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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My Top Tips: Five Ways to Take Better Instagram Pictures



"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language" - Walt Disney.

Before I get in too deep ask yourself these questions...
How often do you post on instagram? Do you ever think about the content you're uploading? Have you identified your audience? Do any key influencers follow you on instagram? 

The above may sound very silly right now, but if you've come across this post and you're a blogger keep on reading!


So more recently, I was contacted by a company who wanted me to promote some of their fashion range on instagram and twitter via the @blogginggals accounts. I was excited as they were a new company that I had come across before and if you know me you'd know that I love working with start-ups. However, nothing is free & my terms were very simple. In order for a promotion we had to come to an agreement where I could benefit from the collaboration too, this would be in the form of a product review which would have then enabled me or a blogging gals member to review the service including; delivery, communication & of course the quality of the clothing. 

I was hit by:

"I'm sorry.. but we only gift Insta famous girls" 

I almost spat out my Vitacoco. I remember being sat at my desk just in hysterics after reading their reply, but then it got me thinking.. does instagram play a huge role in how we are perceived as bloggers? I think so! It seems that nowadays some brands are not even interested in how good your blog content is (photos, writing style, layout) but more how pretty your instagram page is and how many followers you have. Pretty shocking if you ask me!

Now, the point of this post isn't to learn how to draw brands to your blog (you can read my tips on this here) but more of how we can all achieve that 'bloggeresque' instagram style throughout our pages by using some really simple techniques. Essentially, considering these steps will help you to grow more of an audience and future collaborations with brands you adore. 


Believe me when I say that none of these photos looked like this upon taking them, no.. really. Generally, my photos are darker in tone, may have a few items in the frame etc. 
So here are my top tips! 

1) Inspiration Find an instagram page that you absolutely adore and pull inspiration from it, this doesn't mean you should be the exact copy of that instagrammer but perhaps analyse the way in which they put photos together and put your own twist on it. 

2) Prep that background! Readers, I've seen on many occasions bloggers upload pictures that have far too much potential but the background just ruins it. *cries*  Most bloggers find it easy to work with a white background (I do too), so things like white shelves, chest of drawers, or desks can work for great pictures. I use my chest of drawers from Ikea with a white glass table top, I definitely recommend this as its easy to clean and is the reason for nearly all of the great pictures in this post.

Tip: Use props to make your pictures just that extra bit unique - I'm still learning how to do this! 

3) Snap snap! Whether you're using an iphone, android and so fourth you should never use Instagram's own camera simply because it lacks several features such as; the ability to zoom in or out (you are stuck in a square so for those wanting to blog full body pictures this is a real pain) and you can't come back to the original of your photos for future reference through the instagram camera (unless you don't put any effect on it & screen capture the image from your instagram page - what a hassle).

In a nutshell: Your phone's camera is probably better to use for taking picture. You may also want to consider using your professional camera & importing these pictures into instagram. 

4) Square-ready. When taking photos always remember that the frame will be cropped into a square. I can honestly say I know this and choose to ignore, so as a result end up with rectangular shaped images that just look odd on my instagram page *sobs*. My best advice for full body pics is to take these landscape (get someone to take them for you), then use an app such as square-ready or instasize to get the picture in a square shape if needed. 

5) Edit those pics! 
For filters - So we all love a good filter on our pictures but I hear you ask "is Instagram the only app for this?" - the answer is no. There are a tonne of apps that offer good if not better filters for your instagram pics, these include: VSCO Cam, Litely, Snapseed, Camera +, Candy Camera and many more.
Multiple photos in one - Instasize, Pic collage
Blending - DXP free

If you like how edit my pictures, honestly I use no filters. I just play about with the settings of the image in terms of brightness, contrast, shadows etc. 

I use a Samsung Galaxy S5 but these type of pictures are achievable using most smart phones.




So I hope this post helps many of you out there! If you're new to instagram just play around with ideas, it all takes time! 




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