How To Take The Perfect Instagram Photo

It’s pretty obvious that, like most social media-inclined individuals these days, we have quite the obsession with Instagram. Last week we featured Abby Jiu and her gorgeous office—and today, this D.C.-based photographer (deemed one of the top wedding photographers of 2014 by Martha Stewart!) is here to share her five tips for taking the perfect Instagram photo!

1. Light is key. Light, light, light! Great natural light is often the key to great photos. I am always looking for indirect light (you don’t want harsh direct light—it creates harsh shadows!). The best place is usually close to a window.

2. If you don’t have great light, make it. Indirect light coming from all directions is ideal. But most of the time, that doesn’t naturally happen—so I do my best to make it happen! For some photos, I create a more ideal lighting environment using a DIY reflector made of foam board, magnets and an “L” bracket. This makes it easy to bounce light back in to get a nice light and airy photograph.

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3. Use an editing app. I always edit my photos because the iPhone camera usually produces photos that are a little underexposed for my style. My go-to app is PicTapGo—my normal combination of effects involves “lights up” (to increase exposure) and “crispity” (to add some punchiness to the color).

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After:

4. Take a lot of photos. I usually take 5–15 photos of a single subject before I capture the composition I’m looking for. Keep taking the photo until you get exactly what you want.

5. Discover your Instagram style—and stick with it. It’s important to be consistent with your photos (whether it be related color schemes, similar subjects or recurring backgrounds). Followers prefer to see one big story in your Insta feed. Start snapping accordingly, and let your personality shine through!

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Images by Amelia Johnson

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Author: Caitlin Kruse

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