Take Better Instagram Pictures in 3 Simple Steps

Feb 19, 2019

It's a strange thing to receive photography advice from an Instagrammer whose entire feed is full of quotes, BUT this instagrammer also used to be a professional photographer.  With that credential looming around behind me, I wanted to share a few tips for you to create better Instagram photos.  I see so many amazing IG accounts out there, and I know that they could be even better if the photography was kicked up a notch.  SO, with that in mind, I'm sharing my 3 steps for improving the photos you share on Instagram.

Tip #1: It's all about the lighting

Of course, if you have the bucks to grab yourself a Diva Ring Light, you could go that route, but the reality is that most of the population isn't going to drop a few hundred bucks on a circle light that makes their skin pretty.  So, how do we catch the light no matter where we are?

It's simple:  you face it.  When you're taking your photo - no matter what room or place you're in, you want to always have your face to the natural light source. Inside, that's usually a window.  Outside, that means instead of facing into the woods, you turn your face towards the open sky.  Inside, you can literally just plan your photos so that your face is looking at or in the direction of the natural light source.

What you're ultimately looking for are called "catchlights." These are the light reflections in your eyes when you take a photograph.  When you're facing low light conditions, the catchlights are nonexistent. When you're facing a beautiful light source, the eyes literally sparkle with light.

Don't be afraid to move around a bit and take test shots to see where your face is the most lit.  Every slight angle makes a huge difference. 

In this example below, I was sitting in my desk chair. In the left image, I was facing the room - the window is to my right.  In the right image, I literally swiveled my chair so that my body was facing the light.  HUGE difference! Same exact seat - my butt didn't move. The angle of my body to the light source shifted. That's it.


Tip #2:  Wear better makeup.

Listen, I'm not saying I don't love the whole #nomakeup trend at the moment, but if you're trying to build a business based on your lifestyle brand, appearances matter.  Unfortunately, we live in a society that isn't accepting of a clean faced, no makeup woman when it comes to professional appearances, and that means we have to pay attention to how our skin looks.

Right now, there are about 800 different makeup lines you can choose from and some of them photograph beautifully, and SOME OF THEM DO NOT.  It's every single day that I come across a picture of an Instagrammer, and I just want to hug her and put some moisturizer on her skin.  Try to avoid the makeup lines that make your skin look dry, pale and are not blended well.  Unfortunately, this is a lot of the makeup available right now.  How many times do you see a woman who has the wrong shade of makeup on her skin and there's that dreaded chin line?  It's not good, ladies.  

A few tips with regards to your makeup:

  • Go heavier on the eye makeup when you're taking pictures. It makes your features stand out.
  • Pick one shade lighter for your concealer under your eyes to make your eyes brighter
  • Don't skip the blush - it adds life to your face!
  • Don't forget the lips. A little shine on the lips catches the light and it brings more life to your face.

If you know me and follow me at all, you know that I will forever be an advocate of Beautycounter. Their makeup is toxin free, high performing and makes my skin look flawless with literally no effort.  You can check it out for yourself here.   I personally love Beautycounter because it makes me LOOK like I have no makeup on, but hides the imperfections that love to photo bomb my selfies. 


Tip #3:  Up High For The Win!

Most women would benefit from being photographed slightly above eye level. Think about it. What happens when you have to tip your chin up slightly to look at the camera? It lengthens your neck, lowers your shoulders and you naturally tip your head. All very flattering for the woman who's not loving her Instagram photos.

The next time you're taking photos or you badger your husband into doing it for you, raise the camera 6-12" above your eye level and see how it dramatically improves the angle of your face, neck and shoulders.  It's slimming, flattering and if you're facing a beautiful light source with Beautycounter on your skin, it's a recipe for gorgeousness!

In this photo below, the left is at eye level - where most people tend to take photos.  In the photo on the right, we are at slightly above.  See the difference?  A little angle shift can make ALL the difference!

Feeling like you're getting the whole photo taking thing down to a science, but still struggling with building your following?  Head over here to grab the Instagram By Design course. It's affordable, powerful and will help you take IG to the next level.



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