers. This means mixing various textures and having a background and/or foreground.
Of course, the subject will still be in focus, but layers create appeal and guide the audience.
Some smartphones feature a portrait mode, so you can easily add depth to your photos. If you have complex backgrounds, try and focus on the subject and blur the background.
For instance, you can take photos through a window so that some reflections are in the foreground.
3. Use ‘Burst Mode’ to Take Instagram Photos
When you’re at an event, and you need to take some photos, don’t just snag one or two; you want to have a huge number of photos you can choose from.
Why is this? Because you’re bound to find someone’s eyes at half-mast, people talking as you take the photo or some absurd combination of the two.
To correct this, set up your shot with the ideal composition and light, then use your smartphone’s ‘Burst Mode’ feature to capture a couple of images at a go.
Afterward, you can scroll through these photos and find the best one.
4. Follow the Rule of Thirds and White Space
In photography doctrines, the rule of thirds is an opus guide. The rule of thirds allows you to split your frame into three evenly-spaced horizontal lines and three evenly-spaced vertical lines. As a result, you end up with a nine-part grid.
Where the lines come together is where subjects in focus can be situated. This technique is an alternative to the perfectly centered shot.
For some takes, you might want to isolate the subject. Therefore using the rule of thirds alongside white space will create a powerful shot.
Your smartphone’s camera might reveal these gridlines when you’re taking a shot. Having these placed on top of the subject will help you place the subject on the gridlines.
5. Mix Up the Angles
We have mentioned gridlines above and how they are instrumental in ling up shots. What’s more, gridlines also come in handy when creating angles.
For the perfect interior or overhead shot, match the gridlines up so that your picture elements are equivalent. What does this mean? It means that tables or walls in your shot should be parallel to the camera’s gridlines.
Now that we’ve suggested lining up, don’t be afraid to shuffle it up. Before taking photos, step back and observe them from various angles.
Sometimes the straight-on shot isn’t the most appealing. If you want to try a new angle, ensure it’s not parallel to the gridlines.
To sum it all up, taking Instagram photos on your phone is relatively easy for the most part. However, before you do, take some time and check analytics.
It won’t do you any good to take good photos if you don’t understand the kind of photos that your audience likes.