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How to take better photos for Instagram

Famme's guide to photography for social media

As an influencer (especially on Instagram), the photos you post can have a lot to say for both growth, engagement and sales if you have sponsored posts. If you want to show off a garment you are very fond of, it is a great advantage if you can post pictures that actually show how nice it is in reality!

It is easy to feel overwhelmed if you are going to start improving your photography skills as there is a sea of both advanced and basic information online. But fear not, it does not have to be that complicated and you can get far by just taking a few small tips and trying them out at home! Here is our beginner's guide to how to improve the photos you take to Instagram.


Camera equipment


If you have a professional camera, this is of course a bonus, but today's smartphones also allow you to take very high quality photos. Both Iphone, Samsung and Huawei have models with very good camera for both video and image content now so you do not have to feel compelled to go out and buy a DSLR if you want to start taking good pictures. However, it may be of interest to invest in this as you start making money from photography and want to take the next step to improve the photos you take even more.

You can also assess the need you have for a tripod. If you take many pictures on your own, it can be useful to have a sturdy tripod to put your camera or phone on so that you do not have to take all the pictures in the mirror, or refurnish the living room to get the phone set at the right height and angle on a stack of books on the bookshelf. You will find racks for both phone and camera and in all shapes and sizes, so find out what is best for your use and consider whether it can be worth the investment!


Lighting


One of the most important things to take good pictures is to make sure you have a good light source. Enough light is needed to avoid having to use too low a shutter speed that can blur the image. Shutter speed is how long the aperture of the camera is open, high shutter speed means that it closes quickly, a low shutter speed means that it closes slowly, then you have to make sure that you keep the camera and the subject very still. Indoor lighting is rarely completely neutral and can make it difficult to get the right white balance in finishing. This can make what you are looking at look more yellow or blue than it really is. It is therefore best to take pictures in daylight, preferably by a large window. If you are going to take pictures outside, it is a good idea to avoid direct sunlight, as it can give sharp contrasts and hard shadows in the picture. Try taking pictures on a cloudy day or early in the morning / late at night when the sun is lower. Otherwise, you may want to seek out shade if the sun is at its strongest when you start taking pictures.


@stineeroy shows how to take pictures with natural light indoors

 

Composition

Composition in photos can be a big and complex topic, but here are some simple tips you can choose to think about when taking photos.

Three-part rule: If you have a horizon in the background, you may want to think about the three-part rule. Suppose you divide the image into 9 equal squares. The horizon should then be along the top or bottom line. This creates more depth than if you place it in the middle.

@annesivaasen shows how to use the three-part rule
    Depth using foreground and background: Images have three layers in depth. A background, a foreground and a middle ground. It is usually in the background that you place the subject you want to take a picture of, but it can create good depth if you think about elements you can include in the background and foreground. If you take pictures outside, you can, for example, have a branch, flower or a fence as a small part of the foreground, and you can try to find a nice view that works well as a background.
    Use lines: Diagonal lines in images can draw attention where you want, and by using parallel and perpendicular lines in the image you can create tension and draw attention to the subject.
    Complimentary colors: Use the color wheel to highlight the colors of what you want to be noticed in the image. Complimentary colors are colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Using these creates both harmony and attracts attention in the image. If you have a pink leggings you want to highlight, you can include a lot of green in the picture to compliment the color of the leggings.
    @Siljehjelmeland uses both complimentary colors and diagonal lines
    Less is more: Keep it simple and make sure that neither the background, foreground or other elements attract more attention than the subject you are trying to take a picture of. If you want to show off your new leggings from Famme, it's weird if you have lots of other things around you that draw attention away! Remember that voids and clean surfaces also have their place and can make the pictures more comfortable to look at.

        Image editing


        There are several things to consider if you are going to edit the photos you have taken. If you post an outfit or something else where colors are especially important, it is wise to make sure that you do not change the colors too much, and keep the image as close as possible to reality.

        It is sometimes useful to adjust the exposure of images if they become particularly dark or light to make sure that everything in the image is clearly visible and that it is in line with the rest of the images in your feed. You can also adjust contrast, shadows and highlights to create some depth in the image. If your camera gives a slightly pale color to the image, there is also the option to adjust the color intensity to give a little new life to the image. It can also be a good idea to correct it if it is skewed, and to adjust the crop so that the image size fits the platform you are posting it on. Cropping the image also allows you to cut out any unnecessary details on the edge of the image. Programs that work well for this type of editing include Snapseed, Lightroom and VSCO. Lightroom is free for mobile and also allows you to create your own presets that can be used as a filter and make the editing process easier. Presets can also give all the images you edit a more holistic look as you can easily edit all the images with the same adjustments.ngene.

        We hope these tips have given you some new ideas on how you can improve your photos yourself and that you feel inspired to go out and try your hand at some photography!