Do you ever scroll through Instagram and on your explore page and see some of the best pictures? These pictures are well thought-out, great lighting, dynamic and fresh angles, and overall eye-catching! If you’re fortunate enough, you can grab a friend or significant other to take pictures for you. However, many people ever don’t have that luxury or simply don’t want to bother someone else with taking endless pictures because they aren’t happy with the results. The solution? Be your own photographer! This, I know, is easier said than done. I was uneducated and more-so afraid of the thought of taking my own photos. I didn’t know where to start, but I was determined to figure it out. After months of gaining insight, knowledge, and lots of trial and error, I can confidently say that I have mastered the art of being my own photographer. I’ve compiled my 7 key steps on how to take your own Instagram photos, and listed them below!
Here are some pictures that i’ve taken myself! Check out more on my Instagram!
STEP 1: GET A TRIPOD
The first and foremost component to taking your own pictures is to have a device for your phone to stand on! I bought mine off amazon, and good ones range from $20-25! When searching for them, make sure it includes the phone holder! Here is the link to get my exact one!
STEP 2: DOWNLOAD LENS BUDDY APP
It is crucial to have a phone app that can automate the photo shoot process! The Lens Buddy app allows you to take pictures on a self-timer and has settings such as shutter speed and various image capture durations, to name a few! I take all my photos on this app and the app allows you to save them within and export only the ones you like!
STEP 3: CREATE A PINTEREST BOARD
Creating a Pinterest board for inspiration is my go-to! I do this for most of my pictures and I find it extremely helpful! I use it for posing, fashion, and scenery inspiration! I love getting ideas from fellow creators then putting my unique spin on the final results! I have boards for outfit inspiration, and aesthetic instagram photos! Check out my Pinterest boards here!
STEP 4: SCOUT OUT LOCATIONS
Locations are a huge component to the overall photo! Decide whether you want a neutral background or a more scenic, colorful location. Make sure to also shoot in the most optimal lighting. Lighting is best outside of the 12-2pm hours because these hours are when the sun is the most harsh. I always shoot in the later afternoon (4-5pm) and find that is my best lighting. Take pictures of the locations before you do your shoots to see how the lighting shows up.
STEP 5: PREPLAN OUTFITS
If you’re a visual person, I highly recommend creating a notes page for outfits. The Notes app on iPhone is perfect for me, because I screenshot my Pinterest board inspiration and even take pictures of my clothes and put them in as attachments within Notes. Next to each, I write out each item of the outfit next to the location I believe suits the outfit best. This keeps me very organized and avoids last-minute stress!
STEP 6: LEARN YOUR ANGLES
This is arguably the most difficult part of how to take your own Instagram photos. If you are comfortable with posing and know your bodies best angles, then this step is a breeze! If this is your biggest area of improvement, I recommend starting in your room! Locate a full body mirror and strike poses–yes I mean it! You are in the comfort in your own home in private, so feel absolutely comfortable with experimenting, even if you feel awkward! Practice makes perfect, and I recommend taking pictures of your poses so you can replicate it then eventually strike them without needing that guidance! I always shoot a variety of angles. There are sitting poses, standing poses, poses looking away from the camera, detail shots, aerial shots, the list goes on! I recommend a low angle (have tripod at hip height and angle the phone slightly upward toward to the sky) for more aesthetic and dramatic shots. For full body shots, have the tripod at upper torso height, approximately 4-5 feet in front of you (you will see in on the phone screen once you are fully in the frame, with your feet at the bottom of the frame and ample space overhead). Bring a small item such as a purse or keys to use as a marker for where to pose in order to be positioned perfectly for your pictures! For detail shots, shoot at 2x zoom.
STEP 7: PERSEVERE THROUGH SOCIAL ANXIETY
Social anxiety is tough to get through, I’ve been there! I learned that I have to shut out the outside world in order to get my content. I do try to find low trafficked areas, but I know that will not always be the case. When there are people around, I first make it clear that I am there for work and to get content shot. Most people are very respectful towards that and will accommodate my request. Some people will even want to help out! Overall, when I am in the zone, I feel myself getting more confident as I am going through my shoot. If people come interrupt (because they will) just be direct and blunt saying (I am working/or even just simply staring back will make them walk away).
I hope this “how to take your own Instagram photos” guide was helpful! Do you take your own pictures? I hope this encourages you to get started!
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