Blogging Photography

Perfecting Your Instagram Photography

27th June 2017
Perfecting your instagram photography

Pretty much every man and their dog wants to be insta-famous nowadays (seriously, some of those dog accounts are killing it!). Instagram is no longer about sharing a photo in the moment, it is about creating a gallery, a beautifully curated gallery, and while the key to a successful instagram account isn’t photography alone, perfecting your instagram photography will help.

You don’t need a fancy camera

I never thought I would say this, but, you really don’t need a fancy camera. I have always been a bit of a camera snob, priding myself on picking up the finer details and having the perfect depth of field, yet, one of my most popular instagram photos was taken on my iPhone 6s, and while it isn’t of a quality that I would ever consider blowing up and printing, it works for instagram. Most people view instagram in teeny tiny squares on their phone, meaning that the quality of the photo doesn’t matter too much. I’m not saying go out and take real shit quality photos and put little effort in, what I am saying is, you really don’t need a DSLR, and also, flower walls will always win instagram.

Bank holiday has been super lazy ??I’ve done pretty much bugger all, apart from a walk to the park and BBQ with the in-laws tonight ??Spencer went out with the boys on Saturday for bank hol beers but not me, I made no plans, despite craving bank holiday beer garden booze times ❌?Why? Because I’m weak, like super weak. I am determined to have a 100% week on my diet, I even took slimming world potato salad and a weight watchers pudding to the BBQ ????I am just too weak to go out and not cave. So I stayed in. Stayed in with a toddler who has learnt to climb out of bed and decided that she wasn’t tired ?? I lost count of the amount of times that she appeared downstairs ?she didn’t end up going to bed until MIDNIGHT ??which is exactly why daytime naps have been banned ❌❌ more about that in my latest blog post, click the link in the bio ??‍?

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Take in your surroundings

There is nothing worse than looking at your fabulous picture after the event to discover an overflowing bin in the background. Survey the scene before taking your photo. Frame the photo perfectly within your camera. Move to your subject and set the perfect scene within your frame. I’ve been known to turn Aria around in the swing so that the pretty fields are behind her, rather than the ugly old Leisure Centre. These little details make all the difference when it comes to perfecting your instagram photography.

Focus, focus, focus

Focus is key. If using your phone tap on the main subject of the photo to focus on them. If using your camera move the focus point around, or, lock the focus point down and move your camera to where you want it. When photographing people try to focus on their eyes.

If you need to crop, do it within Instagram

I never, ever crop my instagram photos outside of instagram. I used to, but recently I have discovered that cropping works best within instagram itself. Cropping within instagram gives you a lot more control as you can better see how it will look within the app and at the required size. Leave the overflowing bin in the photo and zoom in to crop it out in instagram. Just remember when uploadloading elsewhere that it hasn’t been cropped. This may have caught me out on a few occasions.

Give your audience what they want

This is where a business account really pays off. The analytics are fab at providing a wealth of useful information, as well as easily sorting your most popular photos over a period of time.

This one is getting SO difficult, but also cuter and funnier, which is good because I need something to sweeten the deal ?? – Today she had a meltdown in a cafe because she wanted her yoghurt before her sandwich ?bad mammy alert?I gave in to her ??it was SO quiet and she was SO loud and I was SO embarrassed ? top parenting right there ?? – Other goings on today have included her running in and out of the house and shutting her fingers in the door not once, but twice and getting all of the recycling out of the bins and throwing it down the garden steps ? all because the food shopping came and I stopped paying her attention while sorting it out ? – Man I need booze and chocolate ?? if only I wasn’t on a stupid diet ??

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By sorting my photos by top engaged over the past year it becomes evident that photos of myself and Aria always do well, other than one or two particularly nice photos of Aria, the photos of us together are dominating the top. This shows me that my audience like to see photos of me, the person behind the camera. As a result I now aim to include a photo of Aria and me at least once a week, more if I can.

Get down to your subjects level

I say down because my subject tends to be a toddler, basically kneel down, sit down, stand on tip toes or steps, just do what you can to be on the same level as your subject and the photo will look instantly better. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as when you hover over them and they melt you with their big blue eyes, but generally, if you are stood up and your toddler is stood up it isn’t going to work. Kneel down to meet their eye level and you will see a huge difference in your photography.


Be real, but not too real

People like to be able to relate, people like to know that your life isn’t perfect, but people also like visually appealing photos. If I were to post a photo of Aria in a dark and dingy house with toys and general mess everywhere it would flop, it’s not pretty or funny, therefore it isn’t visually appealing, it is just a kid stood in a shit tip. Save that stuff for instagram stories, where, in my opinion, mess is perfectly acceptable, in fact, it’s desired. People are naturally attracted to clean, bright photos, so if you want your photo to stand out in amongst feeds stick to this.

Lighting is key

Good lighting can make all the difference to your photo, especially when using a phone. The golden hours (shortly after sunrise and before sunset) are the ultimate times for your whimsy perfect captures, but they aren’t always possible, especially when littles are involved. Believe it or not the best days for photography are your grey and overcast days. Try to avoid shooting in direct sunlight, especially at midday when it is at it’s strongest. If shooting indoors open up your curtains and let as much natural light in as possible, avoid turning lights on if you can as they often create a yellow glow which doesn’t look good. If this can’t be avoided you can easily adjust the colour temperature to make it cooler on most editing software, including Photoshop and PicMonkey.

Don’t post for the sake of posting

If you aren’t 100% happy with your photo don’t post it just because you have nothing else to post. People say consistency is key and that you should post your photos at the same time every day and stick to a regular posting schedule. This is right, but it won’t work if you post any old sub par photo just because you need to stick to your schedule. If you don’t have a photo that you are 100% happy with, it is okay not to post. If you really are concerned about sticking to a tight schedule then make sure that you have a bank of photos, instagram lost its instant a long time ago so don’t worry about posting a photo taken a while ago, as long as it is seasonally appropriate no one will bat an eyelid.

Take a wide selection of photos

For every one instagram photo that I post there are around one hundred that didn’t make the cut! Taking photos of a toddler is hard, be prepared to keep snapping away until you find the perfect photo. Burst mode is your friend.

Filters aren’t necessary to create a theme

Once upon a time I believed that you had to have a theme for your instagram account, and I decided that my theme would be to edit all of my photos with a hazy pink filter. This looked lovely on some photos, but on others, rather than adding to the photo it took away from it. Nowadays the majority of my photos are bright and colourful, but occasionally if I feel a photo would be better suited with a hazy filter I will add one. I’ve come to realise that my theme is me, my personality, my captions, and also Aria and (hopefully) good photos. If you do want to use filters for your photos (because there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so) consider using out of app filters. Some of my favourite filters come in the form of Photoshop actions, these are relatively cheap to purchase, can be applied to your photo in the click of a button and give you a lot more control than instagram filters.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! 

Life really is about taking the rough with the smooth isn’t it? Like when I walk along the beautiful, scenic canal ??most of it is lush, but what I don’t tend to show you is that I have to pass through dark, dingy, graffiti filled tunnels that stink of piss ?welcome to the valleys butt ?? This weekend has been all about taking the rough with the smooth ????‍♀️??‍♀️I had a fab day on Saturday at #ThisWelshMotherMeets, then I spent yesterday in A&E after Aria fell from the top to the bottom of our stairs ? thankfully she was absolutely fine, but because it was such a big fall they had to monitor her for four hours just to be sure. I was so scared, stressed and worried and am now exhausted and drained ?? We’ve also had stresses with the house sale/purchase being delayed and the solicitors at the top of the chain seemingly ignoring everyone ??‍♀️ today I have been convinced that it would all fall through, to then discover that it’s all fine and the top of the chain want to complete FRIDAY ?? we’ve had to say no, talk about short notice!

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  • Reply Hayley F 27th June 2017 at 5:16 pm

    great tips. thankyou x

  • Reply Jenni 27th June 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Your photos are stunning and you do have the perfect little model x

  • Reply Chantele cross-Jones 27th June 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Great tips hun. I’ve totally fallen out of love with instagram recently but think I will dedicate July to being instagram month and get ahead of the game by trying to sort a few images before July starts

  • Reply Katie 28th June 2017 at 7:04 am

    Great tips here. I LOVE your instagram feed so will get cracking with these. Thanks lovely xx

  • Reply Kirsty 29th June 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Love this! Some fab tips! Thanks so much x

  • Reply Clare - My Tunbridge Wells 10th July 2017 at 8:54 am

    Really great tips – thank you so much! I’m going to try to post more pics of me with my boys and also try to remember tapping the screen on my phone at the subject for my photo (nearly always my boys!). Your Instagram feed is just lovely 🙂 x

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