Instagram has taken phone photography to another new level.I’m no expert but I have the fabulous Lilian guest posting on the topic today.Learn how you can style Instagram photos using these helpful tips.
I’ve always been a lover of photography. The thing is I’m not really good at it.I manage to take photos for my blog but styling them to perfection isn’t one of my strong points. And when it comes to Instagram, I have to think a million times over.Today,Lilian has some really helpful tips to share with you.Not only did I learn a lot from it, I’m sure you’re going to love it too.And now,I’m going to let Lilian take over.Enjoy!
Hello everyone! My name is Lilian, otherwise known as ling yeung b on social media! I describe myself as a full time dreamer, wannabe maker, and occasional blogger. I love all things photography, flowers, crafts, food and travel, and I am, of course, an Instagram addict!
Image credit: ARJ Photography
I’m super thrilled that the lovely Zakkiya has invited me to share my take on how to style Instagram photos with you today! I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to Instagram. You can now post portrait or landscape photos, but I prefer to, at least for now, stick with the good old square format, and 99% of my photos are taken on my iPhone 5S (can’t wait to upgrade!). That said, the tips I’m sharing with you today apply to rectangular formats and SLRs too!
Right! Let’s get started, shall we?
Five tips on how to style Instagram photos:-
This isn’t strictly a styling tip – more of a photography one – but having a good, natural light source will get you half way to a good photo!Plus it’s free. What can be better than that?
Sometimes it’s tempting to just throw a bunch of pretty props together – I’m certainly guilty of the crime (!) – but think of styling as telling a coherent visual story. Think about the story you’re trying to tell, and select props that are of the right theme or color palette, whether you’re showcasing these dreamy, luxurious artisan soaps…
or inviting your IG friends to join in on your vintage mad hatters tea party…
or sharing the latest watercolour painting you’ve done using one of Zakkiya’s awesome tutorials 😉
Now that you’ve gathered your props, let’s talk about how you’re going to style them! When it comes to composition, there are some very helpful rules, although really I like to think of them more as guidelines rather than strict rules.
The first one is the **rule of thirds**.
Imagine if you divide your photo into nine equal parts, you’ll get two vertical lines, two horizontal lines, and four intersections. Rule of thirds says that you should place the elements that you want to draw focus to along these lines or intersections. Doing so adds more interest and balance to a photo! And if you’re struggling with imagining the lines, you can switch on the handy grid function under your iPhone camera settings!
The second tip to style instagram photos (or any photo) is the **rule of odds**.
The theory is that if you have a group of objects in odd numbers, your eyes and brain can’t automatically pair them up. It basically forces your brain to keep moving through the composition, making the photo more dynamic, interesting, and pleasing to the eye! The only exception to this rule is two – there is something magical about a pair, especially if it’s symmetrical.
The third one is the **rule of space**.
Don’t be afraid to use negative space, i.e. creating empty space around your subject. Depending on the story you’re trying to tell, negative space can help convey a mood or perspective. Both of the photos below follow the rule of thirds, but the one of the left almost feels claustrophobic, whereas the one on the right feels much more airy and calm.
Have you ever styled up something pretty, taken a photo and thought “this looks much prettier in my head”? Unfortunately, the human eye perceives and captures an image very differently from a camera. One trick I’ve learnt is to frame your shot by looking through the screen as it shows you exactly what the final image will look like! Hover your phone in front of your styled set (or over, if you’re doing a flat lay) and adjust your props until you’re happy with the layout. If you’re taking square shots, I find it super useful to use my iPhone’s square camera mode!
**Play around and have fun!**
My final, and perhaps the most important, tip is to just play around and have fun!
Play around with different perspectives…
zoom in and out…
explore different angles…
build up the number of elements…
and just keep practicing! =)
Thanks for reading, and thank you Zakkiya for having me! I hope I was able to provide some useful tips on how you can style Instagram photos.
If you would like to follow my little creative journey, share your styled shots with me or if you have any questions, you can find me on