7 Top Tips For Taking Instagram Photos

I’m not claiming to be an Instagram pro but I am partial to taking a snap (or few) for the gram, so I thought I would share the tips I have picked up over the years to help you create the best possible photos.

1. Get creative with flatlays

Props are really key when it comes to nailing flatlays. You’ll be surprised at how many influencer photos are made to look fantastic thanks to some basic upgrades. I’ve heard people buy individual tiles from DIY stores and use them to lay their products on – so even if you live in a dusty, vintage home – you can appear to be living in a swanky, marble-clad pad! You can also use props like faux flowers and material to make the set-up more interesting.

2. Get the lighting right

Any photographer will highlight the importance of lighting when it comes to getting good shots. Taking pictures in daylight is most preferable but if you’re trying to shoot in the winter (when daylight is limited) then you could always invest in a ring light. Another golden rule – do not, I repeat do not, take photographs of yourself outside in the midday sun – the shadows make you look horrendous – the softer light of dusk is much better for photoshoots. Hence why everyone raves about the golden hour!

3. Rope in friends and family

Now, we all know I have a lot to thank my Insta husband for – he’s always there (sometimes reluctantly) if I need to get the perfect Instagram shot. Sometimes a selfie or self-timer just won’t cut it and you really do need extra assistance. Once they’ve helped you out once or twice, they will get a feel for what you want – my partner Arthur is actually a great creative director now!!


4. Use the live function on your phone

If you do not know about the live function on your iPhone, boy are you missing out. This handy setting basically shoots multiple frames when you are taking just one picture – allowing you to select the exact shot you need. It’s a real game-changer if you’ve got a tendency to close your eyes in front of the camera as you can just scroll along to find the open-eyed pic. Just ensure the little bullseye icon (below in yellow) is on when you are taking pics.

5. The more the merrier

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that to increase your chances of getting a good photo, you need to simply shoot more. Looking at my camera roll after I’ve tried to get an Insta pic is hilarious – honestly it probably takes around 40 photos to get the ONE!


6. Gather inspiration

This is where Instagram (and the save feature) comes in VERY handy. If you see a cool picture someone has taken you can simply save it and refer back to it later. I also use Pinterest for inspo. Referencing is a good thing to do right before taking your photos, to remind yourself of the certain style or angle of the shot.

7. Get the professionals in

For your daily Insta shots, putting up with your flatmate’s hungover handiwork behind the lens might be okay, but if you’re an aspiring influencer or blogger you may wish to have a selection of more polished shots – particularly headshots. My photographer friend Steph took some amazing snaps for me and I use them everywhere from Insta to LinkedIn.

Stephanie O’Callaghan Photography

As I was writing this I thought up lots more tips about editing – so I may do a whole separate blog post on that.

Did you find this useful?

R x

4 Replies to “7 Top Tips For Taking Instagram Photos”

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