Sunday, 24 July 2016

How To Take Bright & Airy Instagram Photos

Instagram photography tips

       1. Myth:      


The biggest myth on the web is that you need a DSLR to take beautiful images. Well actually, I'm in two minds about it to be honest. I don't think you need a fancy camera to take beautiful flatlays or any fashion & beauty photos for Instagram. However, in my opinion, I do think it's necessary to have a DSLR or a bridge camera for blog photos and outfit photography. It's the only way to get that nice bokeh effect {blurry background}. 

For most of my Instagram photos, I use my iPhone and I don't think anybody can tell the difference between the photos taken on my camera vs the photos I take on my phone.

QUESTION TIME! Which photo below do you think is a DSLR photo and which one is an iPhone photo? ;-)

DSLR vs phone photography


  2. Taking the Photo:  


1. White Background: A white background provides a bright & airy feel to a photo before you've even edited. 

White background ideas:  

  • Your bed sheet
  • A throw
  • A white table
  • Plain white paper


2. Utilise your phone's camera: 

Tips for an iPhone:

  • Use the square feature on your camera
  • Tap every corner of the screen and the middle to brighten up the photo
  • Turn on HDR


3. Shoot beside a window: My house is actually quite dark and I live in Ireland so getting a bright set up to work with is very difficult. To combat this problem I take my photos beside a window.

4. Use a mirror as a reflector: I spoke about this on my Snapchat recently {@clionahill - Come join the snaps & the chats ;-)} 

If you place a mirror {big or small} beside your set up and face it towards the window it will the bounce the light back and give you a brighter photo.

How to edit Instagram photos

  3. VSCO CAM:      


Step 1: Bump up the exposure to 2 or 3 depending on how bright your photo already is.

Step 2: Contrast the photo to setting 1 or 2 depending on what brightness setting you chose. I never go higher than 2 because I find that it makes the photo look overly edited.

And that's it! That's how I went from that dull photo to the bright one above.


  4. Instagram Editing:   


I absolutely love the in-house editing software that's available on Instagram! It compliments the editing from VSCO Cam very well and the filters are much better than the ones offered on VSCO Cam.

Step 1: Select a filter. I use Gingham because it looks natural and really brightens up those photos and gives them an airy feel. 

Step 2: Lower the filter down to anywhere between 30 - 50. It just depends on the photo but I never go higher than 50 because it makes the photo look overly pink toned *insert thumbs down emoji*

Step 3: Adjust the brightness. Yep, that's right, we need even more brightness! If you've done the steps above then you'll only need to higher it to around 5-8.

Step 4: Adjust the contrast. This is a golden rule of mine: if you touch the brightness then you must follow through with the contrast! Just think of them as a married couple - they go together ;-) I usually only set mine to around 3 or 4, but again it depends on the photo.

Now, you're all set to upload your photo!

Instagram editing -step by step guide


    5. How To Cover Blemishes:    


As you can see from the photo above I've had some trouble with blue tack on my wall *insert monkey with his hands over his eyes emoji* During the Leaving Cert I thought it would be a clever idea to stick my timetables up on the wall and now I can't get the blue tack off. So whenever I take photos of my vanity table (blog post) you can see big blue tack marks on the wall and it really obstructs the photo.

To Remove Unwanted Marks: I use the healing feature on Snapseed.

Question! For this post, I mainly focused on how I edit my photos and I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a post about how I take flat-lays, from where I stand photos and maybe my set-up / props?

Don't forget to follow on Bloglovin' to read more posts from me!


More Instagram Tips:


How do you edit your Instagram photos?

Love,
Cliona xx


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9 comments

  1. I love the things you've done with these photos! Really proves you don't need a DSLR :) although I think your talent with taking the pictures probably helps ;)

    Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

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    1. Aw thank you so much! It's all down to the editing really! My photos look terrible before I edit haha! Thanks for reading xx

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  2. This was so helpful I love your Instagram pictures so it was great hearing you use your phone. I have been using my DSLR recently but I might go back to my iPhone :) also have you tried using a bigger piece of blue tack and rolling it over the wee bits stuck on your wall? Helps me get mine off... Use it like a rubber :) I also would love to see a post about how you take flat lays :) xx

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    1. Thanks so much for the tip Rachel - I'll definitely try it out! Xx

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  3. This is really helpful - I take most of my photos on my iPhone and love Afterlight for editing them!

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    1. iPhones have great cameras & it's amazing the things you can do to improve a photo when editing! I've never tried Afterlight - I must give it a go! Thanks for reading xx

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  4. This is so useful �� I always take my Instagram pictures on my iPhone . Would love to see how you do flat lays! Also where's your lamp from? Been looking for one like that for ages now! Haha

    Xxx

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  5. Thanks Marie! I'm glad it was helpful :-) I got it in Homebase - they still have some left online! Xx

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  6. Your Instagram feed is gorgeous so was interesting to see how you edit your photos. I would love to see a post on creating flat lays.
    Lucie xo | lucieleannexo.wordpress.com

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