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Clearly you don’t have to be a professional photographer to have a swoon-worthy Instagram feed but knowing a few tricks of the trade can certainly help. If you’re still stuck in 2010 when it comes to your photography and editing skills, it’s time to step away from the Valencia filter and take a pro approach to upping your Instagram game. Here are five tips you can start right away!


Lighting is Key.

No amount of editing or filters are going to save your photos if they are badly lit so always make sure you have the lighting right before you shoot. Natural light really can’t be beaten – early in the morning, late afternoon or days that are overcast present the best natural light. If you tend to shoot a lot indoors then you really need to think about getting a light ring. These are really cost effective and you will see a huge difference in the standard of your shots. When shooting indoors or out, think about where the light hits your subject, always have it either behind the camera facing your subject or at around 45 degrees to the left of right of the camera to cast an arty shadow. 

Most celebs head to the window for a selfie in natural light.
Big fans of this are Love Islanders too, especially Ellie Brown.

Get on board with the Golden Hour.

Every Instagram influencer’s favourite time of day, Golden Hour is a magical natural light that appears in the first hour of sun rise and the last hour before sunset. This warm dreamy light is well worth making time for as it casts gorgeous sun flares across images and a dreamy warm light that no artificial light or any other hour of the day can achieve.

Emily Attack – often a golden hour lover, as seen here on her instagram.

Invest in a proper camera.

Mobile phone manufacturers are forever adding spec and functionality to phone cameras and whilst they are convenient you really can’t beat a proper camera when it comes to taking next level shots. Using a purposefully designed camera, like a DSLR, will give you all the detail and sharpness that you need to edit the image properly. This instantly makes every photograph stand out on Instagram especially if you edit them outside of the generic filters on the app. 

Lewis Hamilton mixes up the use of his phone camera and a specialist DSLR for his feed

Composition is key.

A little bit of planning before you start to shoot can make a huge difference to the standard of your pictures. You’ll find lots of online articles and video tutorials about compositional rules. Whilst these are certainly worth watch, my advice would be to start by simply using your eyes. We’re always in such a rush to capture that perfect scene or moment that we don’t stop and look first. Looking through your eyes before the camera lens, will really help with your composition – helping you identify the perfect angle for that shot.

Rita Ora is a big fan of composition in her pics.
From posing in the middle of balloons to playing around with different angles.

Be Bold.

Use colours and quirky angles with your photography. Instagram is saturated with the generic muted greys, blues and whites. Purposefully chosen bold colours with the right styling and angles will make your photographs stand out amongst the crowd. This approach is eye catching and enough to stop people scrolling and really get their attention.

Anthony Quinlan from Emmerdale loving the yellow backdrop Carla used on a recent shoot to make his pic pop.

If you’re a content creator looking for more in-depth expert advice on capturing great imagery – sign up to my next four-week online course. Click here to find out more.

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